Mukudzei Mukombe — also known as Jah Prayzah
Life & Arts

Jah Prayzah bouncers spoil minister’s gig

By Anesu Mirisawu

AFTER working so hard to become one of the country’s top music superstars, Mukudzei Mukombe — also known as Jah Prayzah — appears to have let go of some of the attributes that took him to the pedestal of success.

The towering musician was known for his humility and simplicity even as his musical journey was growing at a phenomenal pace, especially for someone who had humble beginnings.

 As Jah Prayzah enjoys the rewards that come with years of hard work and commitment to his art — commercial success and lofty status in society — humility and simplicity appear long gone.

What people are beginning to see are menacing bouncers serving as bodyguards who appear very classless in their business.

This is at odds with a musician who warmed his way to the hearts of many people through his music replete with lyrics and composition befitting “a man of the people” Success and fame should normally not alter someone’s character.

For Jah Prayzah, the more he has been hitting musical heights, the humility that was at show in public, has been disappearing. On Christmas Day, the lanky musician’s reputation received further knocks when his bodyguards angered some of the villagers and elders who had thronged Machakaire Village in Wedza for the musical festival organised by deputy minister of Art and Sport, Tino Machakaire. Jah Prayzah’s bouncers floored an elderly woman who had appeared “star struck” by his presence at the festival.

Most musicians who were at the show — including Alick Macheso, Matthias Mhere, Baba Harare — had also been mobbed by villagers.

The attack prompted Machakaire to approach Jah Prayzah and warn him that he would not countenance his bouncers, sullying his event by behaving aggressively towards harmless villagers. Machakaire demanded that the musician appear before the six chiefs who were part of the crowds, as part of pacifying annoyed villagers.

Deputy minister of Art and Sport, Tinomuda “Tinmac” Machakaire

The bouncers also aggressively ejected from the stage a skilled stage manager from a company that Machakaire had been using for the annual arts gig that had been temporarily shelved after the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. The attack on the stage manager — 26-year-old Praise Masimba from Sound Blaze — happened as Jah Prayzah was about to perform. Masimba confirmed the incident.

“It was JP’s (Jah Prayzah’s) turn. So, everyone was told to leave the stage. “I refused to leave since I had been in charge of the stage for all the artistes. “I told the bouncers that I was supposed to be on stage. I also wanted to avoid the drama that had happened during Mathius Mhere’s performance, when one of the boards fell.

The bouncers would have none of that. “I was not going to be in the way of their act because I was going to be stationed behind the speakers. It was surprising that other artistes who had performed had not seen anything wrong with me managing the stage ,” she told the Daily News.

Jah Prayzah’s manager, Keen Mushapaidze, said he was not sure if the bouncers had been involved in those incidents because he had not received reports to that effect. “I am not sure, maybe it happened or did not happen.

But, I don’t have those reports,” Mushapaidze said. Curiously, the incidents happened at the same time that the police said they were worried by cases of stabbing, including by bouncers, after a video of barbaric violence blamed on alleged bouncers, went viral this week.

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