Soul Jah Love: A Personal Tribute- Symphony Born in the Echoes of ‘Chidamoyo’ and ‘Minana’

February 17, 2024
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Remembering Chibaba, Sauro, Soul Jah Love

In the hallways of 2013, a transformative moment unfolded, weaving the tale of my enduring love affair with the legendary Soul Jah Love. Seated beside my classmate, Pride Mangoro, a proud son of Mbare with roots as deep as the rhythms that flowed through his laptop speakers, I experienced a musical revelation that would shape my appreciation for the extraordinary Soul Musaka.

It all began with the rhythmic beats of ‘Minana’ resonating through the classroom, an infectious melody that demanded attention. As the last note lingered, Pride seamlessly transitioned into ‘Chidamoyo.’ In that very moment, I fell deeply in love. Not just with the songs but with the artist himself – the enigmatic Soul Jah Love.

These were my first steps into the enchanting realm of Zimdancehall, a genre I had admired from a distance. But something about Soul Jah Love was different, something magnetic that transcended the ordinary. His lyrics, delivered in a comical yet deeply profound manner, struck a chord within me, and I found myself drawn into the unique cadence of his artistry.

Asking Pride for more, I embarked on a night of exploration in my hostel room, immersing myself in the virtual universe of Soul Jah Love’s discography. The connection was instantaneous, and I became a devoted listener, navigating the twists and turns of his musical narrative. In those beats and verses, I discovered not just an artist but a hero, a soul who had conquered life’s hardships with resilience and artistry.

Little did I know that behind the infectious rhythms of ‘Chidamoyo’ and ‘Minana,’ Soul Jah Love’s life journey was a testament to his heroism. Losing his mother as a toddler and facing the harsh realities of eviction and familial discord, Soul Jah Love navigated a tumultuous childhood. The tragedy continued with the loss of his twin brother, John, to asthma – a poignant echo of his own diabetes diagnosis.

His introduction to the music scene in 2012 marked the beginning of a legendary career. ‘Ndini Uya Uya’ not only topped charts for weeks but also earned him recognition at the 2013 Zimdancehall Awards. Beyond the accolades, Soul Jah Love’s influence reached new heights with collaborations, notably joining forces with the iconic Winky D in 2014.

The fashion-forward artist, brand ambassador for Jan Jam Fashions, adorned himself with confidence, reflecting the charismatic stage presence that captivated audiences. Collaborative efforts extended beyond melodies as he worked with renowned names like Mafriq, Roki, ExQ, and Leonard Mpfumo.

Despite personal health struggles, including a diabetes diagnosis, Soul Jah Love’s sociable and loving personality never wavered. His love for the streets and his desire to uplift ghetto youth were evident in every chant and every note he composed. The pivotal meeting with Changara in Mbare led him to Chill Spot Records, marking a turning point in his journey.

Today, as we remember Soul Jah Love, we honor not just a musician but a hero who turned life’s challenges into a symphony of triumph. His legacy lives on in every beat, every chant, and every note of his music. His songs; ‘Kana Ndafa,’ ‘Zviripandiri,’ ‘Pamamonya ipapo’, ‘Kunhamo kwaBoris’, and the Passion Java Records collaboration ‘Simudza Gumbo’ remain at the top of my playlist. Soul Jah Love, a hero in the harmony of hardship, continues to inspire and resonate with me and all his fans around the world.