Home NewsNational UPDATE: RCS Speaks Out on Jay Polly’s Death

UPDATE: RCS Speaks Out on Jay Polly’s Death

by Edmund Kagire
2:25 pm

Jay Polly performing at Iwacu Muzika last year in August.

Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS), the national body charged with prisons, has spoken out on the circumstances in which popular rapper Joshua Tuyishime, known as Jay Polly, died, affirming reports that the singer consumed a toxic concoction which led to his hospitalization and later his demise when his condition deteriorated.

“Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) announces that Tuyishime Joshua (Jay Polly) passed away today at around 4:30 am (0430Hrs). Tuyishime Joshua, who was being held at Nyarugenge Prison in Mageragere Sector on suspicion of committing various crimes, was taken to the Prison Hospital at around 6pm where he was immediately attended to by doctors,”

“After it became clear that his condition was deteriorating, he was taken to Muhima Hospital where he continued to receive care from the doctors but eventually he succumbed to the condition. Initial information indicates that Jay Polly and two colleagues, namely Harerimana Gilbert and Iyamuremye Jean Clement, shared a concoction of alcohol (methanol), used by inmates while shaving, which they mixed with water and sugar themselves,” an RCS statement signed by the Spokesperson, SSP Pelly Uwera Gakwaya, reads.

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) and the Rwanda Forensic Laboratory (RFL) have launched an in-depth investigation into the cause of his death. Detailed information will be provided when the investigation is complete. Condolences to the family, friends and relatives of TUYISHIME Joshua,” RCS added.

News of the passing of Jay Polly, arguably the biggest and most popular modern rapper in Rwanda, broke on Thursday morning, with many taking to social media to mourn the talented rapper, who also doubled as a visual artist.

He was arrested on April 23 at his home in Kibagabaga, Gasabo district, for violating Covid-19 preventive measures. A subsequent search by Rwanda National Police (RNP) found Marijuana and tests by Rwanda Forensic Laboratory confirmed that Jay Polly and some of his co-accused had consumed the illegal substance. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Media reports indicated that the substantive trial date had been set for December 2. He had previously been denied bail by Gasabo Primary Court and later Gasabo Intermediate Court. Prosecutors argued that Jay Polly and his co-accused should be kept in detention as a way of rehabilitating them and also to allow investigations to continue.

Jay Polly was undoubtedly one of the most popular artistes in Rwanda.

The 33-year old had a tumultuous career characterized by several issues, including a stint in jail in 2019 after he was found guilty of domestic violence. His talent and popularity however were never in question. In 2014, he won the Primus Guma Guma Superstar organised by Bralirwa, affirming his status as hip hop superstar. He had been touted by the like of Davido as Rwanda’s biggest artiste.

Following his release in January 2019, Jay Polly struggled to find his feet on the music scene again, releasing only a couple of songs before falling out with his management label ‘The Mane Records”.

He is remembered for songs such as ‘Umusaraba wa Joshua’, a candid tale of his legal troubles, which he released after being released two years. Songs that made him popular include ‘Deux-fois-Deux’, ‘Umwami uganje’, ‘Akanyarirajisho’, ‘Ikosora’, ‘Oh My God’ and many others.

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