JAH PRAYZAH says if it wasn’t for his fans and Zimbabweans’ intelligent minds,his career could have been destroyed by a movement of “haters” that tried to stop the whole nation from playing his music.
Hashtagged “Mute Jah Prayzah” the social media campaign was met with a backlash and Jah Prayzah says that resistance is a victory for music.
“Usually Twitter is dominated by negative comments, not just about us but most issues. But this time – when some people, because of their personal Hatred of Jah Prayzah, tried to start this campaign to take away people’s freedom on who they should listen to – Twitter united to stop that attack,” said Jah’s manager Keen Mushapaidze.
“About 95 percent of people have been supportive and this response is a victory for music in Zimbabwe because no one should determine what people listen to. If this had been allowed to happen, it would have set a bad precedence for the arts as people would have thought they had power to destroy artistes through cyber-attacks,” he said.
Mushapaidze added that Jah Prayzah has been under a lot of stress after repeated cyber-attacks over the last two months and this latest campaign is proof of what the people behind these attacks are really after.
“You have to be wise enough to take criticism as an artiste, be it negative or positive. However, in this era you also have to be wise enough to differentiate between criticism and cyber-attacks that are from people that celebrate your downfall,” he said.
Jah has been through what Mushapaidze called “a traumatic two months of cyber-attacks on his person, brand and music” but he has vowed not to let that affect his works.
“It’s been tormenting for Jah. I cannot say it has not affected him because cyber bullying is really not easy to deal with. Jah works so hard to produce music and then after spending time, effort and money some people just go on the internet and try to bring you down. However, he has been overwhelmed by the support from everyone who responded to the #MuteJahPrayzah campaign,” said Keen.
From the Garry Tight incident, when the Oliver Mtukudzi protégé claimed Jah had forced him off the stage at the Tuku sendoff show at the National Sports Stadium, the Dzamutsana singer has been under attack on social media. Following that attack another one followed after he was accused of seeking cheap publicity by pushing Greatman’s wheelchair at the Tuku sendoff show.
Comedienne Mai Titi led that attack before she started another one claiming Jah must pay disabled artistes that gave him portraits as gifts. Then there was an attack over the attire Jah Prayzah wears on stage (Military gear) before the latest campaign.
Jah has also been accused of being political but his manager insists he is apolitical.
“We are not political. I don’t know how many times Jah has said he is apolitical and never wants to be involved in politics. We are happy people were not political when they responded to the smear campaign.”
Mushapaidze said the links to Jah Prayzah’s songs to politics have been down to people’s interpretations and coincidence.
“Ask any artiste, when they do a song, it can be interpreted differently by people because of the situation in the country or in their personal lives. That is why you find a song like Mudhara Achauya can be used in a wedding setting and then in a political setting as well, it was never Jah’s intention,” said Mushapaidze.