A gloomy atmosphere engulfed the Mataure house in Dangamvura area as the body of Jamal was taken inside the house from a hearse on Thursday afternoon.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Moments later, some mourners were heard whispering to each other of how the Kurwizi hit-maker had painfully lived his last days.
A self-confessed HIV-positive man, Jamal’s condition was made worse after he was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease last year.
Jamal’s case is a distant example of how musicians, most of whom would have tasted success at one point or another during their careers, die pathetically. Jamal died a struggling man.
During the blooming period of his musical career, he was signed by Tonderai Music Corporation in 2003 following the release of his debut album Ghetto which carried hitsongs like Kurwizi that featured Betty Makaya. From that moment, Jamal’s career looked promising.
Born on July 17 1976 to a war veteran, Ruth Mataure, in Mozambique during the liberation struggle, Jamal did his primary education in Mutare and his secondary studies in Hwedza.
After that he focussed on music.
“After his secondary education, he didn’t pursue anything else but focussed on his musical career,” said his mother.
“He was a very friendly person. All he wanted in life was to succeed in the music industry. I cannot really tell when he fell sick because I was in South Africa.
“I was there for close to two years and when I returned, I realised he was not feeling well,” added the grieving mother before narrating how Jamal’s health further deteriorated and how he was always in and out of different hospitals.
Upon return from South Africa, his mother went on to operate a food outlet in Nyamapanda last year. She took Jamal with her because she wanted to monitor his condition.
“He was first admitted at All Souls Mission Hospital in Mutoko while I was in Nyamapanda. My business went down because of the decline in cross-border business and I moved to Harare.”
She took Jamal to Parirenyatwa Hospital where he was then diagnosed with a motor neuron disease.
“I was told his condition needed home-based care and I decided to go to my rural area in Mutambara, Chimanimani with him.
“I took him to a local hospital in Mutambara but still I was told his condition would need home-based care. I was however told that if he developed some unique condition besides the symptoms, I should bring him back to the hospital,” she said.
Back in Mutare, his condition did not get any better.
She continued struggling but giving her son the best of care under the circumstances. Ruth did not lose faith and besides her son’s complicated health, she kept on giving what is expected from a caring mother until fate had its way on Wednesday.
Jamal had no wife to take care of him when he fell ill despite being a father of two.
Commenting on the challenges she faced in looking after Jamal, Ruth said she had to make ends meet with her income as a war veteran and her ex-police pensions.
Though she said she was not bitter about it, she said only one musician, Brian Samaita, had chipped in financially when he donated US$50 towards medicals for Jamal.
Before his death, Jamal was working on an album titled Zvichaita Bhoo where he was singing about his plight and hope of recovery.
“In that album, he told me that things were going to be alright again and he was giving me hope,” said his mother, who remains his big fan.