Re-living Evison Matafale Part I

In the next three weeks I will take you through the life of one of Malawi’s controversial reggae maestro Evison Matafale who died on November 27 in 2002.
In the subsequent issues we will re-live the life of Matafale and look at many unanswered questions about his life and death through a research that the Professor took time to engage into.
Today, you cannot talk of Malawian reggae without mentioning the name of one Evison Matafale much as we cannot talk of world reggae without canonizing the reggae king Jamaican Bob Marley.
So far, Matafale is the only musician in Malawi to achieve a considerable stature by using a type of reggae whose fibrous lyrical content and vocal output has been so appearing to any normal conscience.
His mysterious death in the wee hours of Nov 27 2002 at the age of 33 found that he had established himself already as a fastidious equal rights fighter, who like another Jamaican reggae legend Peter Tosh, had a personality and songs whose lyrical contents carried unquenchable sense of fury, cynicism, irony and both a poetic and direct nature.
Matafale whom Malawians ensconced in reverence because of the way he used to upend what was in his creative and innovative swell is regarded with a kind of veneration only given to Rt. Hon. Robert Nesta Marley O.M.
The Rasta musician who only came on the lime light in 1998 when he released his first Album KUIMBA 1(SINGING) single handedly struggled against the political system and eventually it is widely believed, he was crushed by the political jaws when he trodden the so called political no go zones.
Malawi government claims Matafale died of natural causes, when he passed on to our progenitors while under the police custody. He was arrested for penning down a letter to the state President, which the government described treasonous, defamatory and a tirade.
The musical career for Matafale was epitomized by the release of his second album, Kuimba 2 (Singing 2) which proved him a Rasta with a mission and whose voluminous potency each and every single Malawian talked about.
His death, therefore, caused pandemonium across the country’s social broad face and people accused government of having something to do with his death, after failing to accommodate his acid truthfulness, presented in a sober probity.
Popular pressure left government no room of space and the president was forced to institute investigations, which were to be carried out by a Human Rights Commission besides another presidential commission.
Strangely, five months later, the two commissions came out with two identical reports, claiming Matafale died a natural death despite the fact that the autopsy showed he was badly beaten and clubbed while in police custody.


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
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3 Responses to Re-living Evison Matafale Part I

  1. Dkani says:

    true hero.h freedom fighter..

  2. Lufingo M. says:

    Matafale anali mneneli ochokela kwa Mlengi wa zonse. Ndipo pakutha kwa zonse, chilungamo chidzaziwika chifukwa palibe chinsinsi pa dziko la pansi. Mneneli wa Mlengi poti salemekezedwa uko achokela… JAH LOVE

  3. Lufingo M. says:

    Matafale anali mmodzi mwa aneneli a Mulungu

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