Zimbabwe: Ghetto’s Birth Pangs for Another Soul Jah Love

By Blessings Chidakwa-
When it comes to music, the ghetto never disappoints!

The best position a copycat can ever attain in life is two, simple as that, as there is no substitute for originality.

Originality and talent purely describe the rare breed Mbare’s greatest dancehall artiste Soul Jah Love, born Soul Musaka, carried during his 31-year-old stint under the sun.

About half a year since his demise, with memories still fresh among his legion of fans, the ghetto seems to be refusing to fold hands and letthe legacy of one of its own just fade away.

Instead, hands are on the deck to birth new legends, but the question among many is: Can the ghetto birth another Soul Jah Love?

If so how long shall it take?

Forget about the overcrowding at Mbare’s Matererini Flats, behind that there is a studio, Rock n Roll, under Chillout Foundation, which seems to be working round the clock to fill the gap left by Soul Jah Love.

While it might be a mammoth task to fill the big shoes, as some say legends are irreplaceable, Rock n Roll has started talent searches across the country, grooming artistes at tender age.

As a clear sign of their commitment, an album by primary school kids in Mbare is already on the cards in the studio, giving a ray of hope that the ghetto can eventually produce another music star.

It might not be now, but the foundation for that is being set.

A little known 21-year-old musician from Murehwa, Tinotenda Fabiano, who refers to himself as Six Dreamer and sings Amapiano, is among other talents Zimbabwe should brace for in the near future.

He may not be a Zimdancehall artiste and may not necessarily fit in Soul Jah Love’s shoes at least for now, but as unique as his music genre, if the heavens permit, Six Dreamer under the Chillout Foundation may be a force to reckon with.

In his own words he says: “I was inspired by my own talent from God, nothing much. I enjoyed Amapianio from South Africa and l have since released a song titled ‘Amavhulivhala’, loosely translating to that at some point in life people should open and close certain chapters.”

The Herald Arts interacted with other Chillout Foundation members, including the founders and some of the artistes in the stable who are confident of retracing Soul Jah Love’s footsteps, albeit at their own pace, but even better.

The foundation’s co-founder, Admire Tagwirei, commonly referred as Tiger, said they refuse to be judged by the past, but they are aiming to surpass the heights reached by former and current artistes.

“As a foundation, we have been working tirelessly to promote youths, especially the underprivileged but talented,” he said.

“We are assisting them to record for free. Our major setback in the journey has been lack of serious promoters as the industry is now full of cheats whom I can label as cromoters.”

Tiger said the Covid-19 pandemic was a double-edged sword in their journey to fame.

“We cannot wait for the resumption of live shows as we want to expose our artistes as they have talent which we think can take them to stardom,” he said.

“In our musical library, we have tracks that can be released for the next three to four years which we will drop soon.”

Tiger said there was no rush to drop the tracks now as they wanted to complement them with live shows.

Another co-founder, Taurai Taderera, known in the music circles as Tahweza, said the foundation was involved in other activities apart from music, including acting and wrestling.

Rock n Roll producer and Zim RnB artiste, Cloxy Mantady, born Rodney Muchesera, said they had actually lost count of their lined up projects.

“At the moment I have learners from primary schools in Mbare whom I am assisting on an album which will take many by surprise,” he said.

“The foundation saw it fit to groom talent at an early age as these are the Soul Jah Loves of tomorrow. We knew they could not fund the production, so we took the cost upon us.

“I will not pre-empt anything for now, but watch the space, for the album will be a hit.”

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