I should start with greetings for the New Year which isjust a few hours away. Starting from last week, I took you back on the journeyof 2011 where the Pen drummed out a number of issues regarding our industry.
I want us to part with 2011 by continuing looking at afew selected pieces that we talked about in the year gliding towards the lastline.
In the 2011 I asked a question: “Where are the LadySecular Musicians?”
Iargued that if you were to point out at a legendary lady musician in thecountry, who is into secular music, would you do that at the drop of a hat?
Iconfessed that I only know Amina Tepatepa, Emma Masauko, Wendy Harawa, MariaChidzanja Nkhoma, and Beatrice Kamwendo as some of the names that have hogged thelimelight and then either disappeared completely and got stuck in theperipherals.
Iasked a question why we have not done something as a country about the femalefolks that have talent in music but cannot blossom due to lack of suitableenvironment.
Iproposed that Musician Association of Malawi (MAM) put in place a deliberatepolicy where female musicians can stand side by side with the Skeffa Chimotosof this world or even a lady Lucius Banda.
Itis so bad that most of the women musicians are dominating the gospel arenawhere they survive by the faith of such religious following other than sheertalent and creativity. While worrying about the absence of female musicians inthe music cycle I was aware of the challenges in the industry as a whole when Ialso talked about “Investingin Music Entertainment”.
At that time I had the opportunity to visit Kenya whereI lost my breath with the spirit of investing in entertainment in general andmusic in particular that I found fascinating here in East Africa.
For some time, the East African Breweries Limited hasbeen carrying out competition for musicians in the Eastern African Regioncalled Tusker Project Fame – a reality Television competition, which was at avalue of 1 billion Kenyan shillings which is an equivalent of 12.8 million USdollars which is about 1.92 billion kwacha. All this money invested in music,imagine!
I was wondering why in Malawi it is not the case as outthere and I challenged the private sector to try investing in music and ask melater if they would have missed the target. It is on the same premise that Ialso asked a question: “Where isCarlsberg in Music?”
I argued that if anything, Carlsberg Breweries limitedshould have been the main player in the country’s music industry.
Look at how many crates of beer will sell if musiciansare performing, look at the blaring sound that is a dominant fixture in allbeer selling spots. Do we need to tell the marketing gurus at the breweriescompany of the need to give back to musicians?
For two years running now, South African Breweries hasbeen funding Lucius Banda’s trips to perform in that country. This year too,Lucius Banda will perform alongside Lulu in Johannesburg and Durban. But wherewas our own Carlsberg Company?
2011 turned to be so cruel in other aspects what withwhen I wrote about how “Death StabbedMusic on Mwanyama?”
Towards the month-end of December 2010,Lovemore Mwanyama was the one that the media quoted when Skeffa Chimoto, thecurrent top selling musician escaped death in a road accident.
Mwanyama is the one who explained to themedia that Skeffa and his band Real Sounds were en-route to Lilongwe fromSalima when the vehicle they were travelling in had a tyre burst.
Lovemore Mwanyama was speaking asSkeffa’s Manager then.
Now, this year, towards the end ofSeptember, Skeffa took up the task of informing the media that unlike him,Mwanyama never survived a road accident and died at the Kamuzu CentralHospital. Road accident was also the way that made us to “Shedtears for Ken ‘7yrs’ Siyabu.”
Ken Siyabu was master in music video productions and hiscontribution to the industry is so immense that I still run short of words todescribe the multitalented Ken.
In fact his hands were what made Lucius Banda videoscaptivating in the last four or so years including his latest album Life.
Soon after its release the pen drummed here about “Lucius Banda’s Life in 1 Hour 19 Minutes”.
Going by the overwhelming feedback I got after thisarticle, I realize it is the number one article for 2011 because of how itgenerated interest from the readers, although given chance; my pick would havebeen different.
In that write-up I started w ‘One hour and 19 Minutes’is the time that it takes one to listen to Lucius Banda’s latest album from thefirst track ‘Okondedwa’ throughout the other tracks to the last one, which isthe title track ‘LIFE’ that has awaken the censorship board bull dogs.
Listening to the 15 tracks, one would still be left withthe same Lucius Banda aftertaste.
Before I talk about the choice of genre in this aspect,let’s look at the other genres in the other tracks ‘Wadwalika’ which featuresMoses Makawa, for example. This one as expected is taking after ‘KalataYachiwiri’ which he featured Thomas Chibade.
I said in this track, Lucius’ complete departure of whatwe know of him makes you think the song should be ‘Wadwalika’ by Moses Makawafeaturing Lucius Banda.
I wish you a prosperous 2012 which is full of musicalPromises. Watch this space.