July 4, 1987
|Years active||2001 - present|
|Parents||John Mukombe and Shirely Savanhu|
Simeon Mukombe (brother)|
Joe Mukombe (brother),
Simba Mukombe (brother)
Lydia Mukombe (Sister)
Jah Prayzah, real name Mukudzeyi Mukombe, is a Zimbabwean contemporary musician and frontman for the band Third Generation. He is popularly referred to by fans and media as "Musoja", Shona for "the soldier", a name he earned mostly because of his signature band uniform of military regalia. He was born and raised in Murehwa, a small town about 95 km from Harare.
- 1 Discography: Albums
- 2 Background
- 3 Education
- 4 Music career
- 5 Army Regalia
- 6 Possession Rumours
- 7 Successes
- 8 Awards
- 9 MTV Africa Music Awards
- 10 Music Videos
- 11 Controversies
- 12 Arrest in Shurugwi
- 13 Personal life
- 14 Latest News
- 15 References
- Mdhara Vachauya (2016)
- Jerusarema (2015)
- Kumbumura Mhute (2014)
- Tsviriyo (March 2013)
- Ngwarira Kuparara (20112)
- Sungano Yerudo (2010)
- Rudo Nerunyararo (2007)
- Dura (2006)
Jah Prayzah was born on born 4 July 1987 at Nyadire Hospital to parents John Mukombe and Shirely Savanhu. He was the last born in a family of 5 children; in order of birth: Joe, Chamu (who passed away in 2005), Simba, and his only sister, Lydia. Growing up, the young Mukudzeyi dreamt of becoming a soldier. This dream was to later inspire his bands performance costumes. The name Jah Prayzah evolved mainly from his first name Mukudzeyi, which in Shona language means Praise Him (God). His love for Raggae music led him to adopt the Jamaican name for God which is Jah. He then fused these two meanings to come up with his artistic name Jah Prayzah.
He attended Musamhi Primary School and later Musamhi High School in Murehwa in Mashonaland East Province. He then relocated to Harare where he stayed with his uncle Mr Savanhu and he eventually completed his 'O' Level and 'A' Level education in Harare at Kuwadzana High 1 School.
Mukudzeyi's first experience with creating music was when he was in form 2; "In form two there was a teacher who played the mbira and I was so in love with the instrument.We would ’dub’ the music in the era of cassettes and listen to it," he said. Later while schooling at Kuwadzana High School, Mukudzeyi bought a Mbira music instrument from a close friend, Tichafa Matsika.
In Budiriro Jah Prayzah started to record dancehall and reggae tracks with his friends with some tracks creating a vibe in the suburb but failed to hit the national music scene. He later decided to venture into his longtime hobby, that of contemporary music and afro jazz, and recorded tracks with DJ Thando and other local producers, releasing hits such as Sorry Mama and Seiko, these tracks had wider reception that his previous songs but few knew about the man himself.
Mukudzei had been encouraged by a cousin keyboardist Simeon Mukombe, to record a demo together with him. They did the album called I Love Reggae. The album didn't do well but they got a lot of encouragement from friends that listened to it. Later in 2007, he recorded another album Rudo Nerunyararo which didn't have much success. The album had the track, Zororo, which became popular much later in his career.
Commercial success started to come after the launch of Sungano in 2012. It included songs like Sungano Yerudo. The album earned him the much needed attention, catching the eyes of one of Zimbabwe’s biggest music promoters, Patson Chimbodza, known to many as Chipaz.
In 2012 he released Ngwarira Kuparara, which contained club hits such as Gotchi Gotchi, Maria, Ngwarira Kuparara and Dande, a track which featured the late Chiwoniso Maraire. Ngwarira Kuparara was the breakaway he always dreamt about. It quickly put him in the spotlight and he became a household name as fans rocked to the tracks in-house, in clubs and at parties as well. He fast became a must get artist, and was quickly offered a contract for the Wednesday slots at the then popular Jazz 105 joint."
In 2013, Jah Prayzah released the album Tsviriyo whose title track was very popular. The first CD copy of the album was reportedly bought for US $12,000 by businessman Philip Chiyangwa at an auction conducted at the launch.
Jah Prayzah and is band wear army regalia sometimes that resembling that worn by the Zimbabwe National Army. In 2013, Jah Prayzah, explained that he had sought clearance from the army to wear military camouflage. He said then that he had at least 20 military fatigues. The clothes are supplied him from Europe and a designer in South Africa.
As Jah Prayzah is a brand ambassador for the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, it has generally been thought that he has clearance to wear the fatigue.
Possession RumoursFans of Jah Prayzah started speculating that he gets possessed during live performances. Some also claimed that the depth of lyrics does not belong to his generation of Shona speakers. However Jah Prayzah's father has attributed the depth of his Shona to the novels he used to read during his childhood,
"I believe the depth of his Shona lines came from the novels he read when he was growing up. I was a headmaster at Magunje School in Murewa and I had a library at home that had many books. He enjoyed reading Shona novels and he used to steal my books."His mother also denied the possession rumours by saying,
"Many people have asked me of the possibility that my son gets possessed. I often laugh at that inquiry because I never thought he would be put in that bracket. People that get possessed usually have complications during birth or childhood. I never had serious problems with Mukudzei. I gave birth to him through normal delivery at Nyadire Mission Hospital and he grew up experiencing normal problems associated with infancy. There was nothing complicated. I discovered he was talented when he sang at church. Everyone wanted him to lead in many songs."People also speculated that Jah Prayzah gets possessed when he sings the traditional song Goto Rinehwema but Jah Prayzah dismissed the claims by saying,
"When I sing a love song, I want people to feel the love. It is the same with that song. I perform it in a way that it would be performed at a traditional ceremony. I act as the elders at a ritual ceremony do and it appears so real to my fans. They conclude that I get possessed."
Jah Prayzah has done successful collaborations with musicians of various genres such as Oliver Mtukudzi. Soul Jah Love, Sulumani Chimbetu, Progress Chipfumo among others. On the New Year’s Eve of 2013, on the popular radio top hundred count down hosted by Radio Zimbabwe, Jah Prayzah took all top three spots with songs Gotchi Gotchi, Maria and Chirangano, the first time ever for this to happen." His fame earned him ambassador status for the following companies:
- Population Services International Zimbabwe (PSI)
- Zimbabwe Defense Forces - Culture Ambassador
- Chicken Slice - Brand Ambassador
- Champions Insurance - Brand Ambassador
- Savanna Tobacco Brand Ambassador-the artist was in January 2015 endorsed to become one of the brand ambassadors for Savanna Tobacco joining other fellow musicians, Tocky Vibes, Sulumani Chimbetu among others.
- NAMA 2013 award for song of the year – Gotchi Gotchi
- 2013 Zimbabwe Peace ambassador award
- NAMA 2014 Awards - Outstanding Album Tsviriyo
- NAMA 2014 Awards - Outstanding Song Tsviriyo
- NAMA 2014 Awards - Outstanding Male Artist Jah Prayzah
- NAMA 2014 Awards - Outstanding Video Mwanasikana
- NAMA 2014 Awards - People’s Choice Jah Prayzah
- NAMA people’s choice award
- NAMA male artist of the year
- Zim Dream Online award- 2014
MTV Africa Music Awards
Jah Prayzah became the first Zimbabwean to win an MTV African Music Award when he won the award in the Listeners choice category on 22 October 2016.
His Current Album: Mudhara Vachauya (2016)
Jah Prayzah's music suffered a huge blow in December 2014 when he was accused of pirating a song by a Ghananian musician Emmanuel Samini. Media reports alleged that the Ghananian musician released the song in 2007 and Jah Prayzah went on to use the beat without acknowledging the owner of the song. He used the beat for his award winning song Sisi Makachena which won awards for the Zimbabwe Music Awards in 2013.
Affair with Henrietta Rushwaya?
In November 2015, photos of Jah Prayzah and former ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya appeared online showing the two in a cosy position, enjoying each other's company. His wife would brush off the alleged affair saying that there was nothing to it and when she had first heard of it some time back, they'd dealt with it.
Arrest in Shurugwi
In February 2016, Jah Prayzah arrested in Gweru after allegedly fleeing police and Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) officials at a tollgate in Shurugwi. Jah Prayzah was allegedly driving an unregistered Mercedes Benz E320 and didn't want to the toll gate fee. When police caught up with him in Gweru he refused to make payment saying he was connected to senoir police officers. The police eventually made him pay after he had tried to call several police senoir police officers including National Police Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba. Jah Prayzah was generally criticised for being arrogant.
Jah Prayzah is married to Rufaro Chiworeso with whom he has a son, Mukudzeyi Junior.
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- Robert Mukandiwa, About Us, Jah Prayzah Official Website, Retrieved:16 March 2014
- Jah Prayzah official website, Jah Prayzah, Retrieved:15 Jan 2015
- Silence Charumbira Jah Prayzah launches new album, NewsDay, Retrieved:15 Jan 2015, Published:29 Mar 2015
- Jah Prayzah speaks on army regalia, The Herald, Retrieved:15 Jan 2015
- Does Jah Prayzah get possessed on stage, Herald, published: June 24, 2016, retrieved: June 24, 2016
- R. Mukondiwa, Jah Prayzah 'stole' award winning song,New Zimbabwe, published:8 Dec 2014,retrieved:24 Dec 2014"
- PROBLEM MASAU, JahPrayzah, Henrietta pics stir controversy, Newsday, Published: 5 Nov 2015, Retrieved: 5 Nov 2015
- Jah Prayzah’s wife shrugs off leaked pictures, Nehanda Radio, Published: 5 Nov 2015, Retrieved: 5 Nov 2015
- Jah Prayzah arrested after tollgate fracas, The Herald, Published:1 March 2016, Retrieved: 01 June 2016