THE decision to grant liberation hero status on Zimdancehall sensation Soul Jah Love (Soul Muzavazi Musaka) by President Mnangagwa has been described as befitting for a young man whose music inspired and resonated with youths across the political divide.
Soul Jah Love died on Tuesday night upon arrival at a local hospital.
He was 31.
The liberation hero will be buried on Saturday at Warren Hills cemetery in Harare.
In a statement, Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu said, “His Excellency, the President and First Secretary of Zanu PF, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has conferred a Liberation Hero status to the late Cde Soul Muzavazi Musaka who passed away on February 16 at Mbuya Dorcas Hospital. The family can be contacted through our Harare Provincial office.
“I shall be most grateful if you would make the usual arrangements for his burial and payment of benefits to his family. He is from Harare Province.”
The decision to honour Soul Jah Love, a talented musician who epitomised the struggles of most youths and rose against adversities, was welcomed by various political parties.
Zanu PF acting secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Tendai Chirau described Soul Jah Love as someone who was dedicated to the well-being of his country.
“We acknowledge with heavy hearts, news of the untimely and tragic demise of one of the country’s emerging mega-talents in the arts industry, youthful Zimdancehall artiste Soul Musaka, otherwise affectionately known by his stage moniker, ‘Soul Jah Love’, at the tender age of 31.”
Cde Chirau said Zimdancehall is one of the most visible products of Zanu PF’s Government deliberate drive to promote local content in the arts industry in order to raise the consciousness of the youths and empower them to realise their potential in the creative arts industry.
Zanu PF Harare Province chairperson Cde Godwills Masimirembwa said Soul Jah Love subscribed to the values of the country’s liberation struggle.
“The province requested the party leadership to confer him with a hero status for the role he played as a young man throughout his life he subscribed to the ethos, values of the liberation struggle.
“Soul Jah Love was very vocal in supporting the birth of the New Dispensation in particular His Excellency President Mnangagwa. It is on the basis of his consistence that he deserves the honour, although he was not part of the liberation struggle, we pass on the button to the younger generation.
Soul Jah Love was in Zanu PF structures.
MDC spokesperson, Mr Witness Dube described the conferment of hero status to Soul Jah Love as “befitting”.
“We applaud the decision to grant hero status to Soul Jah Love, this shows that our Government is recognising talent in its diverse forms, including from artistes, this is indeed a great honour which we all must celebrate,” he said.
MDC Alliance national youth secretary general Gift Ostallos applauded the conferment of liberation hero status on Soul Jah Love saying, “He is a hero by virtue of his contribution to the arts industry.”
He said the nation must acknowledge the contribution of young people across the political divide who did not participate in the liberation struggle but excel in other fields.