It was promising to be an immaculate baby, but its conceivers have shown that it will not see the light of day any time soon. At the height of stiff competition between Zimdancehall and sungura, Alick Macheso and Soul Jah Love made a deal for a collaboration that was likely to bring a blissful marriage between the two genres.
Soul Jah Love had collaborated with Suluman Chimbetu on "Nyuchi", a highly successful song, and many people were looking forward to the former's combination with Macheso that could have brought another gem in the industry, considering both artistes' immense talents.
When Macheso made a public announcement that he was going to collaborate with Soul Jah Love, he brought excitement as people waited patiently for the song.
But the planned collaboration seems to be creating a rift between the musicians amid indications that Macheso has been made to wait for Soul Jah Love in the studio for many days with the dancehall chanter failing to turn up for the commitment.
Macheso exhibited at live shows that he wanted to have some spices of dancehall in his products when he often churned out chants that sent people wild. His collaboration with Soul Jah Love could have sealed the intention, but the "Ndini Uya Uya" hitmaker has been slippery on the deal, which has angered Macheso.
The collaboration was mooted about a year ago and both parties bragged about their intended studio combination at their shows until it became clear that the water they wanted to fetch together has now gone under the bridge.
Sources close to the two said Soul Jah Love kept Macheso waiting at the studio on several occasions and the sungura musician is no longer amused.
When they were planning the joint studio offensive, the two musicians shared the stage at a number of shows and it appeared as if the deal had already been signed.
One year down the line, the deal is still in the "Incoming Mail" tray at Macheso's Alema Studios.
Their relationship has reportedly gone sour and they rarely share the stage like they used to do when they had the deal in the pipeline. "The two had a good working relationship and had many joint shows but their relationship went sour after the top chanter took the sungura giant for a ride," said the source.
On several occasions Macheso reportedly went to the studio waiting for Soul Jah Love but he could not turn up.
"Many times Macheso had to ask his engineers to come to Alema and prepare for the collaboration. That time Jah Love would pomise to come, but he would abscond without giving any excuse or explanation. One day he kept telling the Macheso over the phone that he was few minutes away from Aquatic Complex, where Alema Studios is located, yet he never turned up," he said.
Minutes turned to hours, hours went into days, days became weeks, weeks made months and the months have multiplied into a year. Macheso is now an angry man after being made to wait forever.
The source said Macheso has made it clear that he is no longer interested in working with the young man.
"He was committed to have the collaboration but he was irked by Soul Jah Love's failure to come as he had promised. At one point Macheso fumed over the phone as he was talking to Soul Jah Love and told him that the deal had collapsed. The problem is that Soul Jah Love would, at times, call requesting to have a slot for the planned collaboration."
Soul Jah Love's manager Benjamin Nyandoro said he could not give comment on the matter as he was not in charge during the time the deal was inked.
"I can't say much on the matter because I was not even close to him that time. Father Paris is the best person to give a comment on that matter," he said.
Father Paris, believed to be Soul Jah Love's close ally, said he was busy and could not shed more on the matter. "I am busy with personal business. I cannot talk to you about the issue now. Try to get in touch next year when the festive season is over," he said before hanging his phone. Macheso's camp was diplomatic on the matter yesterday, but their response showed that they had given up on the collaboration.
Macheso's publicist Tich Makahamadze said the two musicians could not have a collaboration because they could not be free at the same time.
"They planned to meet in the studio several times, but they failed because of different schedules. I believe they are still working on the issue although it has taken long. I do not know if they will be able to do the collaboration, but I can tell you that there is no bad blood between the two. Macheso said he will wait for Soul Jah Love to be free and the collaboration will come when the dancehall chanter gets time to come to the studio. We will have something to say when Soul Jah Love eventually steps into Alema Studios," said Makahamadze.