So, he has done it again as he always has Jah Prayzah. Releasing his video to the song "Kumahumbwe" last Thursday. And as always the jury met to deliberate.
But this time because of a lockdown the jury was kitted with Personal Protective Equipment. Masks, goggles, gloves, sanitisers-the works.
And what a childish effort the video proved out to be! Childish, childish, childish to the core!
And that is the beauty of this whole story.
You see I have always argued that Jah Prayzah has almost always played the lead role in all his videos, and it has not always come out roses. He certainly is no Idris Elba or Clark Gable if his acting skills are to be assessed.
And so he stepped (slightly) aside and left that to his little one, Mukudzeyi junior and gave it a child-like feel. And what followed was magic!
Long ago in a land with very little vegetation, and mountains with olive trees was a man who would sit on hills and say "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Jah Prayzah must have listened to His words and decided to be like a little child. To think beautifully like one and return to that point of innocent beauty and the result has been this video, which is arguably the best video he has ever produced.
There is a child-like innocent beauty to it, never mind that it actually has children playing the acting roles.
The storyline is filled with an innocence that has never before been roped in, in a Jah Prayzah video. Whether it is the genius of Philip Mataranyika or Jah Prayzah himself in scripting the storyline or it is the lunatic genius of Vusa Blaqs or all of that combined, what the team put together is as beautiful as divinity.
Warm as the autumn sunshine, Jah Prayzah is sublime in his acting and moves and puts together a performance from the heart. And that is a very important ingredient to this masterpiece. You see, sometimes the most beautiful stories that we put together are drawn from our deepest fears, our most poignant painful experiences and our vulnerabilities.
It is from the scars on our bodies that we write the most beautiful and touching stories. Therefore, the storyline, where Jah Prayzah returns to reconnect with a childhood friend with whom he used to play house-mahumbwe-only to find that despicable creature, Goriyati, has taken her away from him. And Goriyati the hideous is in fact a euphemism for death.
Jah Prayzah is a vulnerable soul. He is a walking slave. Shackled to the sadistic and inadequate demands of one creature-love.
Everything he sings has been entangled with his fascination for beauty and love. Of course there is no Jah Prayzah album that does not carry a song that describes the female form or specifically the symbiosis of the union between that curvaceous body and the clothes that sit on it. Hence the rokwe that goes mbambamba. Hugging the female form like skin to flesh. It is obviously his weakness. And his strength.
If he were not a musician, Mukudzeyi Mukombe would have been a sculptor of real life images. A perfect sculptor of the human form, female to be specific, because his words sculpt that female form so well in song that were he to celebrate the same in stone, he would only come second to the creator in making human forms.
And now for the first time ever he unites all that with genius with a good storytelling prowess and the result is nothing short of breathtaking.
Those with half a heart will find their tears welling up in their eyes as they hear the lyrics being paired with such a beautifully told story in video.
And then there is Jesesi Mungoshi. A woman whose beauty is the subject of the dreams of many of my generation raised circa Neria. A woman who never seems to grow old and whose beauty intensifies as she ages. Whom... . perhaps... .. I would have described in further poignant form except I work with her son and there are some things about the beauty of a mate's mother you never share! Save to say, she is the epitome of a goddess of Zimbabwean acting and interpretation of the written script. A playwright's walking and breathing dream. But I should warn. There is nothing out of this world about Mukudzeyi's video. For sure he has had many other even more dramatic videos. With bigger budgets. And out of this world sets.
Yet with this one it is that simplicity and humanness that makes this arguably his best video yet. It is not the fanciest and loudest phenomenon that is the best. Sometimes it is the small things that leave lasting marks.
Like when Yahweh-God decided not to appear in a large wind of hurricane proportions or earthquake, but instead manifested in a still small voice.
Sometimes the most beautiful things are simplistic.
In a word; there is no more beautiful interpretation of a sweet and heartfelt song ever done in video by Jah Prayzah as he has done in the video for "Kumahumbwe."
Jah Prayzah. Philip Mataranyika. Vusa Blaqs with your Black Label in hand. Take a bow you talented strange artistic vagabonds!