Saturday, 20 February 2021

HUGE SEND OFF FOR SOUL JAH LOVE


DISORDER is some form of order. At least this is the gospel that is believed by the multitudes of ghetto youths, and they proved so in paying their last respects to Zimdancehall icon, Soul Jah Love, yesterday at Warren Hills Cemetery.

Largely an enigma in life, a life that he made no secret of as he sang of his daily trials and tribulations. His burial almost went according to the script of the life he lived.

After leaving his Msasa Park residence for Warren Hills around 9am, a journey that snaked through the neighbourhoods that he grew up in —Prospect, Adbernnie then Mbare — on arrival at the cemetery his coffin was taken from the hearse to the graveside, to be readied for burial.

But someone in the organising team must have forgotten that here was a liberation hero being laid to rest, hence certain protocols and procedures needed to be followed. As a result, the coffin was taken from the graveside back to the hearse, to allow due protocol.

That movement of coffin from graveside back to hearse, and then back to the graveside, was not flawless as the youths wanted a glimpse of the action. And theories equally flew around.

Ghetto youths being just that, and that they made up the larger number of the crowd, their restlessness added to the chaos that was Soul Jah Love’s burial — as they all wanted a bird’s eye view, and given the numbers present, this was not a feasible feat.

With burial initially pencilled for 11am, the thousands — not hundreds — who thronged the cemetery, in complete defiance of Level Four lockdown measures, which restrict gatherings of mourners in excess of 30, made sure they will have a say in how Soul Jah Love was to be buried.

Quite often, they broke into song:

“Tipeiwo nguva yekuchema gamba redu,

“Sauro, gamba redu,

“Tipeiwo nguva yekuchema gamba,

“Sauro, gamba redu.”

And their excitement was both palpable and understandable, for here was their icon, their ghetto hero, their voice, their messenger — the first ghetto youth to get a gun salute — being laid to rest.

It is not often that Warren Hills is transformed into a potpourri of high-density suburbs, but yesterday, Soul Jah Love brought Mbare, Mabvuku, Mufakose, Kambuzuma, Highfield, Glen Norah, in fact, any Harare high-density suburb one can think of, together.

And some of them, for want or not, especially those from “his” home ground, Mbare, made the trek on foot.

Yes, Mbare to Warren Hills on foot.

Probably except for those very close to the public address system, anyone who says they heard what Cde Oliver Chidawu, the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution (Harare), who was the guest of honour, said would be lying.

For the youths wanted the funeral done according to the ghetto plan — more music than speeches.

If the crowds at the cemetery were disorderly, given that it was a hybrid of all ghettos, Mbare must take the cake for decently honouring their hero.

They lined from OK Ardbennie, past the popular long-distance bus terminus right up to Mbare Police Station, to pay their last respects.

It was a befitting sight. Born Soul Muzavazi Musaka on November 22, 1989 to Ephraim Ticharwa Musaka and Sithembeni Musaka, nee Chinyerere, Soul Jah Love was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital on Tuesday evening.

He had a long history of diabetes. He was buried next to his father, a wish that he made in life.

A pioneer of the Zimdancehall genre, he rose to fame with the track “Ndini Uya Uya”, a song that touches a lot of his personal trials and tribulations.

Most singers, especially those from the dancehall fraternity, attended the burial with Tryson Chimbetu probably the only sungura musician to attend. Sunday Mail





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