The Sunday Mail
Soul Musaka and Lynet Musenyi, popularly known as Soul Jah Love and Bounty Lisa in music circles, may have met amidst a sea of poverty and uncertainty, but their love for each other has kept them going.
The couple, who confess to “love at first sight” sometime last year at the popular Chill Spot Studios at Matapi Flats in Mbare, will this Saturday solemnise their union in front of expected multitudes of music lovers in the Harare Gardens.
Born less than a year ago, in the heart of Mbare – a common union, especially among artistes has now become uncommon. Uncommon because most such relationships would have long been splashed across the front pages of tabloid newspapers for all the wrong reasons, yet this one seems to have triumphed.
For all the bad actions and publicity that follow Zim dancehall, the genre seems to have managed to unleash one amazing success story.
Barely a day after Soul Jah Love scooped two gongs, Best Collaboration and Best Upcoming Artiste, at the Zim Dancehall Awards held at the Zimbabwe College of Music, the artiste poured his heart out.
“In just over a week I’m going to unveil my bride to the public, I’m rolling in a Hummer H2, I now live in a full house loaded with furniture I bought with my sweat, every promoter and wanna-be promoter wants a piece of me, yet this is not my story,” said Soul Jah Love, sitting down for a chat with this publication at his lodgings in New Canaan, Highfield.
He continued: “All this is a result of a few months’ hard work and blessings from God not stretching back beyond October 2013. Just months ago I slept on the floor in Mbare in a makeshift house that I couldn’t even call home.
“I had nothing but music and love to keep me going. My queen, Bounty, showed me unconditional love. She would visit me and talk to me about life, giving me hope that there was something to live for.”
Soul Jah Love, who suffers from diabetes and thus cannot do much in terms of tough manual work, had to find a way to survive.
He turned to music, the one thing that he believes kept him alive when he returned home from South Africa on a death bed after falling sick while working in Cape Town.
“After returning from South Africa where I worked in restaurants having fallen ill, I turned to music with many people, including Roki. I was his backing vocalist but things did not work out well – I got mixed up with the wrong crowd just so I could get my next meal and a place to sleep.
“I found myself lonely with just music in my head and the love of my life, Bounty, whom I met through music. But one day after a gig, we had made about US$90, I just gave her all the money and with the little she had saved up plus borrowings from friends we bought a bed and managed to rent a room in Mbare,” narrated Soul Jah Love.
By then, Bounty Lisa’s parents already knew about the then unheralded singer who had stolen their daughter’s heart.
“Her parents, realising that their daughter had made up her mind about me, began to take interest, to the extent of giving her tips on how to take care of a diabetic patient,” said Soul Jah Love.
“And on November 20 last year,” remembers Bounty, “after a show, we just decided to elope together to our one room, furnished by nothing else but a bed”.
“He has been a real gentleman. He has done everything as it should, getting introduced properly to my parents and even paying tsvakirai kuno, to let them know he has me and is responsible for my welfare.
“After he comes back from a tour of the UK in May, his people will then conclude the customary marriage ceremony by way of paying lobola and then he can ask for a wedding,” said the 21-year-old Bounty Lisa, a second born in a family of three.
The former St Peters Secondary School student is, however, more excited about this Saturday’s Engagement Party, which will culminate in a huge musical fiesta at the Harare Gardens.
“For those that think that this is a joke, my father, my aunt and several of my relatives are going to be present at the ceremony. Jah Luv’s other siblings and relatives will be there as well, although it saddens me that his mother and father who are both late, can only be there with us in spirit,” she said.
A talented dancer and occasional mbira player-turned dancehall chanter, Bounty only used to know his better half through music and although he has become extremely popular and the target of many women, she trusts him completely.
The Gum-kum singer himself says she is right to trust him, as theirs “is a match made in heaven”.
“I can’t say that I’m perfect, but for my babe, I will be. Girls tempt me with money, beauty and all that they can offer, but Bounty is the one for me and in December we will wed. She is my queen, my royal woman, my stainless steel,” he declared.
Armed with just two albums and several singles and collaborations, the Ndini Uyauya hit-singer says they are in the studio finalising Bounty’s debut “masterpiece”. Having lost his mother aged just one, his grandmother who had assumed responsibility for the toddler while in grade five, his twin brother, John, in 2004 and his father a year later – it was no surprise to Soul Jah Love when a few years ago his stepmother successfully evicted him from his family home in Waterfalls.
With an asthmatic wife while he suffers from diabetes, it would be easy to just give up, but Soul Jah Love believes life has so much to offer and that this is just the beginning of better things to come.