On the hyped Mudhara Vachauya video released last week, Jah Prayzah simply failed to match the standards set on Jerusarema and Kumbumura Mhute.
The quality of the footage in the video is excellent, but that hardly passes as a measure as in the age of digital, any HD camera, even mobile, can take such good shots and it takes a great videographer, producer or editor to put life into them.
The biggest failure is, therefore, perhaps in the script and the way the scenes and shots are presented; they make the video look like a hastened, low-cost production.
In trying to portray himself as a soldier, or rather mudhara (old man) in some war zone singing to his loved one back home, Jah Prayzah is seen in what instead looks like a dumpsite of army equipment.
Complete with overgrown grass not typical of a field where a battle is supposed to have happened recently, the musician is first seen sitting on the doorway of a dusty, mutilated helicopter that appears to have been stripped of its parts rather than having fallen from the sky.
He later appears sitting on the hood of a rusting armoured truck that stands in knee-high grass.
The video producers could have done a better job by oiling the equipment and adding items like small used hand-grenades among many other things that would have dramatised the battlefield.
Jah Prayzah on his part, does a lifeless performance, preferring to use his now too known getsures that include stretching his hand out to the camera and tilting his head as he sings, antics that he has displayed too often in many of his videos.
To make it worse, he wears a clean white top and his skin is too shiny for a solider at war.
In addition, some of the scenes are quite unnecessarily long, with some lasting up to five seconds — too long for a fast-paced song that Mudhara Vachauya is, and there is little variety in the shots, with most of them long and medium, depriving viewers of seeing close up the emotion that the song is supposed to have.
For a dance song, Jah Prayzah should have had the girls dance really hard. Instead, they are seen pacing up and down in what appears like a poorly choreographed way when the song is on one of its many bridges.
Instead of making a video that portrays only the storyline of a soldier at war, Jah Prayzah could have added some dances to match the fast pace of the song, or he could have simply dumped the storyline and made a good dance floor video out of the song as its beat makes it more of a club banger.
The last scene, when mudhara eventually comes, is perhaps the most beautiful in the video, with Jah Prayzah embracing his loved one who is aptly dressed in Valentine red.
For a man who set very high video production standards in videos like Soja Rinosvika Kure and Jerusarema, both shot in the country, among many other great quality videos produced locally, it might not have been necessary to go to South Africa for Mdhara Vachauya after all.
Mdhara Vachauya is one of the most played songs on Jah Prayzah’s latest albums and it was an injustice for the musician to complement it with a lukewarm video, which, despite rising to 60 000 views on YouTube in its first two days, remains a low compared to the standards that Jah Prayzah has set and the hype that characterised the release of the video.