THE late liberation hero Soul Jah Love (Soul Musaka) who was laid to rest next to his father at Warren Hills on Saturday, had a turbulent road to stardom.
Zim Morning Post had an exclusive interview with David Kandawasvika, last week- one of the most instrumental characters in the late chanter’s meteoric rise to fame.
He opened up on how he took Soul Jah Love from the ‘streets’ and his ‘small’ role that served as an impetus to the liberation hero’s eventual celebrity status.
Popularly known as Gaza Commander or Diva Musoja, the former Zimbabwe National Army soldier retraced his ‘dance’ with Soul Jah Love.
“I met Soul Jah Love in 2010 when I created a passa passa- a free street bash.
“He came to me and said aiimba nanaRoki and he was virtually unknown.
“I had formed Gaza Empire to identify talent ,nurture it, promoting it and letting it loose as a way to create employment. “His death to me came as a shock because for the past two months we had been linking closer, ” narrated Gaza Commander.
He revealed how Soul Jah Love opened up about his father’s second marriage after his mother’s death, an arrangement that compelled him to leave their family house in Waterfalls for reasons best known to himself- reasons that he went to the grave with!
That was when he took him in.
“We accommodated him and he stayed at my place at Gaza Empire because I saw talent in him, in FACT it was NOT a talent, but a blessing.
“Paakauya kwatiri anga arimukomana airatidza kuti anga asinganyatsogara zvakanaka but he saw our vision of creating employment for the ghetto youths through art.
“I approached some companies and individuals and explained our vision of uplifting talented ghetto youths.
“Some came through and I appreciate a guy called George Manyaya. “I had met him at Red Fox reggae shows and he assisted us and even made frequent visits to Gaza Empire to support the youths.
“We could afford to buy him (Soul Jah Love) his sugar diabetes injections.
“He needed money for his injections almost every day,” relived Gazza Commander.
He further narrated that he was to build a Studio for Souljah Love at Gaza Empire and hired a producer for him.
At the time, Gaza Commander had also forged strong links with another ‘yute’ and man of the moment in the dancehall scene MicInity, who played at Red Fox(home of reggae).
“Micinity was topping the charts and he was my yute as well.
“He had come from Marondera with Farai Shambare and ndaifamba naye.
“So it was an added advantage because he had no issues with me giving Soul Jah Love exposure and he would perform at Red Fox which was NOT easy.
“Inini ndarasikirwa because handina kuzonyatsopedza zvandaida kuita naye nekusvika naye(His death pained me we didnt reach the Levels we wanted).”
“I was however happy watching him going forward with his music because we never got to stay together when he blew up.
“Sometimes there is a thin line between love and hate, inini na Jah Love taidanana zvekuti iye aiti akandiona ndiine vamwe vanhu aitodhiniwa waziya Level iroro.
“There is a syndrome that came in the ghetto pakasimuka Jah Love vanhu vakutanga kuchiva skiri iroro because anaJah Love ndovakatanga kuimba kuti Gaza Commander,” he said.
Gaza confessed that at times he had to ‘steal’ his clothes and hide them from his wife to dress up Jah Love as they went to Red Fox negotiating free performances.
“He was hardworking even when he was staying at Gaza.
“I liked his charisma and story telling ability such that I moved around naye pese even kuenda kubasa.”
“Come paakaputika vanhu vakabva vatikanya,” he stated.
He frankly stated that when Soul Jah Love ‘blew up’ , some divisive elements came between them but their bond was bound by brotherhood.
Last year, speculation of a fall out between Soul Jah Love and Gaza Commander filtered through the showbiz circles , but Gaza told Zim Morning Post that it was a mere creation of haters.
“In the last two months we spent most of the time together,” he said. Insiders however told Zim Morning Post that at some stage Soul Jah Love became ‘ big headed’ and disrespected Gaza.”
“You know what Jah Man, when Chibaba got endorsement deals and shows abroad he got excited and forgot the foundation.”
“He forgot the people who helped him on his way up.
“Im talking people like Gaza Commander, Roki, Chill Spot and so forth. “I am not saying he should have gone to spoon feed them but just mere appreciation.
“Roki is one guy who played a big role in his rise and people don’t know that he was a backing vocalist for him.
“During his last living days he realised his mistake of surrounding himself with hangers on and gave respect to his foundation bredren like Gaza,Roki,Tobby Cavvasy,Lovedale, Tunga T, Mugo and the whole Waterfalls posse,” explained one of the late artiste’s close acquaintances who preferred anonymity.
Soul Jah Love recorded his first album at Roki’s studio in 2011.
Roki then boasted of state of the art studio equipment he had been “blessed” by former First Lady Grace Mugabe after he mesmerized guests at Danhiko college where she was patron.
Soul Jah Love left no known child and his love life was one of his most strongly guarded secret apart from his marriage to erstwhile wife Lynnet Musenyi aka Bounty Lisa.
However, some ladies have come out claiming to have had ‘underground flings’ with the man who preferred to keep his love life on the ‘down low’.
One such lady is popular socialite Geraldine Baye who splashed pictures of the two in what she claimed to be ‘happier days’ when the two where an item.
Soul Jah Love was the type of person who preferred to pour out his matters of the heart through song.
The microphone was his greatest weapon to create a hypothetical alternative to the harsh realities of his life.
Such is evident in the lyrics in most of his compositions.
Meanwhile, Gazza empire in located in Mangwende Street in Mbare and is a hub of reggae music and township culture.
The joint has been visited by international reggae stars like Sizzla Kalonji, I Octane , Popcaan and also played host to VIP reggae music lovers including cabinet ministers.