Zimbabwean music lovers from all walks of life flooded social media on Tuesday night to pay tribute to phenomenal Dancehall chanter, Soul Jah Love, as the shock news of his passing filtered through.
The talented musician, who was diabetic, was reportedly rushed to Mbuya Dorcas Hospital in Harare without a pulse and was declared dead upon arrival.
He was 31.
Fellow dancehall maestro Winky D let the eulogies, writing on Facebook: “Dear Sauro, since it is so, now in excruciating pain. Our fate we should all acknowledge and embrace. Since it is written and ought to be, my grieving heart still rises in pain pride, and gratitude at your contributions to the musical narrative.”
He said “not recognizing you in the Zimdancehall story shall remain a travesty. You traveled all musical thorny paths, even more, you conquered in your distinct way.”
“No musical heart ever conceived it dared to try your lyrical path.
We won’t take back the hope you have to the youths. And we shall forever cherish the memories. Rest in strong dancehall Riddims my Bredren,” Winky D, who was declared the deceased was his favourite artist, concluded.
Another musician-cum socialite Mudiwa said, “Soul Jah Love Chibaba why man, Rest In Peace Sauro.”
Journalist and filmmaker Hopewell Chin’ono also expressed grief, tweeting: “Sad to hear the tragic and untimely passing of dancehall artiste Soul Jah Love. May his soul Rest in Peace!”
The “Ndini Uya Uya” hit-maker, often referred to as the Vybz Kartel of Zimbabwe for his “Chibabababa” and “Hauite” signature chants that featured in his multiple hits, constantly wrestled with his diabetic condition throughout his music career.
Sauro, as he was affectionately known by the legion of fans was a versatile artist who belted multiple hits that reflected his own personal life experiences.
He was a musical genius that will probably be remembered for his brutal honesty about his flaws and mistakes in his music.
Although Soul Jah Love’s career was marred by controversies and shortcomings that from time to time made headlines for the wrong reasons, he always seemed to weather every storm and come back afloat a better man.