Lessons and Facts from Jah Prayzaha��

It goes without saying that Mukudzei Mukombe, who performs under the name Jah Prayzah is the man of the moment.

The contemporary musician and lead member for the band Third Generation is packing up venues and breaking record after record.

It was never heard of that a local could draw over 6 000 people in Bulawayo for a music show but Jah has done that three times.

Just this week, he broke the record of most hits by a local in a short time on YouTube. The Zambezi Express Show hit a million after a few years, Mukoko is past 900 000 after five months. It only took Jah Prayzah three weeks to do so.

So what’s there to pick up from this young man who seems to be striking all the right chords?

Let’s start with support.

From when he was just a rumour or on the mouths of a few like his now copycat Andy Muridzo, he had the support of those ahead of him and people from his region. It is said Tuku took him in, Macheso advised him, Sulu was a real friend, and he even featured Jah Prayzah on the famous Batai Munhu song. Business people wanted him, bought him cars, invested in his band. He even wears a real army uniform!

I remember once during his album launch the now Zifa Chairman Philip Chiyangwa gave Jah two residential stands worth $27 000. The previous year Chiyangwa had bought Jah’s CD for $12 000, just 1 CD for that much!.

Mudhara Vachauya is not his best offing but media sang him all sorts of praises, you can even find his music at Zimpapers (just had to throw that in there).

Let me hasten to say we launch CDs here. On average 10 a year. Maybe to bring it closer to home. I launched my album on 27 February this year, planned everything to the last, with little or no support, the highest I got for my CD was $15 and it was by one Rodrick Fayayo and the second was $10 by Bhekumusa Moyo. Yea yea I know I am not Jah Prayzah, but I could be with a little push.

Ever wondered why we have no big artiste locally? If you are local, you should be ashamed, you are one of the reasons Bulawayo people wona��t even forward a text saying there is a show somewhere. Ita��s like it will hurt them badly for someone local to be successful. They will queue all day for a foreign ticket and not even attend a free gig by local artistes.

Ita��s already painful enough that we struggle to get airplay but also having your own people not supporting you takes it to the next level. They say Bulawayo artistes complain a lot.

Take it from me, yes, we complain, why not? We don’t have anyone. Radio is like a myth. Tune into any radio station you will hear Jah Prayzah and Winky D over 20 times by the end of the day. You can count in one hand the number of times you will hear Jeys Marabini in a week.

So what have I learnt? It’s like we are a country in a country. Their people are not like our people, look how Dancehall grew from nothing?

Majaivana was right to move. Talent in Bulawayo is not enough to take you up there. We need a shift in the mindset of local audiences. No wonder why Sandra Ndebele has relocated to Harare.

Until next week, Be safea��