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Zim Dancehall lyrical genius succumbs to diabetes

JUST like the late American pop star Michael Jackson, Zimdancehall maestro Soul Musaka popularly known as Soul Jah Love lived a life of fame and controversy.

Soul Jah Love

Jackson received backlash for many years, with claims he had plastic surgery to change the colour of his skin, but explained that he was suffering from a skin condition.

Back home, Soul Jah Love, suffered the same fate, often accused of missing shows due to indisposition on allegations of abusing drugs. He was at pains explaining his personal life, dogged by sickness and “bad omen”.

Even when he breathed his last on Tuesday evening, with preliminary reports claiming he succumbed from diabetes complications, some still claimed otherwise, with the drug abuse allegations arising once again.

The talented chanter, 31, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Zaoga run hospital- Mbuya Dorcas in Waterfalls, Harare.

The musician credited for popularising Zimdancehall was an inspiration to many youths, especially from high density suburbs, albeit his controversial life.

Family spokesperson and Soul Jah Love’s brother, Solomon, said the late music star is expected to be buried in Harare on Friday.

“We are still waiting for Covid-19 test results. If he tests positive then the burial will be in line with World Health Organisations guidelines but if he tests negative, we will push the burial to Friday either at Glen Forest or Warren Hills,” he said.

Born in Prospect in Waterfalls, Harare, the dancehall musician moved to Highfield at the age of three together with his late twin brother, John, following their mother’s death.

Soul Jah Love always sang about his mother, gaining traction as “mwana waSithembeni”

The zvihombe zviri pandiri hitmaker left Highfield after the death of his grandmother to pursue his music career.

“He battled diabetes all his life and that is the reason why some of his siblings tried to convince him to stay in the United Kingdom where there are better medical facilities but he chose to remain in Zimbabwe for the love of his music,” Musaka senior said.

Musaka senior said Soul Jah Love, who was once married to fellow female chanter, Bounty Lisa, loved music more than anything else, sacrificing a lot of opportunities in his life, including an offer by his sister to stay with him in the UK.

Soul Jah Love had several run-ins with music promoters for failing to attend shows, but the musician blamed his absence on diabetes, an ailment which he was diagnosed with when he was seven-years-old.

“I sing music so that people will understand me better especially when they make up stories, because a lot of people misjudge, assuming I miss shows because I will be drunk, yet at times I will be down with diabetes,” Soul Jah Love said, then.