SOLOMON SKUZA Zimbabwe musician

Solomon Skuza (1956–1995), also known as Jah Solo was a Zimbabwean musician, one of the most popular to come out of Plumtree. In addition to his native Kalanga, he wrote lyrics in Ndebele, Shona and English as well. Other popular Kalanga musicians include Nduna Malaba(Ndux Malax), Ndolwane Super Sounds, Mokis Connection and Solomons brother Chase Skuza.

BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1956 in Plumtree, Solomon Skuza rose to prominence as one of Zimbabwe’s top musicians. As with many Zimbabwean artists, Solomon’s inspiration grew from his time in the army. Joining the liberation struggle, he moved to Zambia in the early 1970s to train at rebel bases. By 1975 he was playing in army bands and entertaining soldiers at Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army camps. A later injury had him transferred to the entertainment corps where he cut his teeth as a composer and bandleader.

In 1980 Solomon returned to Zimbabwe and produced an immediate hit, as his single Banolila sold over 75 000 copies. His 1990 album, Love and Scandals, was a commercial and critical success, due to its political content regarding the Robert Mugabe government’s Willowgate Scandal of the time. In one song, he asks, “how can someone buy a car and sell it again?” In another, he sings of his love leaving him for “a guy who owns a Cressida”, referring to the Toyota Cressidas assembled at Willowvale.

Solomon Skuza was backed by bands such as Fallen Heroes. He released Zihlangene Vol. 1 and Zihlangene Vol. 2 compilation albums which cover his earlier and later hits, respectively. Solomon sang in his native Kalanga and both Ndebele, English and Shona.

In 1990 he did a soundtrack, Patimile, for the Zimbabwean film Jit.

Solomon died in 1995 in both poor health and poverty.

DISCOGRAPHY

Albums

  • Kudzanayi
  • Love and Scandals
  • Zihlangene Vol. 1
  • Zihlangene Vol. 2
  • Zlhlangene Vol. 3

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