By Elizabeth D.T. Taderera
Popularly known for his hit song “Banolila” that sold over 75000 copies, the Kalanga singer, songwriter and dancer was born on the 13th of December, 1954 in Plumtree, Zimbabwe. He was a great vocalist and was experienced in guitar and other instruments. Also known as Jah Solo, he wrote lyrics in his native Kalanga as well as Ndebele, Shona and English. He went into exile in Zambia during the Chimurenga War to join the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). He played in the ZIPRA band and entertained the guerrillas at ZIPRA camps. He was popular in the band and later became the band leader. He composed songs for the ZIPRA Entertainment Corps.
After returning to Zimbabwe in 1980, his 1990 album “Love and Scandals” was a success due to its political content regarding the Willowgate Scandal of the time and earned him the nickname Jah Solo. He was backed by a band called Fallen Heroes which he named to honor those who had died during the liberation struggle. He released albums called Zihlangene Vol1 and Zihlangene Vol2 which cover his hits. In the same year he released the album “Love and Scandals” he also did a song “Patimile” on the soundtrack for the Zimbabwean film “Jit”.
Sadly Skuza could not dance at his performances as he was shot during the war. The cause of his death remains unknown as during his sickness period he was taken to both traditional healers and doctors who could not tell what was wrong with him and he passed away in 1995. His songs remain popular among the Kalanga and Ndebele speaking population. His hit song “Banolila” remains a hit at weddings and parties.