Grace Chinga’s Keeper of Rosary


A year or so ago Grace Chinga, and I am even tempted to write ‘Grace Chinga Moffat’, thought the end of her musical career was signed and sealed.
As a gospel musician what prompted her drop the name ‘Moffat’ from the line of her names was unreligious that when it reached the ears of all and sundry, they never bothered to look down at what Jesus was scribbling down and wanted to start stoning her.
Composition of good music desires a right frame of mind so many think; more people wrongly believe this to be the case which is sometimes fallacious. Precarious and hopeless situations has made people that are in art come up with kind of work that has been described as master pieces.
On 10th October 2010 Grace unveiled what have become hits songs in her latest and third album ‘Uzayimba Nyimbo’.
Four years ago she released ‘Thandizo Langa’ which despite registering onset success ended up sneered at due to her divorce court case that revealed some unprintable bedroom acts that ended up putting her in very bad light.
Not that she never realised what this had caused to her person and career; at first she thought United Kingdom would provide an asylum where she would be able to recharge her batteries, it looks like it was never to be.
At the end it was East, West, North, South home is best and she came back home. But for four years she went into hibernation and whatever bad publicity that derided her inspired her to come up with tracks that carry pure musical touch like ‘Mundisungire Korona’.
This is her response to the ridicule she suffered when things turned up solemn after her divorce. While it is not up to me to say whether she is right or wrong to exact this kind of attack back to those that derided her, I think it is within my authority to appreciate the kind of art she has used to hit back at them with.
At the launch of her album she was never shy to declare that ‘Grace is Grace, Take it or leave it!’ as she promised to take back what is entitled to her. The instrumentation in her tracks in the album is not the hurried kick-kick, rush-rush concoction that has crammed the gospel music market.
She took her time to make music that appeal. Unlike most so called gospel musicians that sing mediocrity in the hope that people will listen to it anyway because it is gospel after all.
From such tracks like Ndayalula, Tapulumuka, Anandigula to Absalom one would appreciate, not only the resilience that I always talk about as a tool for a musician in a challenging market, but also the patience of taking time to compose and record music.
The piece of work that is Grace Chinga’s third album is one product that one rarely releases and it complicates the text book theories that prescribe what is the best mood, time, place, state of mind to compose music.
When in 1990 Grace Chinga came on the musical gospel scene with her album ‘Yenda’ it did not create any impacting ripple, that is if it has to compare with her second album ‘Thandizo Langa’. But her third album which was inspired by the setbacks in her life is potent with success as she asks God to keep her rosary and musical life.
For sure, if a musician can manage to pull surprises with two albums, for sure it makes people salivate for the fourth, what is there to discount this, if her fate is under the wraps of the keeper of her rosary?
Feedback: drummingpen@columnist.com

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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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