Still Image from YouTube.

Soul Jah Love in the official music video for his single "Pamamonya Ipapo"

Zimbabwe Mourns Beloved Dancehall Star Soul Jah Love

Tributes have been pouring in for Zimbabwean dancehall artist Soul Jah Love who has reportedly died at the age of 31.

Zimbabwe's dancehall sensation, Soul Jah Love has died. Soul Jah Love, whose real name is Soul Musaka, reportedly passed away this past Tuesday in hospital. The exact cause of death has not been made public but Zimbabwean news outlets report that the young artist was diabetic. Tributes have been pouring in from Zimbabweans and fans of his music from around the world.

Read: 10 Zimbabwean Dancehall Artists You Should Know

According to the Zim Morning Post, Soul Jah Love collapsed this past Tuesday afternoon. Friends of the musician then took him to hospital but by then, it was too late. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Mbuya Dorcas Hospital in Waterfalls, Zimbabwe. Doctors who attended to the singer reported that he had no pulse when he arrived and his sugar levels were elevated, this according to iHarare News. The talented singer was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of seven and later, in his adult life, struggled with drug addiction. He had recovered for a couple of years up until his untimely death.

Soul Jah Love was born in Harare in 1989. He lost both parents in his childhood—his mother as a toddler and his father in his teens. He gained prominence in 2012 with his hit songs "Ndini Uya Uya" and "Gum-kum". Soul Jah Love was subsequently credited for bringing back Zimbabwean dancehall into mainstream music following his breakthrough onto the music scene. His death coincidentally comes a year exactly after he survived a car accident.

Tributes have been pouring in from political journalist Hopewell Chin'ono, Zimbabwe's main opposition party president Nelson Chamisa, fellow Zim Dancehall musician Winky D and other Zimbabwean celebrities.

Here are some tributes shared on Twitter.

Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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