Jah Prayzah, real name Mukudzeyi Mukombe, is a popular Zimbabwean modern musician and frontman for the band Third Generation.[1] He is known for his signature band uniform of military regalia.Jah Prayzah has done successful collaborations with local musicians of various genres such as Oliver Mtukudzi. Soul Jah Love, Sulumani Chimbetu, Progress Chipfumo and African artistes such as Slizer , Yemi Alade, Diamond,Jah Cure to mention a few.

Jah Prayzah
Jah Prayzah
Born Mukudzeyi Mukombe
July 4, 1987
Murehwa, Zimbabwe
Nationality Zimbabwe
Occupation
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
Years active 2001 - present
Notable work
  • Jerusarema
  • Eriza
  • Tsviriyo
Spouse(s) Rufaro Chiworeso
Children Mukudzeyi Junior
Parent(s) John Mukombe and Shirely Savanhu
Relatives Simeon Mukombe (brother)
Joe Mukombe (brother),
Simba Mukombe (brother)
Lydia Mukombe (Sister)
Awards


Click here for a list of Jah Prayzah Songs and albums

Contents

Background

He was born and raised in Murehwa, a small town about 95km from Harare.[1]Jah Prayzah was born on the 4th of July 1987 at Nyadire Hospital to parents John Mukombe and Shirely Savanhu. He is the last born in a family of 5 children; in order of birth: Joe, Chamu (who passed away in 2005), Simba, and his only sister, Lydia. Growing up, the young Mukudzeyi dreamt of becoming a soldier.[1] This dream later inspired his band's performance costumes. The name Jah Prayzah evolved mainly from his first name Mukudzeyi, which in Shona language means Praise Him (God). His love for Reggae music led him to adopt the Jamaican name for God which is Jah. He then fused these two meanings to come up with his artistic name Jah Prayzah.

Jah Prayzah's Wife and Family Pictures

Jah Prayzah is married to Rufaro Chiworeso with whom he has a son, Mukudzeyi Junior and three daughters Keanna, Kayla and Kelly.

Education

He attended Musamhi Primary School and later Musamhi High School in Murehwa in Mashonaland East Province. He then relocated to Harare where he stayed with his uncle Savanhu , he eventually completed his 'O' Level and 'A' Level education in Harare at Kuwadzana High 1 School.

Music career

Mukudzeyi's first experience with creating music was when he was in form 2; "In form two there was a teacher who played the mbira and I was so in love with the instrument.We would ’dub’ the music in the era of cassettes and listen to it," he said.[1] Later while schooling at Kuwadzana High School, Mukudzeyi bought a Mbira music instrument from a close friend, Tichafa Matsika.[1]

In Budiriro Jah Prayzah started to record dancehall and reggae tracks with his friends with some tracks creating a vibe in the suburb but failed to hit the national music scene. He later decided to venture into his longtime hobby of music Afro-jazz.He recorded tracks with DJ Thando and other local producers, releasing hits such as Sorry Mama and Seiko, these tracks received better publicity than the previous ones he had recorded previously.Mukudzei was encouraged by a cousin keyboardist Simeon Mukombe, to record a demo with him.[1] They recorded an album titled I Love Reggae unfortunately the album didn't do well but they got a encouragement from friends who listened to it. Later in 2007, he recorded another album Rudo Nerunyararo which wasn't successful either. The album had the track, Zororo, which became popular much later in his career.

His music became more popular after the launch of Sungano in 2012.[2] The album included songs like Sungano Yerudo. and the album earned him the much-needed attention, catching the eyes of one of Zimbabwe’s biggest music promoters, Patson Chimbodza, known to many as Chipaz.In the same year, he released Ngwarira Kuparara, which contained club hits such as Gotchi Gotchi, Maria, Ngwarira Kuparara and Dande, a track which featured the late Chiwoniso Maraire. Ngwarira Kuparara became the breakaway he had always dreamt of. It quickly put him in the spotlight and he became a household name as fans rocked to the tracks in-house, in clubs and at parties as well. He fast became a must get the artist, and was quickly offered a contract for the Wednesday slots at the then popular Jazz 105 joint."[2]

In 2013, Jah Prayzah released the album Tsviriyo whose title track was very popular. The first CD copy of the album was reportedly bought for US $12,000 by businessman Philip Chiyangwa at an auction conducted at the launch.[3]

Army Regalia

Jah Prayzah is a brand ambassador for the Zimbabwe Defense Forces and it was rumored that he had the privilege to put on the uniform. However, it was reported that his regalia is tailor made in South Africa with some of the material coming from Germany.[4]

Possession Rumours

Jah Prayzah started to get speculations that he spiritually get possessed during live performances. Some also claimed that the depth of lyrics does not belong to his generation of Shona speakers. However, Jah Prayzah's father as reported to have attributed the depth of his Shona to the novels he used to read during his childhood,
"I believe the depth of his Shona lines came from the novels he read when he was growing up. I was a headmaster at Magunje School in Murewa and I had a library at home that had many books. He enjoyed reading Shona novels and he used to steal my books."
His mother also denied the possession rumors by saying,
"Many people have asked me of the possibility that my son gets possessed. I often laugh at that inquiry because I never thought he would be put in that bracket. People that get possessed usually have complications during birth or childhood. I never had serious problems with Mukudzei. I gave birth to him through normal delivery at Nyadire Mission Hospital and he grew up experiencing normal problems associated with infancy. There was nothing complicated. I discovered he was talented when he sang at church. Everyone wanted him to lead in many songs."
His song Goto Rinehwema was given high speculation but Jah Prayzah was reported to have dismissed the claims,
"When I sing a love song, I want people to feel the love. It is the same with that song. I perform it in a way that it would be performed at a traditional ceremony. I act as the elders at a ritual ceremony do and it appears so real to my fans. They conclude that I get possessed."

[5]

Achievements

Jah Prayzah took all top three spots with songs Gotchi Gotchi, Maria and Chirangano, in 2013 breaking a record for the first time.This occurred on New Year’s Eve on the popular radio top hundred countdown hosted by Radio Zimbabwe.."[2] This fame earned him ambassador status for the following companies:

Awards

Jah Prayzer has won these awards

MTV Africa Music Awards

Jah Prayzah became the first Zimbabwean to win an MTV African Music Award when he won the award in the Listeners choice category on 22 October 2016.

Picture Gallery

Controversies

Jah Prayzah's music suffered a huge blow in December 2014 when he was accused of pirating a song by a Ghananian musician Emmanuel Samini. Media reports alleged that the Ghananian musician released the song in 2007 and Jah Prayzah went on to use the beat without acknowledging the owner of the song. He was reported to have used the beat for his award-winning song Sisi Makachena which won awards at the Zimbabwe Music Awards in 2013.[6]

Alleged Affair with Henrietta Rushwaya

In November 2015, photos of Jah Prayzah and former ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya appeared online showing the two in a cozy position, enjoying each other's company.[7] His wife was reported to have brushed off the alleged affair indicating that there was nothing since they had dealt with it when she had first heard of it some time back, .[8]

Arrest in Shurugwi

In February 2016, Jah Prayzah was arrested in Gweru after allegedly fleeing police and Zimbabwe National Road Admnistration (Zinara) officials at a tollgate in Shurugwi. Jah Prayzah was alleged to have been driving an unregistered Mercedes Benz E320 and didn't want pay to the toll gate fee. When police caught up with him in Gweru he refused to make payment saying he was connected to senior police officers. The police were reported to have eventually made him pay after he had tried to call several police senior police officers including National Police Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba.[9] Jah Prayzah was generally criticised for being arrogant.

Alleged Fallout with Andy Mutinhiri

Jah Prayzah's record label Military Touch Movement signed Andy Muridzo in 2017 on a 5-year contract. However barely a year into the contract Muridzo was reportedly complaining that he was not benefitting from the contract. In a report, Muridzo indicated that he was no longer part of the record label. Jah Prayzahs manager Kenny Mashaipadze indicated that Muridzo was still part of the record label. Jah Prayzah Insists That Andy Muridzo Is Still A Part of Military Touch Movement

Alleged Fallout with Andy Mutinhiri

Jah Prayzah's record label Military Touch Movement signed Andy Muridzo in 2017 on a 5-year contract. However barely a year into the contract Muridzo was reportedly complaining that he was not benefitting from the contract. In a report, Muridzo indicated that he was no longer part of the record label. Jah Prayzahs manager Kenny Mashaipadze indicated that Muridzo was still part of the record label. Jah Prayzah Insists That Andy Muridzo Is Still A Part of Military Touch Movement

Droping New Single “Ronika” At Ginimbi’s Club

Jah Prayzah was set to drop his new single titled “Ronika” on Thursday 19 July 2018. He is also scheduled to perform at the launch of Trace Africa Nights at Genius Kadungure’s Club Sankayi.[10]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Robert Mukandiwa, About Us, Jah Prayzah Official Website, Retrieved:16 March 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jah Prayzah official website, Jah Prayzah, Retrieved:15 Jan 2015
  3. Silence Charumbira Jah Prayzah launches new album, NewsDay, Retrieved:15 Jan 2015, Published:29 Mar 2015
  4. He reported that he had however applied for clearance to wear the regalia from the armyJah Prayzah speaks on army regalia, The Herald, Retrieved:15 Jan 2015
  5. Does Jah Prayzah get possessed on stage, Herald, published: June 24, 2016, retrieved: June 24, 2016
  6. R. Mukondiwa, Jah Prayzah 'stole' award-winning song,New Zimbabwe, published:8 Dec 2014,retrieved:24 Dec 2014"
  7. PROBLEM MASAU, JahPrayzah, Henrietta pics stir controversy, Newsday, Published: 5 Nov 2015, Retrieved: 5 Nov 2015
  8. Jah Prayzah’s wife shrugs off leaked pictures, Nehanda Radio, Published: 5 Nov 2015, Retrieved: 5 Nov 2015
  9. Jah Prayzah arrested after tollgate fracas, The Herald, Published:1 March 2016, Retrieved: 01 June 2016
  10. Jah Prayzah To Drop New Single "Ronika" As Trace Africa Nights Launches At Ginimbi's Club ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, retrieved: 11 Jul 2018