What you need to know:
- Recently, he released his latest single, ‘462 Days’, a heartfelt tribute to his fans and supporters following a long and arduous battle with illness.
- The 7-minute and 32-second emotive song features the soul-stirring voice of gospel musician Walter Chilambo and produced by Bin Laden.
In the world of Bongo Flava entertainment, one name has resonated for decades.
Joseph Haule, alias Professor Jay, is well known for his hits such as ‘Ndio mzee’, ‘Bongo Dar es Salaam’, 'Vijimambo', ‘Nikusaidiaje’, ‘Zali la mentali’ and ‘Utaniambia nini.'
Recently, he released his latest single, ‘462 Days’, a heartfelt tribute to his fans and supporters following a long and arduous battle with illness.
The 7-minute and 32-second emotive song features the soul-stirring voice of gospel musician Walter Chilambo and produced by Bin Laden.
The song serves as a significant milestone in Prof Jay’s career, chronicling his journey through 462 days of medical treatment, during which he faced a severe kidney problem.
“I have been through a lot in the 462 days I spent in bed; I have to thank God for all that time and for keeping me alive until now, and I should also thank my fellow Tanzanians for their prayers and donations."
The lyrics of ‘462 Days’ poignantly narrate the trials and tribulations that he endured during his illness.
He describes moments when he relied on a machine to breathe, when his body was wired, and when his heart stopped.
His lungs were filled with water, and his kidneys were laden with sand, but, despite all odds, he continued to fight, undergoing dialysis and various medical procedures to restore his health.
While listening to the song, one can’t help but notice that Prof Jay’s voice isn’t as strong as it used to be, a testament to the physical toll his illness took.
However, he continues to sing with unwavering passion, delivering a powerful message of gratitude and resilience.
“When it comes to rhyming, no artiste comes close to Jay, but it's so sad he passed through a lot until the voice disappeared,” commented Meshack on Prof Jay's YouTube account.
On the same line, Tulisanga explained, “I'm so sorry, Jay. I've listened to your voice five times. No, no, really, God. Let Him Be Called God."
When it comes to Franco Francis commenting on Instagram, ‘The voice has changed a lot, but we thank God for healing you and we wish you a long life, Professor.”
Deputy Minister for Culture, Arts and Sports, Hamisi Mwinjuma, alias Mwana FA, took his time to comment on the official page of Prof Jay about the song.
“Brother, this has really hurt my heart. Alhamdulillah, we are still alive. Stay strong, Big Man,” reads the comment.
And that goes to the part of the lyrics in the song saying that, “I started undergoing dialysis, and the toxins were removed from my body. I was being given food through my nose, and they were sucking dirt through a ball into my mouth,” recalls Prof Jay.
Adds “They said it didn’t help; they had to pierce my throat, and my voice was the capital, and the brothers said no. The dirt increased, and I failed until I coughed. Then my brothers and doctors agreed to pierce me.” .
However, he expressed his deep appreciation, stating that, “After lying in bed for 462 days, with Tanzanians running to me, praying for me, and donating to me, indeed, I have seen the Hand of God. I have given a gift of sincere gratitude to Tanzanians by bringing them the new song ‘462 Days."
In light of his own struggles, Prof Jay has been inspired to establish the Prof Jay Foundation that aims to assist kidney patients who cannot afford the exorbitant medical bills associated with kidney treatment.
In a recent interview, Prof Jay highlighted the financial challenges associated with kidney treatment in Tanzania and his deep gratitude to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for facilitating his treatment.
“I thank President Samia Suluhu Hassan for facilitating my treatment in Tanzania and India. I wish I had a chance to meet her one day, because what she did was like a mother to a child. I wish I met her and gave her flowers.
“When I was in bed, I said if God Allows me to wake up, I must shout and use all my strength to wake Tanzanians up that people are sick and dying.
“There was a time I had to be injected two times a day, each costing Sh5 million, yet there were many other costs, including undergoing dialysis ," he explains.
Further he adds, "Now this is me, whose kidneys did not fail completely; one had sand and the other was not working well; what about those whose kidneys have failed? That is why I have seen the need to have a fund to manage this treatment."
The official launch of his foundation will be held on November 24, 2023, at the Mlimani City in Dar es Salaam. It is expected to be one of the biggest historic events in the country.
The Foundation has projected to collect about Sh800 million for patients with kidney problems.
The main beneficiaries are mentioned as companies, institutions, and various people.
His commitment to raise the awareness about the kidney disease and help those in need is a testament to his resilience and dedication to making a difference as an artiste.
Prof Jay's influence on Bongo Flava, especially during his time with the Hard Blasters Crew, is undeniable.
At that time, they released the ‘Funga Kazi’ album in 2000, which revolutionised the hip-hop music and helped bring Bongo Flava to all ages, earning respect for the genre.
With songs such as ‘Chemsha Bongo’ and 'Mamsapu'.
His journey serves as a beacon of hope, and his commitment to help those in need further solidifies his position as a true legend of Tanzanian entertainment.