Jamal, who says he is battling a liver condition, could neither walk and could hardly speak when the StandardLife&Style visited him at Number 64 Marlborough Drive where he is staying with relatives.
“I have been staying in Mozambique for the past six years but I came back when my health started deteriorating,” says Jamal in a faint voice.
“I used to be a heavy drinker and always used drugs. Many people knew I was an addict and I am sure that is the major cause of my illness now,” he confessed in a recent interview.
His condition is practically synonymous with the environment in which he lives in; a typical desolate high-density one-roomed shack which he shares with his wife and three children.
Distinctively marked by the old fashioned thatched roof that is worn out right from the entrance; the “house” is distinguishable by dilapidated condition standing aloof in the leafy Marlborough; one of Harare’s medium-density suburbs.
Clad in a red T-shirt and white tracksuit trousers, Jamal sat on his bed, a pale shadow of his former self.
As if reading the minds of the reporters before him, he pleaded: “Please don’t write negative things about me because this is my private life,” he said forcing smile.
“Being a star does not necessarily mean that I do not encounter problems. I deserve a life and I am not a supernatural being.”
His speech, tinged with despondency and bitterness, betrayed the attitude of a man striving to keep his health condition a secret yet, at the same time, struggling with a need to pour out his emotions.
“My health problem is not the sole reason I have been silent; I got fed up with the music industry when I discovered it was not rewarding.
“Even though I worked hard on a number of projects during the new millennium, appreciation for this new genre — urban grooves music that had just emerged — was simply not there.
“Disappointed and depressed by this state of affairs, I decided to return to Mutare but ended up in Mozambique,” said Jamal.
His wife maintains that his musical dream will not fade away.
“I have the final product of my new project titled Zvinoita Bho which I have just got from Jamal’s producer. It is a compilation of songs he did over the years with various artists and it is going to be launched in February,” she said.
The songs speaks about the defects of relationships and how people can wish for better times and strategies of mending them.
When the StandardLife&Style reached Sam Mataure, Jamal’s uncle, he professed ignorance of his condition. He said he did not even know where his nephew was.
“Where is he?” he asked. “I have not been around and just came back from South Africa from where I was working since end of last year. I have not heard from him for a long time.
“He has gone very silent musically and I never knew his was ill. I was supposed to go back to South Africa today but I have to postpone the journey so that I see him. Thank you very my brother for letting me know,” said Mataure.