Mbare is one of the oldest suburbs in the capital and a veritable hive of activity where anything can be found, if you know the people and speak the lingo. Mbare is the home most of dancehall musicians. Killer T, Kinna and Soul Jah Love are just a few of the big names to emerge from the teeming suburb.
Taking a leaf from some of the most successful Hollywood stars like Beyonce and Jay Z who used their popularity in music to launch lucrative business enterprises, Soul Jah Love (pictured above) has opened a canteen located southeast of the popular Mbare Musika rank at a place called Gullyside.
When reporters visited the place there were a number of youths sitting outside the place listening to music.
Interestingly, they were listening to Seh Calaz’s music. Seh Calaz and Soul Jah Love have just reportedly mended relations after a spat of some very public tiffs whose nadir was at the Sting Festival last year when matters practically degenerated into physical tussles on stage.
Soul Jah Love himself appears to be a regular feature at the food outlet and he made an appearance during this writer’s visit. His workers rushed to switch off Seh Calaz’ music fearing their boss in spite of the patrons appearing to be enjoying it.
But Soul Jah Love seems to have matured into a fully fledged entreprenuer who understands that business is business with no place for personal pettiness.
“Ridzai zvamunoda, munozvibvisirei (play your favourite music, why are you switching it off?),” quipped the musician in apparent good spirits.
Together with partner Bounty Lisa, the chanters said they started the business to augment the income they get from their music.
“We are trying to have some separate investments that give us income besides music. We are happy that the canteen is doing well and people are coming,” said Bounty Lisa.
Different dishes are served at the place and she hopes to expand the business in other places around the city.
“We have plans to open several eating places in the capital and we hope it will work for us,” she said.
She said they have been heeding investment advice from those who have been in the game for a while.
“We got encouragement from our music promoters and friends to invest the little we are getting from live shows,” she said.
Meanwhile, the musician has dismissed rumours doing the rounds on social media that he was dead.
He said he would not be disturbed by people who spread falsehoods.
“Those who want to see that I am alive should come to Dandaro Inn on July 16 where I will be sharing the stage with Mudhara Macheso,” he posted on his Facebook page.
The musician was referring to the gig that was organised by sungura musician Alick Macheso as a pre-launch show for the album that has been on the drawing board for more than two years.