It is make or break for singer Jah Prayzah as he launches Kutonga Kwaro this Friday.
The album that has already broken self-set records by the artiste as the most marketed, comes at a time when every aspect of Zimbabwean life is wiggling and turning at different changes.
The unforgiving sun of October scorches the earth relentlessly and clouds seem to dance away to minimise the heat while they wait for their own transformation into rain. On the political scene events occur at the speed of light and only a few will be able to witness the important ones.
Yet, still the political occurrences have fed the anxiety with some saying Jah Prayzah has become a special cog in the wheel with “telling album and track titles like Kutonga Kwaro and Mdhara Vachauya”, which they say are in support of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
But the onset of the rains whose unmistakable smell remains a mystery to every perfumer, will sure bring a lot of answers.
And it will start with Jah Prayzah himself Friday as he performs alongside revered Nigerian, Davido, at the Harare International Conference Centre.
It has been an eventful year for the Uzumba-bred star and with all the allegations against him, the release of the album is a much-awaited watershed of his career, both locally and internationally.
Since his first album he has experimented with concepts and new sound and in the process making him a trendsetter in the local industry, but his efforts have not pleased all. Collaborations with African stars like Diamond Platnumz, Mafikozolo and Davido have left him at the mercy of the uncertainty that comes with new sound. Many of his diehard fans have complained over the shift in sound and many deserted, and stiff competition from the likes Andy Muridzo have won Jah Prayzah a lot of critics.
But it is the new sound that has thrust Jah Prayzah into the spotlight and is now being counted as one of the region’s giants. It is the balance of trying to satisfy two stark opposite markets that makes Kutonga Kwaro critical in Jah Prayzah’s career, with home fans yearning for the original live recording while the region grooves to the revolutionised Jah Prayzah.
Jah Prayzah has achieved in five albums what many artistes take a lifetime to achieve and despite the critics, he still is a prolific composer and performer, and his fan base seems to be growing.
The title of his forthcoming album might be loosely translated as self–praise of how he is “ruling” the local music scene, but like they say talk is cheap. One hopes that it is this album that will definitely enter Jah Prayzah in the Hall of Fame for all time musical greats.
In the run up to the launch, the previews seem to be of a hit album, but it will only be made true afterwards when the fans respond. Hopefully it will not suffer the same fate as the simultaneously coming Jacaranda mauve; sprawling from high above, but utterly worthless junk when it touches the ground.