Senior Arts Reporter
His life was a drama and each day presented a new episode. Today, as fate would have it, the main actor has died, bringing down the curtain on an eventful life.
Zimdancehall sensation Soul Jah Love (real name Soul Musaka) was gifted and talented in everything he did musically.
Gone at the young age of 31, the musician still had a bright future ahead.
Soul Jah Love died on Tuesday night on arrival at Mbuya Dorcas Hospital in Harare.
His housemate Webster Tukuta, who accompanied him to hospital, described the late musician as an easy-going person who could mingle with anyone regardless of social status.
The two were on the verge of making a synergy whereby Webster would manage the artiste’s affairs.
“He was not selective,” he said. “We have been staying together and we were in the process of confirming our partnership as his new manager. He said let us wait for the Covid-19 pandemic phase to pass then we start working.
“I was with him at the hospital and currently we are waiting for the post mortem to confirm the cause of his death, but he was diabetic and that was public knowledge.”
Family spokesperson Mr Solomon Musaka said burial was set for either tomorrow or Saturday, depending on how fast they move ahead with the arrangements.
The funeral wake is being held at 15 Mauya Road in Msasa Park, Harare and under strict Covid-19 regulations.
Soul Jah Love was a man of the people as evidenced by the dark cloud and tense atmosphere that engulfed many high density suburbs when news of his death spread.
Many of his fans celebrated his life by playing his music as a tribute, with some expressing desire to attend his funeral wake and burial despite the lockdown restrictions.
“My brother, I am hurt,” said 27-year-old Lucky Mpisa from Magaba Flats in Mbare. “He is the one who made me love Zimdancehall music. I liked him because his music touched on societal settings and we could relate to it.
“MHSRIP, no other artiste will replace you Soul Jah Love.”
Soul Jah Love lived a drama-filled life which saw him reported dead several times — he surely had nine lives like the proverbial cat!
Social media was fond of “killing” him and he would later dispel the hoax via a song.
The lyrics to his music were reflective of a man with a broken soul and tormented mind.
Many touted him as a drug addict and he even admitted in an interview that he was rehabilitating and quitting drugs.
In several of his songs, he revealed he was being followed by evil spirits, bad luck and poverty, among other ills.
Coincidentally, last year on February 16, the “Ndini Uya Uya” singer was involved in an accident in Kadoma when he was travelling to a musical show in Kwekwe.
He escaped death by a whisker when his car, a Mini Cooper, overturned just after Martin Spur near Kadoma.
He survived with minor injuries.
That he eventually died on February 16 this year makes some believe that the accident in February last year on the same date was not just a coincidence.
The accident was a premonition of death, some would say.
In 2016, Soul Jah Love was involved in a car accident in Gweru while travelling with his band to Victoria Falls for a gig.
He was seriously injured together with four other people he was travelling with and was admitted to Gweru General Hospital.
Previously in 2014, Soul Jah Love had cheated death by a whisker after he rammed into a Honda Fit in Harare.
Earlier last year, the musician caused a stir in showbiz when he tried to take his life.
He later sought help at the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries.
As if to affirm his troubled state, Soul Jah Love released a song titled “Kana Ndafa”, perhaps a premonition of his death.
The song was released six months ago and the late lyricist said a lot of misconceptions about him would be spoken about after his death, but none would be true.
Soul Jah Love was also emotional about the loss of his mother, Stembeni, as depicted in the song “Mwana waStembeni”, in which he wished his mother was alive so that he could have a shoulder to lean on.
He gave us “Ndini Uya Uya” which describes how he rose from the ghetto to become well known in the country and beyond.
Soul Jah Love used to open up about his marriage, music career and lifestyle on radio.
He had a troubled on and off marriage with fellow musician Bounty Lisa.
The two, who fronted the Conquering Family music stable, met when things were tough, especially for Soul Jah Love who did not have anything to call his own except his music that he believed kept him going.
Despite all these troubles, his former manager Benjamin Nyandoro said what many people did not know about Soul Jah Love was that he was a strong man.
“I started working with Sauro, as he was also known, in 2017,” he said. “I was his manager and it wasn’t easy as he was trying to impress his fans, but his health was not well.
“My experience with him was totally different from what people thought about him. He was a strong man. Each time he went on stage or was travelling ,he would say, ‘please do not forget to carry my bag with pills’. I was not only managing his career, but also his lifestyle.
“I noticed he was deteriorating and we could always talk about that and tell him to ease his heavy schedule and manage other stuff.”
Soul Jah Love’s musical talent saw him being endorsed by the late music superstar and national hero Dr Oliver Mtukudzi.