Broadcaster-cum-Musician Japhet Masuku- Ijazi Elindizayo Dies
2 December 2021
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By A Correspondent- Broadcaster and musician Japhet Masuku has died.

Masuku died last Sunday and he will be buried this weekend at his rural home in eMkhalandoda, Nkayi.

Said John Masuku:

“1960s/70s broadcaster and muscian Japhet Masuku who died on Sunday night was recruited into broadcasting in the early 1960s during the Federation of Rhodesias and Nyasaland by the late Justice John Manyarara who later trained as a lawyer, became a judge in Zimbabwe and Namibia and Edward Moyo who later became ZBC Director General after retiring from UNESCO.

He was then a teacher at Matshetshe in Esigodini after training at Dombodema, Plumtree when Manyarara and Moyo first visited him for school choir recording.Japhet worked at the Bulawayo Studios in 11th Avenue before the Montrose Studios were built with colleagues such as Amon Nyamambi, Joseph Masuku, Cyrus Ntini, Ferdinand Sibanda,Christopher Sibanda, Lazarus Mpofu,Kingsley Banda(Sibanda) and Abbie Dube among many others.

Coming straight from teaching he was allocated the long running “Abancane Qha”/ Children’s Corner show to which he used to invite his favourite ‘brilliant young boys’ Muchadeyi Masunda lawyer who later became Harare Mayor and late war veteran and national hero Absalom Sikhosana.During his short stint at Harare,now Mbare Studios in Salisbury.

Japhet Masuku worked with Oliver Chimenya, Pamenous Nyamurowa, Hwaru Nyathi, Ephraim Chamba,Selby Hlatshwayo, Wilson Chivaura,Jabulani Mangena, Jonathan Mutsinze, Mavis Moyo, Shiyeka Khumalo among many others.

He was popular for his programme “Suka Masuku sizwe ingoma” a hit after hit type of presentation.

Leaving broadcasting on his own accord Jazi Elindizayo formed a music band Izintombi ZikaMthwakazi Labafana Bomdlalo which released the hit song “Thina Siyahlupheka”(We are suffering) which in no time was banned by Rhodesian authorities.

The flipside was “Ikhaya lethu silitshiyile” (We left our home) Band members included uBhaqela, Sibangani Nkomo Jonathan Majola and Bhangalala Mugabe.He also worked as a youth officer with the Bulawayo City Council before deciding in the mid 1970s to cross into Zambia to join late Joshua Nkomo led ZAPU and Zipra forces in the liberation war.

He straight away became a broadcaster of war news and the progress of the liberation struggle with the likes of Joseph Masuku, Jane Ngwenya, Iris Chiratidzo Mabuwa, Andrew Ngonye, Oliver Juru among others.

Returning home at Independence in 1980 and failing to secure a broadcasting job at ZBC Japhet briefly went back to teaching before rejoining Bulawayo City Council until retirement.

Born in eNtunteni, Essexvale now Esigodini Japhet Masuku was educated there and at Inyathi Mission under London Missionary Society.Japhet’s father uMankunku and John Masuku’s grandfather uWulumeni, sons of Phugeni Masuku of eMalungwane, Esigodini (Essexvale) were direct brothers,same father,same mother.

Uncle Japhet will be buried this weekend at his rural home in eMkhalandoda, eNkayi.

Jazi Elindizayo leaves behind two wives uMama uMaNgwenya and uMama uMaDube,several children and grand children.

COURTESY: JM Archives.