There is what is known as Freedom ofExpression. This also goes with expressive art, music is thus supposed to bethis work of art.
Would you say that most of the music thatour artists have given us resonates with the general feeling of the populace?
Before I answer this question, let me seekyour pardon as I will in these past weeks be referring to Jamaica, more sobecause I know it is past the musical experimenting stage, if the success thecountry has chalked with its music is anything to go by.
There has been a genre that, like a batonstick has been handing over the authority of ruling the dancehall from ska toskalites to reggae which has now had its attendant off-springs in the name ofRagga also referred to as dancehall.
What propelled dancehall to stardom overreggae which sits on its couch of wisdom and preservation is its tendency tosing about now.
There are numerous problems that have rockedour country Malawi’s economy and by extension this has badly affected thelivelihood of the masses.
If you check how lives have been lostbecause an ambulance could not go to pick up a pregnant woman due to lack offuel; how drugs were never in hospitals [like are there now]; how farming hasbeen greatly affected because the fuel that was supposed to transportfertilisers and other farm inputs was never available.
And although the list of woes is endless,you would really be surprised how they would be kept under wraps. On one hand,in the government we have those that are keeping our purse called the ‘ruling’and on the other, those ensuring that this money is made to do its rightfuluse, called ‘opposition’.
Both these sides will pretend to be sidingwith the people who are feeling the pinch. Government will bring all excuses inthe book; from Satan sitting on the back of the authority to chain storessiphoning the scarce forex etc.
The opposition will try to remind all andsundry how the ruling has failed due to stubbornness to refuse to work withdonors, to myopic economic policies etc.
Well, while all these are doing their stuff,I have not seen the musicians doing enough; either s/he is afraid or they areso daft that they do not know how best they can speak out on behalf of themasses.
While others will argue that this would belike fighting Joseph Nkasa’s later day Moses, others will even argue furtherthat Lucius Banda is the one cut for this.
Yes, I would agree that Lucius indeed doeshis part, but this is not enough at all. After all, Lucius does it occasionallyand such track usually has to wait for its cousin tracks to complete an albumfirst.
Musicians are supposed to do singles thatare specifically into exclusive problems hurting the masses at a definite time.
What is required is not even a harsh, rudeand hastened stuff. You are now wondering what I mean?
Well, remember Malawi’s King of Reggae thefallen Evison Matafale? Few days after the September 11 terrorist attack on thetwin towers called World Trade Centre, Evison Matafale came up with a track hecalled ‘Time Mark’. This piece was a typical Matafale reggae track, so matureand gapless. The lyrical content was thick, deeply thought of and puretranslation of the biblical books.
It is more demeaning to hear people sayingMatafale would have released a track to act as the wail of the masses thatshould awaken those in authority, both the ruling and the opposing. Demeaningbecause it will be like after Matafale we no longer have musicians around thatcan serve the masses by setting their agenda.
Like journalists, will use the press, radiosor television to relay a message, musicians will use their music medium to setthis agenda setting albeit relaying it through radios and television sometimes.
Our local musicians, who are to numerousthese days, can take advantage of our misfortunes to make a name.
Imagine what was happening earlier in theweek in Lilongwe at first then followed by the other cities. Women who aremothers to all of us that are living on this earth had to have their dignitybattered merely because they were putting on a pair of trousers.
We need innovative musicians who can createsongs to either support something like this or sing against it.
By now we should have had competing songsover the fuel woes. We are always complaining that we do not sell our locallymade music. Perhaps it is time we got experimental and understood what peoplereally want their music to have.
Let our musicians take their rightful placeby taking their rightful role to make those in authority who are deaf and blindto the realities on the ground, realise what the people really want throughtheir music.