By Keith Mlauzi | Nehanda Showbiz |
On February 17 the nation woke up to the sobering and humbling truth that Zimdancehall icon Soul Jah Love was no more. In mourning him many are also reflecting on his life.
What’s the best way to describe “Sauro” as he was affectionately known? Maybe ‘The successful kid no parent wants near their children but still admire his success’, that’s how controversial he was.
He rose to fame in 2012 after featuring in so many dancehall riddims, what they called Mangoma. He quickly stole the shine from other chanters of the time and instantly became an inspiration to a lot of ghetto yutes (youths).
In lighting speed he became one of the most played Zimbabwean musicians on radio and in the streets. He was basically the meaning of Zim Dancehall. As his fame increased he never let it get to his brain, he lived his life the way he wanted it to be.
Chibaba never tried so hard to maintain his ‘King’ title he did not care what people said or would say. This reminds me of when I was an intern at a local newspaper.
I called Sauro intending to interview him on certain drug allegations and he said ‘Yes I do drugs but I don’t not tell my fans what to do.’ This to me sounded like someone who did not understand the impact he had on ghetto yutes who looked up to him.
This statement was made on the eve of his ‘Naka Dhula Dhaka’ album release. The album title according to him meant Zvino naka zvinodhura zvinodhaka translated to, ‘what’s nice is expensive likewise what’s intoxicating is nice,’ it seems he was talking about some hard substances.
Soul Jah Love was busy putting smiles on so many faces while fighting his own battles, but he never let that distract him from producing good music. However, it later hit him so hard when he lost his wife because of his addiction to drugs.
In 2019 he made a confession that he lost his wife because of taking drugs. Earlier last year he caused a stir in the showbiz scenes after he tried to take away his own life. He later sought help from PHD Ministries.
Regardless of making such careless statements in public, he managed to mesmerize his fans with good music that had a message which every ghetto yute could relate to. His life became the true reflection of the struggles every single ghetto yute goes through and of cause that there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.
Countless times he was reported to have collapsed on stage, or didn’t show up at all, none of those disappointments separated him from fans, and he still was considered the greatest Zimdancehall artist of all time.
His life was filled with so much negative drama but he still managed to get over it and his fans would always stick with him and show him the much needed support. That’s how influential he had become.
Unlike some other artistes, Mwana waStembeni never claimed titles, he remained humble. Remember the ‘Soul Jah Love haasi chinhu, mukadaro hamboridze pano futhi, ndiyo indiscipline iyoyi,’ saga at a Zanu PF rally in 2017.
After the embarrassment he endured at that rally he woke up the next morning, hit the studio hard with an apology song titled Zvinhu. In the song he said, “ndiregererei kana ndarasa hunhu.”
He would put aside his fame and ego and seek for help if need be. Apart from being a druggie and having his whole life messed up, Chibaba had a precious heart. His best friend Mana Mana who was with him at the time of death testified to the goodness of Jah Love.
“Inini na Makuruwani taive bhrugwa ne bhande, pese paienda ndaienda, chero kuma shows ake kunana South Africa uko ne dzimwe nyika ayienda neni, chero hembe ayiti pa anotenga dzake wotenga nedzangu pa side. Pandakapinda mujeri ndiye akawuya achindi tora, haaah tarasikirwa shuwa,” said Mana Mana during an interview with Nash TV.
At 31 he had accomplished and lived what most young Zimbabweans would wish for, he was the beacon of hope for Ghetto yutes who dreamt of escaping the troubles from the ghetto and aiming for a better life.
He died on Tuesday upon admission at Mbuya Dorcas Hospital. His friend Mana Mana revealed that he had been sick for a while and three days before he died he lost his speech.
“Anga asinga goni kutawura three days before afa, anga asinga goni kutaura akazotaura zuva ra akashayika achiti arikuda ma yoghurt akaenda ku studio achiti ave bhoo and ndo kwa akonoita collapse,” explained Mana Mana.
FUN FACT: Soul jah Love was the only musician who openly loved Zanu PF but never got hated for it.