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How Jah Master Kicked his Way to Fame

Before the broadly acclaimed hit “Hello Mwari”, Jah Master’s life was going downhill. Life was in the slow lane, and he could barely even af...

Before the broadly acclaimed hit “Hello Mwari”, Jah Master’s life was going downhill. Life was in the slow lane, and he could barely even afford to get transport money.

“When I was invited to visit the studio to record on a Nash TV riddim, I did not have money,” Jah Master recounted his predicament. “I told Levels, the producer of my situation and he told me to borrow US$1 for bus fare, which he would replace.”

By then, the chanter had tried all avenues, at one time going to South Africa in search of greener pastures. This journey proved to be futile, with only menial jobs on offer, facing paucity. After failing to get what he yearned for, he trekked back home in 2019.

“After having done a number of productions locally, I discovered life wanted me to seek an alternative means of livelihood. I packed my bags and left for South Africa where I found a job as a barman.” Jah Master mentioned.

With everything crumbling in his life, and seemingly forsaken by life and overtaken by his peers, he turned to his songwriting prowess. This time his efforts were spot on. Music producers who sampled his tune believed there was something special about “Hello Mwari”.
How Jah Master Kicked his Way to Fame
How Jah Master Kicked his Way to Fame
The rising dancehall singer is not alien to divine influence, having been in the church choir. “I’m not new to the church as I have sung in choirs before,” he told a local weekly. “I could say that the musician in me was etched in the church.”

In August 2020, he was in the studio. After years of trying, faltering and regret, his gift finally blossomed. Prophet Passion Java joined the list of sponsors willing to be associated with the Jah Master brand, availing money for a remix collaboration with Haithan Kim. The new version offered it an international appeal. The duet harvested 164,000 views in three days of premiering.

Meanwhile, the original song had attained nearly 2 million views. “I have many singles, they number over 60 but none of them have performed better than Hello Mwari,” Jah Master told a daily publication. “Reaching a million views is a milestone which I am proud of.”

Born Rodney Mashandure, surrounded by wretched poverty in St Mary’s suburb, Jah Master is enjoying the recent boom in his status, and his efforts have been recognised by the corporate world. In appreciating his efforts, Zimnat insurance offered him a free weekend at a local hotel, personal accident and disability cover catering for his medical expenses,

As his fame rose, the pressure of managing the popularity rose too. During a concert, Jah Master kicked a fan, dispatching the victim into confusion. The incident revealed his lack of composure on a demanding platform. The absence of security on stage to bar fans from encroaching to the stage made the artist vulnerable.

It was left to Soul Jah Love to play the mediator, seeking to calm down infuriated fans, who were lambasting his extreme behaviour. “Ini ndinoti kana pane asati ambotadza ngaakandire Jah Master dombo (let he who hasn't sinned cast a stone at Jah Master),” pleaded Soul Jah Love.
How Jah Master Kicked his Way to Fame
How Jah Master Kicked his Way to Fame
The apology came, finally. “Hello Zimbabweans. I am ashamed of what I did and I cannot justify my actions,” Jah Master wrote. “I am very sorry for what I did and I am looking for the man I kicked on stage so that I can assist with medical bills.”

The tune released at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic was a direct call for divine intervention, his botched musical exploits that were failing to yield anything meaningful. Its ripple effects were a response to a desperate nation.
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