Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Reporter
ZIMBABWE’s own reggae icon, Man Soul Jah, seems to have fallen on hard times as he is struggling to make ends meet. He is always asking for help from his acquaintances and is actually living on handouts.
Man Soul Jah, real name Tawanda Joseph Nhara, is a long term pioneer manager of radio stations Power FM — which he transformed from 3FM and Spot FM which he oversaw the migration from SFM. He managed the Southern Region for three years as News and Current Affairs manager at ZBC before managing Voice of Zimbabwe for a further four years. But he has nothing to show for it.
The artiste has continued to produce amazing world class music as shown by his catalogue of eight albums, which unfortunately, are not available to the generality of Zimbabweans due to financial constrains to market and distribute the works. The new album, Thieves in the Temple, is a must listen for all progressive, music loving Zimbabweans. It is truly an international quality product worthy of an artiste of international calibre. Tunes to look forward to on the album are Make it Work, Brighter Day, Mhororoi (a dedication to President Mnangagwa), Thieves in The Temple and the remixed Smile Zimbabwe.
Man Soul Jah broke into the limelight with his mbira-fused reggae song Mr Government which endorsed the land reform programme. But what could have possibly happened to the soul searching, mind opening and ruminations icon?
According to him, ZBC has made sure that one of this country’s cultural and artistic icons suffer penury.
“This is after the state broadcaster defied all judiciary rulings to correct the three months’ notice ruling that came out as a result of Nelson Chamisa’s defence of Zuva Private Limited which was then used to inhumanly dispose of workers in various sectors of the economy,” Man Soul Jah said.
“I’m a victim of this callous inhuman, unprogressive and counter-revolutionary activity carried out by the current leadership of ZBC.”
He said despite several appeals by his legal team to have ZBC pay what is due to him and some of his colleagues, the national broadcaster continues to “act as if they are in opposition to the Government of the day by defying court rulings and judiciary attempts” to amicably solve this injustice.
This reporter was shown numerous attempts by the cultural icon to have justice but to no avail.
“The level of opaqueness in the procedures that ZBC is engaging in smacks of intent to defraud as there’s no transparent breakdown of what is due to the victims of this action and whatever they want to disburse is done in such a way that it does not in any way assist the victims of this injustice.
“All I seek from the leadership at ZBC is justice that shows they are together with the new dispensation which has since declared that they want a Government with a human face and a human heart.”
Man Soul Jah, however, continues to show his versatility and co-operation by hosting the only roots rock reggae TV programme in Africa, Strictly Roots, on ZBCtv which has become one of the most watched musical programmes on national television. Efforts to get a comment from ZBC were fruitless.