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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.





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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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