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Tanzanian singer Lady Jaydee may have moved on, but her ex-husband is not done talking about their relationship.

The Clouds FM presenter, Gardner G. Habash, is being accused of making demeaning remarks against Jaydee recently at the Miss Tanzania Institute of Accountancy (TIA) event.

Although we cannot publish the exact words, Gardner said that he had nothing against her ex-wife since he had been sharing a bed with her for 15 years.

Jaydee did not take it lightly and went to court to demand an apology from Gardner, saying the remarks have caused her “public embarrassment, psychological pain and loss of business due to negative perception by event organisers”.

She also wants Gardner to refrain from speaking about their failed marriage.

Gardner’s remarks sparked outrage among many fans, including Tanzania’s assistant minister for health, Hamis Kigwangalla, who asked the radio presenter to apologise to his former wife, saying Gardner demeaned Jaydee and other women.

Gardner is yet to make a public apology to Jaydee.

Jaydee filed for divorce in 2014 and the separation was finalised in February 2016.

“When my marriage sank, music kept me afloat.” Lady Jaydee says.

Alcoholism. Cheating. Emotional distance. That’s how Judith Wambura’s fairytale marriage came to a halt. Known popularly by her stage name, Lady Jaydee, Judith seems to have moved on. “That is life: I tried and it didn’t work out,” she says, fiercely gesticulating with her hands, “and either way life goes on.”

The divorce was a bitter lemon. But she didn’t want to waste time trying to make lemonade out of it. As she says, she just let it be and moved on. After all, life had given her a mellow voice and she intended to make music without it.

Not that she was doing any badly: she was free from strings of matrimony. She had all the time to go full throttle on her showbiz career.

“Music is everything to me; it is my career and my life. My purpose in life is to entertain people; to make them happy; to comfort them. And I don’t do this just for the money,” she says. But perhaps that isn’t news, or is it?

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Judith is a woman of mettle. She fights her own battles and wouldn’t mind squaring it off to defend herself. And this is despite her diminutive stature.

In the wake of sleazy infertility ‘accusations’, as a journalist, I dig in for the truth. But it’s a question she loathes. “I don’t like people all over my personal life. Yes, I don’t have children. I wanted to be a mother but it has not happened yet. People should not pry as to what is happening or what happened. I don’t like it,” she says, visibly irked.

Celebrities may play hardy and out of touch with their emotions and Judith is doing just fine with it. But before I get her running for the doorknob, I inquire what provokes the adrenaline in her. It turns out, she just hates being under the microscope – and wouldn’t any woman who cares ‘who’ and ‘what’ gets to know the contents of her handbag?

Much of the past two decades have seen her release hit after hit, to which she has gained accolades and entrenched herself indisputably as Tanzania’s queen of modern music. Her career has meant that she graces what the conservative quarters of the society may consider as ‘questionable spaces’.

Experience has taught her to respect everyone’s choices in life because, “you neither know what they have been through nor understand the extent of their passion for the lives they lead.” She believes no one is righteous enough to judge whether another is right or wrong. “We all have our beliefs, weird as they may be,” she insists.

Judith loves her life – generally – save for her now defunct marriage. She wouldn’t think twice to banish that part of life. It is her one and biggest regret. “Not that the whole institution has problems. It is only my marriage that didn’t work. It was not for me. I can’t speak for other marriages though,” she says.

And she is not Kenyan; neither is she Kikuyu like some believe. She proudly hails from Mara in Tanzania. Her songs are however meant to transcend boundaries; seldom have they disappointed.

Her sultry voice has been her biggest asset. Words roll off her tongue effortlessly; each one placed optimally in a sentence. Combined with the characteristic Bongo-accent, she makes speaking Swahili seem like a form of recreation.

She was raised in a family of 10 brothers and sisters. In her father’s eyes, she was equal to everyone among her siblings. She enjoyed the same rights and opportunities as her brothers. It however didn’t deter the ‘overprotective’ brothers from wanting to block her path towards becoming a musician.

But this only strengthened her resolve to pursue the direction her heart had taken. The writing was on the wall and there was no going back. She had fallen in love with the cocktail of words, beats and melodies. Prior to going professional, she sang in church for a better part of her teenage years.

 

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