By Tendai Chabvuta
On 16 February the sad news that Zimdancehall icon Soul Jah Love had died reverberated across the country. Indeed, dai hupenyu hwaitengwa “if life could be bought”, many a Zimbabwean would have funded that wish. Such is life, the maestro is gone and we can only remember him for his good tunes and his antics on social media.
The Zimbabwe Government declared Soul Jah Love a provincial hero. This is an award given to those who are believed in the eyes of ZANU PF to have contributed to the national liberation struggle and lately those who have been recognised for “actively advocating for the emancipation and liberation of people in post-independence Zimbabwe”.
Soul Jah Love has been placed in the second strand joining the likes of the legendary liberation war song maestro Cde Chinx Chingaira. One cannot start to argue about the hero status awarded to Sauro. The one question that begs answers is why ZANU PF is doing it now?
From its antics when DJ Fantan was released and pictured with the Mnangagwa twins, Collin, and Sean, and now this accord to Sauro, it is clear that someone is whispering to ZANU PF that they need to tap into the youth sector of Zimbabwe’s population looking to gain votes come 2023.
Zimbabwe’s youth need to wake up and not be fooled by such antics. Zimbabwe’s youth need not be reminded that ZANU PF has failed them in several many ways and the political party is not about to change now. The mere fact that they failed to come up with a proper schooling program when Covid 19 hit Zimbabwe shows that they will not be bothered about the youth in Zimbabwe.
Instead, what matters and what mattered then was them responding to the public outcry that DJ Fantan and the notorious Dhama be released from prison and appease the masses in Mbare. ZANU PF could have scored big by pulling that stunt but we know them better from the days they looted the bogus Kurera/Ukondla youth fund.
In Soul Jah Love’s death, ZANU PF is showing its claws and its opportunistic character. The strategy is to appeal to the desperate youth in the ghetto and hopefully grab the votes. However, the same ZANU PF remains inept to come up with new jobs for the young people of Zimbabwe 3 years into the infamous coup that felled Robert Mugabe.
The same ZANU PF that is giving national accolades and posting pictures with these young Zimbabweans is still the same ZANU PF that fails to fund or give loans to these young people to fund their recording studios and grow their music talents.
Moreover, instead of arresting people who are accused of peddling drugs such as bronco and mbanje in Mbare and running supplying chains in the whole of Harare, some people in the same Government are busy posing for photo shoots with them.
Is it not tragic that the same ZANU PF government still finds it difficult to fund science and innovation projects for young people in Zimbabwe’s ghetto schools has all the money and time in the world to fund funerals of the same youth?
Something will have to give at some point. The people who are advising ZANU PF that by embracing Zimdancehall artists they will endear them to Zimbabwe’s youth is living in cuckooland. The situation on the ground is different. Zimbabwe’s youth do not have any clear paths to sustaining their livelihoods through credible careers in music, arts, or education.
The Government does not have a clear plan for its young people and it will be foolhardy to think that the youth will fall for such antics. ZANU PF just needs to look at elections data and voting patterns from the past to know that youth especially in urban areas will not be easily swayed.
Anyway, Go well Sauro! Rest in Peace Chibaba, Makuruwani! You had your own fair share of success. The Government of the day could have done better to help you manage drugs and other personal mental health issues but they chose to look the other way. Today, we will allow them to take care of your funeral expenses for we know them for whey are – Opportunists!