Popular Zimdancehall star Soul Jah Love, real name Soul Musaka, has died. The 31 year-old musician was confirmed dead on arrival at Mbuya Dorcas Hospital on Tuesday after friends had rushed him to the ZAOGA owned hospital after he had complained of weakness.
The Pamamonya ipapo singer’s exact cause of death is yet to be established, although multiple reports suggest that the musician, who had battled diabetes for much of his life, collapsed after his sugar levels had gone dangerously high earlier in the day.
Friends rushed him to Mbuya Dorcas Hospital but unfortunately, he did not make it and was pronounced dead on arrival. According to one of the doctors who attended to the musician, he had no pulse when he arrived at the hospital. His blood sugar levels were also elevated.
Musaka grew up in Harare, having lost his mother as a toddler. He then lived with his grandmother, who would also die when Musaka was still in primary school. The tragic series of events that plagued Musaka’s young life would claim his father’s life in 2005, leaving him in the custody of his stepmother. But no sooner had his father died than Musaka’s stepmother kicked out of the family home in Waterfalls.
Musaka suffered from diabetes mellitus since the age of seven, and it’s reported that repeated hospitalisations increased his faith in God, which runs through the lyrics of much of his music. He attended Mhofu Primary School and Prospect Primary School before moving on to Lord Malvern High School, where he developed a strong interest in music.
Musaka was married to fellow Zimdancehall musician Bounty Lisa before they separated. During their time together, the musical couple influenced each other in their careers and often performed together.
Soul Jah Love is one of the prominent Zimdancehall artistes that came to national attention as part of the collective of recording artistes of the Mbare-based Chillspot Records, alongside Killer-T, Kinnah and Seh Calaz, with whom he had a widely acclaimed creative rivalry as the two battled for the Zimdancehall crown.
Soul Jah Love had been dogged by allegations of drug abuse and his erratic behaviour put a damper on his career, robbing him of the level of financial success that some of his less talented but more disciplined competitors in the Zimdancehall genre have managed to achieve over the years.
Despite the controversies that plagued his career, Chibaba, as he was affectionately known by his legion of fans, was widely loved by fans and considered among the best ever talents to have emerged from Zimdancehall.
Soul Jah Love contributed immensely to the establishment of Zimdancehall and in his death, few would argue against his induction into Zimdancehall’s hall of fame.
Rest in peace Chibaba, mwana waSithembeni!