Zimbabwe’s Jah Prayzah Releases New Album

September 28, 2016

Mdhara Vachauya

A song dedicated to a beloved wife whose husband’s work involves him travelling abroad. The wife has to remain with the family at home, and the loving and hardworking husband reassures her that he will be back, and that she should not bother herself listening to rumours that are meant to destroy their union. He emphasises that she must brush all the haters off and put her trust in their love and commitment to each other. “Mdhara Vachauya” (Daddy’is coming)

Hossana

This is a prayer to God in cognisance of the struggles we face in the workplace, at school, at home, and in the society in general. The prayer speaks of people that put obstacles ad challenges in one’s path, sometimes using dark means to get their malicious goals. “Wenhamo ngaarambe angori wenhamo..” (They mean for me, the poor guy, to remain poor). In this particular song Jah Prayzah sings about how he will continue to sing and dance, for as long as he trusts in God, the Lord will see him through and continue to shower him with blessings. “Hossana, makomborero ndogama…”(Hossana, I will grab the Lord’s blessings!)

Watora Mari

This is a happy party song sung in Shona and Swahili, which speaks of one girl who is the life of the party. Through her beauty, charm and dance moves, she attracts the attention of everyone at the party. She becomes the apple of the eye at the party as the man in the song falls in love with her and cannot put his eyes off her. “Darlie, ukazunza mazakwatira watora mari..” (Darling, when you pull your dance moves you take the cup)

Tsotsi

This song is about corruption. There are people out there who steal money when they are meant to be the custodians and leaders, leaving the general public to suffer and rely on the breadcrumbs that fall from the corrupt rich people’s table. He tells it like it is; corruption is a vice in society that need to be done away with as it is detrimental to society’s progress.  “Vanonokora dzemarema, sare mhuri dzichichema” (They love stealing from the innocent, leaving families with tears on their faces).

Jenny

This is a love song wherein the singer speaks of his unending love for his interest, Jenny, whom he says has his head spinning with infatuation. He professes how he has a warm heart to offer, a heart that is as soft as jelly.

Goto

Traditional folklore song which used to be sung way back during celebratory gatherings. Goto is a goat that has a peculiar smell. The setting is presumably a gathering where people are dancing and having fun, and being a typical rural household, the Goto is naturally expected to make its regular rounds and make its presence felt as it passes by. “Goto rine hwema muchariona!” (Wait, soon you will see the Goto!)

Kurumidza

This is a song wherein a young girl is abused at home to such an extent that her boyfriend, also a teenager, decides that they must elope and run away from her family before the sun sets, because this will mean they will fail to see the little paths that will lead them to their secret destination. He advises her that he has had a bad dream in which they are followed and caught, so she must leave home and meet him quickly while the sun is still out. He refers to her as “ruva rangu” (my flower) and states that once they leave, they will not return.

Seke

Mukudzei’s mother, Shelly, was a society “tete”, a Family Planning Officer who was responsible for distributing and training on contraception in the community. She rode her bicycle to work, and was popular for waving at her neighbours in the hood and shouting out “Handichatsaukire ndasiya mhuri yangu!”(I shall not pass by your house, I am rushing to my kids back home!) In a typical rural setting, one greets and acknowledges everyone along the way, usually stopping over for a few minutes for a brief chat. But Shelly rarely has time for these stopovers, so she waves and excuses herself instead. The song is a dedication to his mother, where he thanks her for the struggles she went through, the tears she shed, the sleepless nights she had, and for being there for the family, taking care to their needs. A totem-themed emotional but upbeat song, it pays tribute also to his mother’s clan, the Seke Mutema clan; he acknowledges his maternal uncles who are referred to by their first names and playfully, their nicknames and totems,  as well as his whole maternal family.

Ndide Ndikude

Another love song in which the man involved professes love to his girl, saying he is prepared to give her anything she asks for. “Haatsike pasi, anofambira mudenga” (When she walks it’s as if she doesn’t step on the ground, but walks on air) is an allusion for the graceful walk she has that attracts him the most. He speaks of her as an angel, and marvels at how everyone else is mesmerised yet intimidated by her.

Mbembe

A celebratory party song in which a fun-loving guy is having fun somewhere, and does not plan to go back home. He expresses how even during his sleep, he dreams of the beating drum and cannot wait to go out and have fun. He asks his mother to take care of his family, because he is going to be away for a while, having fun. In the song, Jah Prayzah shouts out to his music producer Munya Vialy, presumably celebrating the anticipated success of the new album.

In the Ghetto

This is a reggae song in which a father gives his son a few life lessons. The setting is in the ghetto, wherein the father takes a stroll around the hood with his son. They come across various unpleasant scenes; a beggar, a struggling vendor, a criminal, and the father asks his son, rhetorically, if this is the life he wants for himself. He then advises him that if he wants a better life, a life that will not have him cry or suffer or live from hand to mouth, he will have to work hard to achieve his goals.

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