When the Pen Drummed Wrongly


Ever since the pen started drumming out sound that challenged, appreciated, encouraged, critiqued, reasoned and hero-worshipped the Malawi music, there has been a large following looking at endless comments that come through the email address below as well as the facebook page.

When the pen drummed more about the reggae aspect where it checked the religious dilemma faced by local reggae artists and hinted that Malawi has its reggae history as well, there was an international interest that was shown through the comments that poured forth.

Below are two comments that I have picked on the write-up that said Reggae has a Malawian Story.
……….
Frank Kaiya

“Well searched and analyzed. It just reminded me of the days when we knew no disc men or iPods but walk men. I love it!”
…………………
Jamaican calling himself Buffalo Soldier

Keep telling that history…
Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge …where Buffalo Bill Cody meets a Buffalo Soldier. A great story of black military history…the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers…
…………………….
On the story that looked at “Greedy and Exploitation in the Industry” a number of artists totally agreed but their comments had also offered different dimension to the issue…But I have chosen one comment from a listener…

Frank Kaiya

“The truth hurts but this is the situation of our music “celebrities” who never rip their hard earned fruits due to greed”
………..

One that had many comments was when I challenged the musicality in the popular song ‘Mbewa Zanga’ there was a long chain or reaction and I will produce few…

Frank Kaiya

“That’s true about many Malawian over night celebrities. They don’t appreciate the need for art in their music. mbewa zanga… CRAP!”

PrintWorld Malawi”:

“The majority of Malawians like the song and I don’t think they owe anybody an explanation why they do. It isn’t always easy to explain why you like something.

On our part we don’t like the song, not the lyrics and not the beat. But we
don’t blame those that like it. It’s their personal taste.”

Maurice Khuvave

I disagree with you. Look deep and you will realize that mbewa zanga is not just good lyrics but also nice beat. This song doesn’t need musical codes. What you are doing is same as asking if [it has to sound like] hip hop music because one thing I feel hip hop is just recital of words over an instrument but still music pundits credit it. Go beyond eyes of critic and look into the composition, how the story is told and is the singer able to follow the beat. Mbewa zanga is the incarnation of maiko Yekha[Michael Mukhitho Phiri], madolo[Kennedy Ndoya], alani namoko [Alan Namomo] music
………………..

Vincent Gondwe:

“Oyimba n’goma akulu amati ndi ochenjera ndipo ovina ndi opusa. Keep on dancing to rubbish!”
…………….

Maurice Khuvave
Then every music is rubbish because you tend to wonder why we call nyimbo zaku Zambia music, if carefully observed you will find that Zambian music [is] much hurried and half-baked music; what we call bubblegum and not ever better than Mbewa Zanga. Only the advantage [is that ] the Zambians have [better] instruments which are touchy and danceable as well as their story line, they sing about love and sex which are hot topics in every society. What of jazz and blues? If you can’t like Mbewa Zanga then you are liking Tygrin’s 2by2 and other songs he called traditionally fused because in one guess you will find that there is no better message in his song than the one you will find in Mbewa Zanga . Listen to Soul, ballad and Salsa or Pasada and learn something……………

Gresham Ng’ambi

“Bola kuvina amwene!!!!”

The comments are helping building the quality of sound the pen has to drum out and please keep them coming, the ones that have not published here were equally valuable but space would not have accommodated all.

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About Gregory Gondwe - Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Gregory Gondwe is a Malawian journalist who started practising journalism in 1993. Until March 31, 2012 he was regional editor and bureau chief for Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS). Gregory is also a media consultant assisting several international journalists pursuing assignments in Malawi. He holds a Diploma of Journalism and an Intermediate Certificate in Journalism among other media-related certificates. He is also columnist for Malawi's first and oldest weekly, Malawi News. He can be contacted on gregorygondwe@gmail.com.
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