Two years ago Zimbabwe was robbed of a ghetto icon, dancehall superstar, crowd puller and national hero, Soul Jah Love. His death culminated into a musical gold rush as some artists sought to milk rich musical capital from his ever flourishing career.
NB: this article was first published 2 years ago. We have only edited the introduction.
By Argus Mepo
As the nation was mourning, scores of artists jubilated in disguise as they saw an opportunity to rise through short cut and backdoor initiatives. Some made tribute songs, some imitated his style and pattern and some even visited and are still visiting his resting place. In as much as all these efforts might be purpoted to be done in the name of love, elements of gaining musical mileage in general and scores of Soul Jah Loves’ die hard fans are also at play.
Time has proven that one can sing for him, imitate his voice and plagiarise his music, but no one can ever be at par with him. The highest thing you can be is a Soul Jah Love counterfeit. Soul Jah Love is irreplaceable.
He is the only artist who :
a. Was not affected by his loyalty to the ruling party. Lest we not forget the Killer T predicament (recently attacked for posing for a photo with the First Lady). On the contrary, it was in the public domain that he was a staunch supporter of Zanu PF who was also a member of its Youth wing, the Youth League.
b. He made hitsongs from controversies that could have killed his career. (He penned a song Muchizarira following his poor and short perfomance in breach of a contract at a show in Kwekwe, We all know the Soul Jah Love hachisi chinhu, zvinhu incident. )
c. Drugs ruined the careers of many artists but his career was interwoven with drugs, they became a trade mark of his art and yet he remained relevant. Be it in his lyrics on the the streets, he openly divulged that he consumed drugs and he shunned the ghetto youths from taking them too. In one of his songs he said, “Do as l say not as l do, pandakatadza mogadzirisa moita ma correction”. Ironically, the demise of other artists like Silent Killer has been attributed to drug and substance abuse.
d. He continued to be overbooked at shows despite the fact that he absconded many as a result of his poor health and sometimes due to his mischevious attitude which is well documented in the public domain. Promoters knew that putting Jah Love’s face on the poster sold the show and him attending was a story for another day.
e. He was in constant contact with the streets. The late superstar was a highly sociable human entertainer who was always in the streets be it in Mbare, Highfields, Glen Norah and Chitown , among other places. From the streets, thats were he derived his language, slang and art, he coined many catchy phrases as a result of his relationship with the streets we all knew of words such as Makuruwani, Naka Dhula Dhaka through him.
Food For Thought : Copying Soul Jah Love’s style and idolising him too is easy by being like him is impossible and can only be done when the resting king ressurects. Do not just imitate his style and voice and also copy his traits but at your own peril for you might gain fans or loose the fewer that you have because Soul Jah Love is an irreplaceable crowd puller and entertainer.
#Rest In Peace Sauro