South Africa-based urban grooves musician Betty Makaya has exposed her morals to scrutiny, following revelations she ignored professional partner, Jamal Mataure’s funeral despite arriving in the country a day after his death.
BY GODWIN MUZARI
Makaya probably benefitted most from Jamal’s hit song Kurwizi on which she featured. The song was often mistaken to be Makaya’s composition and it propelled her to fame, attracting attention to her subsequent releases.
Jamal died on October 9 in Mutare and was buried in the same city on October 11. Standardlife&style has learnt that Makaya arrived in the country from South Africa on October 10 and went back on October 14.
The songbird could neither travel to pay her last respects to Jamal nor send a condolence message to the deceased’s relatives.
Standardlife&style spoke to Makaya over the phone when she arrived back in South Africa and she confirmed she was in the country during Jamal’s funeral.
“I was in Zimbabwe on family business. Our journey coincided with his funeral but I was too busy to travel to Mutare or get in touch with many people,” Makaya said.
“I heard about his death just before we travelled and I was really touched. He was like a brother to me and I would have gone to the funeral if I had time.
“I travelled with my husband and our two children and the programme was hectic. I did not even manage to see my friends in Harare.”
Makaya said she last spoke to Jamal about two years ago when he was based in Mozambique. She also noted there was a plan for them to work together in the near future.
“I was told there was a plan to have the team that recorded with Toderai Music Corporation [TMC, which produced Kurwizi] come together once again for some projects. I was looking forward to the project and would have wanted to work with Jamal again.”
Jamal was a brother — Betty
Betty Makaya said she had heard about Jamal’s sickness and planned to visit him on several occasions, but could not make it due to different reasons.
“I used to see a member of Mutare-based music group Project Fame [which also recorded with TMC] in South Africa and she would tell me how Jamal was doing. I would send her with compassionate messages to Jamal and his mother and I believe she delivered them.”
The songbird also reflected on her happy days with Jamal.
“We were so close and I called him my brother. His girlfriend would approach me when there were problems and talk to me as her aunt. That was how close we were.
“I remember telling him many times to quit smoking. I have a brother who was born with weak lungs and died because of excessive smoking. I would always tell Jamal that sad story when I saw him smoking.
“At one time he told me he had quit beer and smoking and joined a certain church. We used to discuss light and serious issues.”
Makaya said she would mobilise other musicians to visit Jamal’s family and pay her condolences when she returns to Zimbabwe.