Slow Down Dan Lufani


Some weeks ago I sang lullabies here for what I called Dan Lufani’s well done work with the album with a cheeky title “No Size” where there are hit songs, ‘Part of Life’, ‘Nsanje’ and ‘Mphete’.
It [my lullabies] worked, so it seems, as Dan went to sleep with it.
I should believe the dedication he showed to come up with such beautiful pieces of art must have earned him praise from many a souls, apart from me.
Now a syndrome of starting to get bigger than his career seems to have crept into Dan.
Afro Nyasa Multi-cultural firm of Mzuzu organised an activity of cultural and artistic activities of different disciplines.
Besides big Northern region names, they also included the stars of the moment Dan Lufani as well as Lulu.
Well, the firm’s executive director, Manase ‘Ostrich’ Chisiza, himself a musician [Ostrich is younger brother to the late Dr. Lizard, one of Malawi’s fallen dancehall pioneers] talked to both.
Both confirmed.
Dan wanted K100, 000 and demanded a deposit of K50, 000.
Although this was done, Dan was appearing on other engagements on the very day – October 30, 2010 – the event was scheduled to take place at Mzuzu’s Boma Park at Sunbird Mzuzu Hotel.
When he was called, he was nonetheless full of assurances that he will show up – wait a minute! These shows were hundreds kilometres apart, one in Mangochi another in Mzuzu around the same time.
Knowing how impossible this was going to be, he told the local media that the Mzuzu firm had just included his name of the list of guests to shore up patronage and that he was not consulted.
Having been on the ground when all this was happening I could not help it, but feel pity and shame for Dan Lufani.
One thing that came out clearly was that, this was not the first time he has handled his business in this manner.
What was more stinking was the disregard and abandon at which he told off the Mzuzu show organisers that he would not be available when he had taken their money.
There have always been such scenarios happening within our musical cycles where artists take organisers for granted for whatever good or bad reasons they have.
What this means is that such musicians feel they are now too big to do whatever they desire, with impunity and that some unknown organisers should be made to realise how primitive they are to deal with stars.
For any career, lack of respect and honest to and for your consumers, is a clarion call for the premature death of your career.
An artist has to be focused even in the face of any magnitude of fame.
Many musicians fail to reach the predestined heights because they achieve success which they do not know what to do with.
Failure to manage success is a bad signal for every artist, for it portends its opposite.
The other weakness that perhaps allows our showbiz kings and queens in Malawi to want to eat their cakes and still have it is our legal systems.
Most people are afraid of wasting time and money pursuing a case they are not sure of its outcome. However, since the feeling is always that there won’t be any success anywhere else they let it go and the culprit scot free.
A multi-talented artist like Dan should start practising discipline when striking deals with clients.
Much as a lot has been said on how our musicians have been exploited, the main culprits in this exploitation are the musicians themselves.
Greed should not be used when striking deals. The Jamaican music industry which now boasts of big money started with limps and bounds, merely because those that were at the helm of making things move, were gluttonous.
Look at what happened during the Lake of Stars festival.
When Lucious Banda and Black Missionaries decided not to partake in the event as a protest against a clear intent of exploitation, they instead organised a musical show at ‘Zithere Pano’ a few kilometres away from where the so called Lake of Stars was performing.
Dan chose to go to the Lake of Stars but he made sure that once he finished his performance he dashed to where Lucious and the Blacks were performing and flamboyance pushed him on stage only to be stopped in midair blinded by overzealousness.
Dan has to slow down if he must nurture his talent to earn him the success and accolades he deserves.
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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