Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday granted late trailblazing Zimdancehall superstar, Soul Jah Love, a liberation hero status in honour of his contribution to the country’s arts sector.
Born Soul Musaka in 1989, Soul Jah Love, the stage name which had become his adopted name, died on Tuesday night.
The cause of death is yet to be disclosed.
Ruling Zanu PF party Secretary for Administration, Dr Obert Mpofu made the disclosure in a letter to Chief Scertary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Mischeck Sibanda which read, “His Excellency, the President and First Secretary of Zanu PF, Cde E.D Mnangagwa has conferred a Liberation Heroes status to the late Cde Soul Muzavavi Musaka who passed away on 16th February 2021 at Mbuya Dorcas Hospital.”
The declaration means the state, with concurrence of the family, will bear the costs of the funeral proceedings.
The multi-award winning artiste will be buried on Saturday at Warren Hills Cemetery.
In terms of the National Heroes Act, the President has power to designate hero’s status to a deceased citizen of Zimbabwe deemed to have served his country well “on account of his outstanding, distinctive and distinguished service to Zimbabwe.”
There are three categories of heroes which are national, liberation war hero and liberation hero.
Soul Jah Love belongs to a pioneering group of youths who popularised a then new genre or beat called ZimDancehall nearly two decades ago.
His music genius and lyrical prowess saw him compose and create new lingo that has been added to the country’s urban dictionary.
A product of the country’s high density surburbs, “Chibababa” as he was also known, produced hits songs which became anthems among both the young and old who follow the genre such as Pamamonya Ipapo, Ndini Uya Uya and Dai Hupenyu Hwaitengwa, which was a special dedication to his late mother.
Both his personal life and career were a cocktail of highs and lows as his marriage to fellow musician Bounty Lisa crumbled on allegations of drug abuse while he missed several shows and performances due to ill health, said to be linked to his battle with diabetes.
Music, the artist once said in an interview, gave him the channel to express the pain he faced growing up on the streets with no parents, hustling to stay alive and being assisted by strangers.
His star started to shine on the discovery of his music talent and he went to drop hit after hit, but at the same time battled personal demons, until he breathed his last on Tuesday.
Soul Jah Love joins some of the country’s greatest artists among them Simon Chimbetu and Cde Chinx who were also granted provincial hero’s status.