The Zimbabwean music scene is seen as taking a bit of backseat compared to other African countries. However this narrative is being changed by the wave of talented artists from the country beginning to show the world their talent more. At the head of this queue is the lanky and unassuming but superbly talented singer Jah Prayzah . Born Mukudzeyi Mukombe on July 4th, 1987 in Uzumba, Zimbabwe but goes by the stage moniker Jah Prayzah. The contemporary musician is one of the foremost acts from the Southern AFrican country and is affectionately called ‘Musoja’ a shona word for ‘Soldier’. His signature band uniform of military regalia stands him out any day and his stage name is just a transalation of his real name ‘Mukudzie’ which means ‘Praise Him.
Jah Prayzah has earned lots of praise himself as well as plaudits since coming into the limelight. As a young lad, his talent in music was quite noticeable early with his creative mind and lively spirit setting him apart from his peers. Jah Prayzah drew crowds at his mother’s local church , school events creating poetic masterpieces which he later turned into lyrics. Then came the Geography teacher who taught him how to play the thumb piano ‘Mbira’, which became his greatest passion. Some of his earliest musical influences include the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi , Leonard Dembo, Alick Macheso amongst many others.
He attempted to release a dancehall album but the response prompted a quick reevaluation of his style of music. His style became a mixture of two genres; contemporary soul and Afro jazz with heavy Zimbabwean roots has set him apart from his peers making his ‘Mbira’ fusion sound a popular staple in Southern Africa. In 2007 he released his debut album, Sungano, which was followed by two more albums, Rudo neRunyararo and Ngwarira Kuparara.
The latter was commercially successful and contained the singles “Maria” and “Dande”, the latter of which featured the late Chiwoniso Maraire. Ngwarira Kuparara was commercially successful, and he was offered a contract for the Wednesday slots at a local Harare pub called Jazz 105.
In 2013 he released his fourth album Tsviriyo and won a NAMA award for song of the Year for the song “Gotchi Gotchi”. In 2014 he released Kumbumura Mhute.[ In the same year he won five NAMA awards and two ZIMA awards
In 2015 he opened a new studio and released his sixth studio album, Jerusarema and some of his collaborations include Tanzanian artist Diamond Platinumz on his hit song “Watora Mari”, which reached over a million views on YouTube in less than a month after its release. “Watora Mari” has enjoyed massive airplay on MTV Base and Trace Africa. However, the other song, “Mudhara Vachauya” is the one being enjoyed in Zimbabwe. Jah Prayzah has got a huge collabroation with Mafizkizolo set to drop soon and fans can be rest assured that it’s a hit tune going by feelers from his camp.
Jah Prayzah is one of the most in demand Zimbabwean artists and he has toured many parts of the world apart form having his music rule the music charts in his home country and other parts of South Africa. If ever there was a battle for supremacy in the Zimbabwean music industry, Jah Prayzah’s artistry has seen him step up like a General gamely and take to the battle field his brand of African music ‘Mbira Fusion’. The revolution is on, Jah Prayzah is here to stay!