Lift­ing the skirt on the case against ‘sex abuser’ Jah Prayzah

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Entertainment - Robert Mukondiwa

IT is some­thing that has got­ten the na­tion and per­haps the world talk­ing about the artiste who is ar­guably Zim­babwe’s man of the mo­ment; Jah Prayzah. It was al­ways a long time com­ing. The spit­tle on the mouth of his erst­while Third Gen­er­a­tion Band dancer and vo­cal­ist, Pamela Zulu, pop­u­larly known as Gonyeti, over the past few weeks, showed that she had an axe to grind with her for­mer mas­ter. She wasn’t done speak­ing. Al­though she keenly in­sisted she had no hard feel­ings against ‘mukoma’ Jah, af­fec­tion­ately re­lat­ing to him as a big brother, some­thing sug­gested there was just one lit­tle story whose skirt was just a few fits of anger away, a breeze even, from be­ing raised and ex­posed. It is an emo­tive is­sue. Jah Prayzah is the work­ing class hero of mid­dle Zim­babwe who is rid­ing the crest of a wave. Hav­ing man­aged to re­cy­cle very mono­tone typ­i­cal Jah Prayzah tunes to sup­pos­edly ‘cre­ate’ a ‘new’ al­bum, he had every right to bask in the fresh wave of suc­cess com­ing from the Mud­hara Vachauya re­lease.

And Gonyeti has de­cided to rain on Jah’s pa­rade as she re­cently made startling rev­e­la­tions of al­leged sex­ual abuse by Jah Prayzah, in­clud­ing that she had to sleep with the mu­sic ace to get a job with the group.

Many peo­ple will def­i­nitely not like that. It seems the emo­tive thing in Zim­babwe that there are a hand­ful of ‘anointed’ peo­ple who should not face crit­i­cism and Gonyeti will have to bear the brunt of fac­ing a name call­ing group of crit­ics.

Jah Prayzah is a dar­ling, but that should not be a dis­trac­tion from the very se­ri­ous is­sue at hand which will have big im­pli­ca­tions.

Sim­i­larly, some will be at the other side of the fence call­ing for women to be re­spected, es­pe­cially in the arts, where tales of sex­ual abuse are ram­pant.

For the record, Jah Prayzah re­mains in­no­cent un­til proven guilty-or oth­er­wise in spite of Pamela al­leg­ing she had to give the boss ‘ some’ to get a job. How­ever, there is al­ready one thing for which he is ter­ri­bly cul­pa­ble and should re­dress in the ‘fe­male’ depart­ment of his band-ei­ther di­rectly or in­di­rectly. An in­ter­est­ing look at his group re­veals how the women in Third Gen­er­a­tion Band are seen for per­haps their sex­u­al­ity as op­posed to their tal­ent. Gonyeti, a big framed lus­cious sen­sual ‘typ­i­cal’ African woman, who also can sing and dance. Gen­er­a­tor, whom Gonyeti re­placed, also large, ig­nites a fire and guar­an­tees elec­tric­ity. Oh, and she too can sing and dance. And the re­place­ment for Gonyeti is, wait for it, Ex­ca­va­tor. A big earth mover that digs deep into the warm bur­row of the earth and shakes the ground while it is at it. It’s a trait. It seems the tal­ent is an af­ter­thought. They are not called Nightin­gale, or The Voice or Black­bird, any­thing that sug­gests an abil­ity to sing. While Jah Prayzah may not have di­rectly been head of the nam­ing cer­e­mony of these women who are in­ter­est­ingly all ‘built’ the same, al­low­ing them to be iden­ti­fied by names with sex­ual con­no­ta­tions as op­posed to their true tal­ents – their voices – makes him cul­pa­ble. He should have learnt from the best. Oliver Mtukudzi is not a clean man. But ‘his’ women have al­ways been iden­ti­fied with dig­nity in the Black Spir­its. Mwen­dakanyi ‘Mwendy’ Chibindi, Ce­celia Ndlovu, Na­matayi Mubariki. They have been voices that have passed through his hands. Cer­tainly he could have also called them any­thing else. ‘Chik­endikeke’. MaS­cones. Chitima. In­stead, he de­voted sug­ges­tive name-call­ing to his lyrics when he dedicates his mu­sic to Daisy- Svovi Yangu. Jah should never al­low sex­u­ally ex­plicit nam­ing of his artistes un­der his watch be­cause it ex­poses him to scru­tiny. Be­cause his gen­er­a­tion is no longer the old gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple who used to be ac­tresses hired for the tan­ta­lis­ing phys­i­cal traits but for their tal­ent. Is it not the rea­son af­ter all, why his band is called the Third Gen­er­a­tion Band? – @zim­rob­bie

Jah Prayzah

Pamela Zulu aka Gonyeti

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