Dancehall chanter Soul Jah Love is a man in need of urgent psychotherapy and he knows it.
A couple of his snippet videos circulating on social media depict a man who is not only looking sickly, but troubled, particularly the recent ones where he repeats “Ndorwara” (I am sick) and another in which he claims to blow money equivalent to three vehicles on drugs.
Whatever is the influence, these are not normal statements coming from a musician who has inspired many with his typical rags-to-riches story emerging from the streets to living a comfortable life of abundance over this year.
If anything, people are watching him press the self-destruct button, which is both sad and a bad precedent to thousands of young people who look up to him for inspiration.
However, since the beginning of his career, the Conquering Family frontman has narrated his life through song and after listening to his lyrics one can tell his mood at a particular time.
Given that he does not write his songs, most of his lyrics are unadulterated feelings at the time a track is recorded and when tracking his music this year there’s a glaring SOS call for help, which his listenership and those close to him seem to ignore.
In September he released his latest album Naka Dhula Dhaka, a project, which many critics have written off as mediocre and rightfully so when compared to his past works.
This is not to say the entire body of work is fit for the dustbin though, there are a handful of songs that have made it to people’s playlists.
Weighing the appeal of the content may divide opinion, but a common factor surfaces in this project as in the past and that is Soul Jah Love singing about his life in most of the songs.
His new songs signal a person who has given up on life and when juxtaposed with the videos making rounds on social media, the deduction is that he needs urgent therapy and counselling before something tragic happens to him.
In the song titled I Don’t Care, off the 14-track album, the man admits that he no longer gives a hoot about life, which according to him continues to give him lemons.
“Moyo wangu wapwanyika…Zvandisati ndambonzwa ndongobaiwa neminzwa handichakwanisa kupindura kana ndabvunzwa (My heart is broken…I am constantly pierced by thorns and I cannot even explain it)” he sings while reiterating the “I don’t care” part.
“Shoko rangu kumunhu wenyama dzidza munhu dzidza…hona zvirikuitika kwandiri mangwana zvichaitika kwauri, Mwari varikutaura nemi (look at what is happening to me and learn…look at what is happening to me it could happen to you, this is God’s message to you).”
There is no doubt that his history is an uninspiring account of catastrophe, including growing under an abusive family set-up, virtually living on the street and being diabetic. This sounds like a plausible reason for the stubbornness and resorting to drugs abuse.
But, it’s far from it and in clear admittance Soul Jah Love has the song Handinzwaro, which speaks of how efforts to reach out to him have hit a brick wall because of his refusal to take advice from others.
Yekuda kunzi handinzwaro inini ndakabva ndazoyipara ngozi…ndakuyerera misodzi, hupenyu hwese ndichingochema misodzi.(Because of stubbornness I have caused trouble…now I am crying for the rest of my life),” he sings.
The trend can also be felt in songs like Mweya Yemadzinza where he blames evil spirits for his predicament while in one titled Hameno he recounts his past before making a chilling suicide suggestion.
“Ndoita kunge ndichatozvi sungirira havadi kundiona ndichibudirira (I could commit suicide because they do not want to see me succeed),” he sings.
These are the words of a man, who after escaping death more than once, feels hard done by life and needs a helping hand out of the woods of depression before he opts for the easier route out.
Assuming that it is the prerogative of those close to him to force him into therapy is a huge mistake as they are sometimes seen indulging in similar recklessness and probably fear him enough to stay tight-lipped.
Whether or not someone decides to help him soon, Soul Jah Love needs help fast and ignoring the signals will haunt us one day.