Tafadzwa Zimoyo
Senior Arts Reporter
‘Hello Mwari’ is a phrase that aptly captured the mood of the majority of people in Zimbabwe, who seriously needed God’s intervention following a series of calamities in their lives this year.

From the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak to its subsequent effects that saw the world coming to a standstill, Jah Master’s song “Hello Mwari” — call to the Creator — could not have come at a better time.

Music fans might need to call again — this time for divine intervention on the diminutive musician’s behaviour this weekend, after he kicked a fan on the back of the head at a show in Chinhoyi, sending the reveller crashing off stage and into the crowd.

Musical shows are still banned under Covid-19 restrictions, unless it is a private function that should be attended by not more than 100 people who must put on face masks, sanitise their hands, have temperature checks and observe social distancing.

After assaulting the fan, Jah Master appeared unapologetic and continued performing as if nothing had happened.

While the kick which was executed with precision from a right foot would have made experienced marshal arts experts like Chuck Norris or Jean Claude Van Damme green with envy, it was in the wrong place and on the wrong person —  a fan enjoying the show.

Indeed, the guy who once appealed to God must have been cursed this time!

The video went viral and social media went into overdrive with criticism. It is against this background that many have since called on Jah Master to undergo grooming and deportment to ensure that he can balance between talent and his behaviour in public.

“I still can’t believe what I saw at Jah Master’s concert where he decided to kick a fan right in full view of everyone,” said Maimba Mapuranga, a lifestyle coach.

“There is no justification for his actions. As a lifestyle coach, it is important that artistes get professional help on grooming and deportment on how to handle media, fans, management and stage work, among others.

“He has a lot to learn and he needs coaching. We have never heard artistes like Thomas Mapfumo, the late Oliver Mtukudzi manhandling fans. This is new to us. He needs help.”

The changing times in arts and showbiz now calls for artistes to package themselves professionally so that they are able to handle different challenges while maintaining their brands.

By the nature of their professions, most of them are largely influential and do have large followers, hence they are often selected to become brand ambassadors of different organisations. In the absence of proper grooming and branding, some musicians often behave inappropriately, courting public ire. In the case of Jah Master, his actions have since been roundly condemned with most of his fans expressing reservations in the manner he handled the fan.

“I think he should have a security personal that will always protect him on and off stage if he fears something might happen to him. I am shocked at what happened at the show. Imagine if it was vice-versa, what will the situation be like now?” asked a bouncer identified as Walter.

Well, Jah Master is not the only artiste in the world who has been condemned for inappropriate behaviour in front of fans, but his actions seemed too extreme.

Jah Master should learn to master the changing times in the Zimdancehall music, where some artistes used to think being violent would earn them big names.

Now, there are several artistes like Enzo Ishall, Bazooker, Seh Calaz, Killer T and Winky D, who are staying away from such controversy and still keep their fame growing.

Although Jah Master he has since offered an apology over his behaviour in Chinhoyi, his fans are not amused. Writing on his Facebook Page yesterday, he said he was sorry.

“Hello Zimbabweans. I am ashamed of what I did and I cannot justify my actions. I have come to apologise. I am very sorry for what I did and I am looking for the man I kicked on stage so that I can assist with medical bills,” he wrote.

“I spoke to him after the show and apologised over my rowdy behaviour. I am willing to give him my proceeds of the show as compensation…”

Perhaps the advise to Jah Master is for him to seek “cleaner” ways if he wants to enhance his popularity, otherwise he risks losing all he gained so far, including corporate deals and endorsements.

Who would want their brand to be associated with such violent behaviour?