Skeffa’s Dirge for Mother-in-Law
I met Skeffa Chimoto at Mzuzu Central Hospital Grounds where he was with the Health Ministry Band where he plies his trade.
The reason we met was to talk about an album that had just followed his chart busting ‘Nabola Moyo’. The album in question ‘Tisawanyoze’ was what everyone at the time was saying was a flop.
It is not as if Chimoto had never graced the corridors where musicians strut; long before the famous ‘Nabola Moyo’, Skeffa had tried his hands on an album called ‘Wekha’, which did not make any mark at all. The fame that ‘Nabola Moyo’ had spawned provided the first album form of visibility although it never took any enlightening that dimmed the rest the way Nabola Moyo did.
I took Skeffa to task. Why did he produce an album ‘Nabola Moyo’ that is a household name and only to release another one ‘Tisawanyodze’ which was getting discredited due to his previous decorated work?
I remember he philosophised: “…These are some of the realities of life.”
Skeffa told me that when an album is called a flop; usually it has nothing to do with lowering standards of the production but it sometimes could be a matter of tastes.
“What happens is that when you are recording an album without any previous work, there is nowhere or nothing to compare you with, no one is expecting you and know what you can offer, so you record without any problems,” he had told me.
Now this aside I wanted to find out how he was also managing his time effectively because he is a member of the Ministry of Health band besides owning his own band called ‘Real Sounds’. And that time he had also just gotten married; meaning – his presence at home was not negotiable.
But he said since in the Health Band they work in weekdays, it is easy for him to work with his band over the weekends.
He conceded that time spent with his wife is not necessarily enough but was suitable to both.
“Marriages do not come by accident; you take your time before you engage into a married life, I believe my wife is aware that this is my job and I started doing this long before we fell in love. She has a better understanding which is far ahead of anyone else; she knows where we get our daily bread,” he had told me.
Now, Skeffa has done two things. He has produced an album that by all standards will surpass the hurricane that ‘Nabola Moyo’ caused when it terrorized the music fans.
His latest album ‘Ndife Amodzi’ has one of the best tracks, the kind that the music industry has been craving for in ‘Ndakusowa’, ‘Sungamchose’, title track ‘Ndife Amodzi’ and ‘Ulendo’ the track I intend to dwell on today.
This is a track Skeffa has made as an honour to his mother-in-law. God, the lyrics in the track are so emotive. The sequence of reasoning and the picture of dying made so vivid.
Skeffa starts by creating a scenario where a child is waking a mother up from her bed, because of hunger and the need for the ‘mum’ to get on her feet and prepare food.
Strangely, the mother is not waking up; added to this, she is surrounded by mourners who are still surprising the child with sobbing and wailing; the child is even wondering that they are taking her somewhere.
When the answers start pouring, it is established that the mother is dead, and they are taking her to a grave yard and that she never bid the child farewell because the journey was not of her own making.
What powerful music. The vocals are so upper class. Although the only dent is the reggae instrumentation which is one of the common beats.
When an artist comes up with such unique creativeness in the lyrical content and the vocal output, there is also need to cudgel the brains further so that it ushers it the best instrumental line.
Many will disagree with me because the lacking common reggae used in the song has been palliated by the strength of its lyrics and vocal presentation.
Mrs. Skeffa Chimoto, ‘Ulendo’ is enough a condolence that should indeed let you give Skeffa the Visa to go out there and let you suffer loneliness.
Skeffa’s Dirge for Mother-in-Law