Chileka: Malawi’s Music genesis?


I have, sometimes hours on end, dwelt so much on music from Balaka.

If anything, I have at least for once talked about how the music and musicians from the Lhomwe belt have influenced the experts sway to settle for a conclusion that this has to be the cradle of our local music.

But in my fixed opinion of music from these two spots, I have both won and lost. In the process I have cut myself a figure of a music demagogue; I have also broken the hearts of even the most fastidious followers of our music.

Apparently, it looks like we have all been cultivating on a borrowed land and Chileka’s Singano Village is now a laird out to show us she has pegged her stakes where we thought belonged to us.

What is funny about Chileka is that it was not like the whole area whose provenance can be tested to see if indeed this is where it all originated from, genesis, they call it.

It is just a small village called ‘Singano’ clipped between Michiru Hills in the West and Chileka Airport to the East. Even funnier is the fact that while I have mentioned of Lhomwe belt, this particular village is under a Yao chief, Traditional Authority Kuntaja.

If you consider that Malawi music history had to mutate from one point, may be Singano would be that probable spot, arguably so, though.

Perhaps this can be the best shot at trying to figure our music history, in the case of our situation where information gaps in the whole background leaves out yawning chasm of details we try now to glean for.

Let me try to work on a chronology that will try to make sense of a music history, secure in the knowledge that if it is merely a figment of my imagination, then someone would have to right it.

The Kachambas started being heard from Singano in the 1940s. But Daniel Kachamba went on to get a doctorate degree in music from Germany because how he produced his music no one else did.

According to the 1988 edition of ‘Year Book for Traditional Music’ published by International Council for Traditional Music, Daniel James Kachamba was born in 1947 in Limbe at a time when Malawi was hot with guitar and banjo music.

At Chileka in Singano Village his father James, who died on January 10, 1988 and his colleagues Mofolo Chilimbwalo and Moya Aliya were at the thick of things during this period and their music exploits would later have an influence on young Daniel.

Daniel’s musical style on the guitar belongs to the era of second generation of guitar music composer in Malawi, as the first generation is represented by his father and colleagues.

His father’s influence notwithstanding, Daniel soon developed a style of his own, leaning toward the more recent fashions of those days.

Now with the father, his elder sister Anasibeko and his young brother Donald and the mentioned colleagues, it is clear what Singano Village is, musically.

Daniel’s adolescent years were spent in Harare, where the family had gone to work in 1957, where he also became acquainted with urban music of Southern Africa of the day such as Saba-Saba, Sinjonjo, Vula Matambo, Jive and Kwela.

He received his first introduction to the technique of guitar playing from a British Born teacher in Harare but he bought his first guitar in early 1960s having been impressed by a famous Kenyan guitar record ‘Julieta uko wapi’.

After the family returned to Malawi in the 60s he formed a band with another Chileka based guitarist only known as ‘Chinyama’ and after they separated it is when that he formed an ambulant kwela style performance group of three members, the Kachamba Brothers Band in which his young brother played flute.

His guitar style varied from alternate bass line thumb-picking with index finger doing the melody à la Country Blues stylings of Mississippi John Hurt, to Rhumba bass patterns underneath syncopated melodic lines (also thumb and index) to condense the sounds of Congolese Rhumba on to one guitar.

Needless to say, Kachamba radically changed many artists’ approach to the guitar by loosening up the “western” rhythmic strictures they imposed on their baselines and facilitating greater interplay between melody, bass, and groove.

A dark cloud fell on Singano on July 25, 1987, when Daniel Kachamba died leaving behind a legacy of one of Africa’s foremost guitar music composer of the 20th century.

Although he says his first recording was in 1966 at MBC, the first known recordings done on February 25, 1967 in Blantyre by Maurice Djenda and Gerhard Kubik are archived in the Musikethnologische Abteilung, Museum fur Volkerkunde, in Western Berlin in Germany.

After Kachamba, then Singano produced Robert and his younger brother Arnold Fumulani before hell broke loose.

Evison Matafale, Fumbi Dance Band, Anthony Makondetsa, The Blacks, Kachamba New Breed and Davis Kapito who was part of the Christ in Song Quartet…

Now can Singano village of Chileka claim to have been where the embryonic stage started?

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Is FIKISA Malawi’s Genre Breakthrough?


The question above has always been bubbling in my mind ever since I caught within my earshot some strange but familiar sound. The familiarity, now I realize, was coming from the leading drum beat I was hearing from that sound.
The sound in question, I have now realized also is a song called ‘Ademwiche’ which is commonly but wrongly (or rightly?) known to the public as ‘Akamwile’.
You see, our quest for a fixed and well established Malawian genre, has been tedious at times; the other day Lucius Banda told us that we were there with his ‘Zulu Woman’ beat.
Edgar and Davis thought a beat like ‘Kale-Kale’ was it; so were the sounds that emerged from the Lhomwe belt of the likes of Alan Namoko and Chimvu River Jazz Band and Michael Mukhito Phiri. But it is the people that thought this was it, because as you can see, even Namoko had no idea what he was churning out, and this is the reason he thought his backing band was a Jazz set piece.
Robert Fumulani, likewise, had no distinct genre for Malawi and in one of his tracks he did what he thought was a fusion of reggae and Khunju traditional dance and called it Khunju Reggae.
Peter Mawanga and a certain sector of the industry believe he has cracked the elusive code to establish the much sort after Malawian genre with his type of music; but the response has only fascinated the ear of those that can read music.
Ever heard of Honjo? It is a sound that emerged from the folds of Ndirande and this was Sunny B proclaiming the discovery of Malawian beat with what he was panning out.
Up in the north, Body Mind and Soul has what it calls ‘Voodjaz’.
Body, Mind & Soul started like a reggae band, but band leader ‘Street Rat’ claim that after reflecting on the importance of sharing Malawi ancient culture in modern time and after much thought and experimentation they created a new music concept they call ‘Voodjaz’, a subtle mix of traditional rhythms with a jazzy feel.
What is traditional beat? Is another question that has dodged our intelligence more so when others have argued that the moment the musical instrumentation is electrical then forget about the traditional beat, let alone a Malawian genre.
I have argued against such school of thought, more so when they [that have such strange way of describing our traditional music] jump up every time they hear Kwasa-kwasa. They announce in the process that this is Congolese music. Likewise whenever they hear sound from Mafikizola, they tend to conclude that they are hearing South African music.
South Africa and DR Congo are African countries but even with electrical instruments, they have established a local genre.
Daniel Kachamba and his brother Macdonald are said to have been playing ‘Kwera’ music which musical historians claim was born right here in Malawi during the Ndiche Mwalare/Alick Nkhata days. They claim when Malawians were descending down South Africa in the 1940/50s they took with them the ‘Kwera’ music which the South Africans took as their own and perfected it and became a springboard that has helped them established different genres that are still recognizable as South African.
Now when you hear Ademwiche you do not even want to be told that what you are listening to is a Malawian beat even with the presence of modern instrumentation. This is clear that this is a traditional beat.
But, what is the traditional beat if I may ask? Is it the leading drums that we hear in the Fikisa songs? But if it is, then the question would be, ‘How have they finally cracked the elusive code that has kept us at bay from establishing our own Malawian genre?
I hear Fikisa has some links with Tygrin who fuses Nyau traditional dance beat with Hip-hop to come up with what we have all noted to be Tygrin beat.
Now let’s us look at the most famous beat at the moment Ademwiche. Is this what Nyimbo Studios is set to give Malawians?
The track from the group FIKISA is from their debut album also called “Fikisa”. Ademwiche has taken over the kingship on all the dance floors in Malawi including on our airwaves.
Ademwiche as is the case with the other tracks in the album is a direct cross of ethnic Yao music with urban musical elements and this creation is what is known as Ethno-Urban music.
I have heard Ben Mankhamba claiming to have released a Vimbuza song, but it has not retained the Vimbuza element, much the same would be said about the Ingoma songs that Lucius Banda has ever released.
What is enthralling about Ademwiche is that it has its rhythm built on the iron clad foundation of the M’mbwiza beat which is why it is an attraction to the ear even when the Yao lyrics are sounding Greek.
The beauty about the beat can also be seen in its video which has been modernized making it more appealing and balancing up the ethno-urban cross pollination.
Feedback: drummingpen@columnist.com

Mayeso Chirwa, the Saxophonist


I have no weight to judge if the soils of Katope in Bwengu had any right to swallow the remains of Mayeso Chirwa whom we fondly called ‘Bhuti Jeso’.

He might have died from cancer like the giant Reggae King Robert ‘Tuff Gong’ Nesta or like Stonard Lungu, and there could be a sneaking suggestion that this is the reason I am today dedicating this space in his tribute; Mayeso was equally a musical force to reckon with.

Mayeso Chirwa loved to talk, his talking was utmost, stamped with witty jokes that left you in stitches, but of all, I think he loved to read. I am assuming that he did, because how can some mortal be so hugely knowledgeable about anything musical that was playing on this earth?

Simply put; he was a depository of musical information. He displayed such Platonism as if he was a music professor in a different life.

He could write an assessment of a musical band that he was watching playing and come up with a fascinating short analysis in a funny but knowledgeable way by means of what he was calling ‘citizen journalism’.

When Zimbabwean Prince Tendayi died he commented: “This guy gave our music a real kick in the 90s, late Bright [Nkhata] and Ben Michael recorded at his High Density thanks to his friendship with Uncle Jairos Banda. I loved his ‘character, character babe yo!’”

On 18 December last year when Jay-Jay Munthali’s pioneered MIBAWA Band was playing in Lilongwe he wrote:

“These Bt [Blantyre] guys are in LL [Lilongwe] performing at Chameleon as I write, very awesome quintet, silky voices, man and woman vocalists, ma harmony ngati aku Congo. Do you guys in Bt know you have this great band? No music of their own yet, they are doing covers from Percy Sledge to Ritchie to Boris Gardner eish kawawa. Equipment super, they are bankrolled by a former Total boss, he just returned from HQ in Paris. The vocal talents remind me of late Salim Khan. I wonder what happened to BT, it used to offer this sort of talent in dozens. Mwanja Sweeny Chinkango and Titha Vibrations, Flashers, Ndiche Bros among the youth bands that shook the city of BT, m’menemo ku Lilongwe anthu mukumvera Chitipi Sounds, ku Mzuzu, Katawa Singers.”

I think because of Mayeso Chirwa, lately the United States Embassy in Malawi was starting to get musical.

In commemoration of World AIDS Day the Embassy presented “Mau a Malawi: Stories of AIDS”, a musical performance by Fulbright scholar Andrew Finn McGill, Peter Mawanga and the aMaravi Movement on November 30, 2011 at Crossroads Hotel Auditorium.

Mayeso never forgot his citizen journalism as he had to write this about it on the day: “Happening now … The guys sound tight, catchy African movements, they are exploring overseas deals; it won’t surprise me if they get lucky with the big dogs – I wish them a Sony BMG jackpot!”

But minutes later when he wrote on one of the social forums that the show had ended, many commentators protested but he schooled them as he usually did:

“Standard performance duration for professional live bands is 45 minutes. Live band performances are thus sold or bought in 45 minutes sets. If an artist plays for 90 minutes he/she gets $ for two sets. No laziness… oyimbawo anawona choncho. Kodi football match ikhale ndi phungwe ingakome? It has regulation time for realistic viewers’ attention span and players’ mileage and resilience test.”

Yes, Mayeso Chirwa was Information Specialist at the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy of the United States of America, but he humbly mixed with anyone.

 

This is the reason perhaps one could not separate him from music, what with another musical activity when the embassyon September 26, 2011hosted a bass guitar workshop. Come on Bhuti, a Bass Guitar Workshop?

 

The 5-hour-long workshop had such an agile professional bass player in the name of Chris Baio of rock band Vampire Weekend who conducted instruction in an exciting learning environment for players of all abilities who were exposed to various styles and techniques of bass.

 

While I am trying to depict how Mayeso was a complete music critic as well as an organiser of the same for the industry, he was also an artist himself.

If you have had the opportunity to watch latest Kalimba Band videos, you will see a bespectacled handsome young man playing an alto saxophone; that is Mayeso Chirwa for you.

So, besides being a repository of music information he was a musical instrument player who was never appreciated if what happened in September last year at Lilongwe Shoprite is anything to go by.

His Kohlert pro Saxophone was stolen from a band member’s car and to show just how passionate he was about this act, he ordered a new set through Amazon from a Kansas City in the US.

One of his friends, Raphael Tenthani attended his burial and he had this to write: “Bhuti looks like he was about to blow his sax as he peered out to us from the open casket. It threatened to rain over Katope Village at Bwengu, north Mzimba, but it didn’t.”

Yes, I again ask you the soils of Katope, do you know what you have swallowed?

Feedback: drummingpen@columnist.com

Mayeso Chirwa, the Saxophonist

Kwacha Losing Value despite devaluation Refusal


By Gregory Gondwe

Kwacha, Malawi’s local currency continues to lose value even in the face of strong refusal by President Bingu wa Mutharika to have it devalued.

On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) insists that the Malawi Kwacha must be devalued to between MK230 and MK250 to the US dollar if the Malawi economy is to be rescued.

The IMF proposed rate is how a dollar is selling at the moment on Malawi’s parallel markets.

The IMF observes that at the moment Malawi is overvaluing its currency which has been pegged at MK165 to a dollar which is failing to respond to the current trends on the ground.

In his state of the nation address on Friday, February 3, 2012, when he opened the 43rd session of parliament, Mutharika was still adamant that the currency will not lose its value because devaluation has never solved economic problems of any country in the world.

“Which country has ever developed by devaluing its currency?” argued Mutharika.

“ My appeal to the International Monetary Fund is that they should give us space of three years to try to put our own economic policies but don’t choke our throats with devaluation,” he said.

He then said sometimes the IMF and other western donors have been wrong with some of their recommendations to the Malawi government.

“…They [IMF]… objected to the farm input subsidy program but it has brought food security so why not allow me try our own policies,” challenged Mutharika.

Leader of opposition in Malawi parliament John Tembo wondered why people should wait for three years to have solutions to the problems besetting the country.

“How can you tell people to wait for three years to have answers to the problems affecting them today? It doesn’t make sense at all”, argued Tembo.

An IMF report released as a result of an IMF mission to Malawi from December 1 to December 12, 2011 suggests that putting the official rate at the black market level would push the unaccounted for forex on the parallel market into the formal market.

Although Mutharika is resisting devaluation the IMF mission reached this stage after working closely with the Malawi’s ministry of Finance and Development Plan and Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and other stakeholders to develop an action plan that would allow the Malawian authorities to achieve economic rescue.

“An overvalued exchange rate, in turn, has led to foreign exchange market rationing and multiple exchange rates, which remain key deterrents to private sector activity, growth, and diversification,” says the report.

Mutharika has largely blamed current forex shortages on reduced aid inflows, externalization by chain foreign stores, Satan, the opposition and an exceptionally poor tobacco market whose earnings dropped by 30 percent, in 2011.

The IMF advises that the Malawi government should allow the Kwacha to freely float and adjust to market forces than the current “artificial” situation.

Despite Mutharika’s insistence on the current ‘overvalued’ rate of the kwacha, the currency has not been kind to his wishes as over the months it has started losing ground against major currencies as observed from market rates offered by commercial banks.

Reserve Bank of Malawi public relations officer Ralph Tseka told a local daily last week that the adjustments were within a set band where the kwacha is officially allowed to fluctuate.

He said movements can be observed within the daily rates but cannot go beyond K1.

“The daily rates are what we call high frequency data and there are bound to be such movements but cannot go beyond K1,” Tseka was quoted as saying.

The Daily Times reported last week that the financial sector and business community have attributed recent movements in the kwacha rates to secret devaluation of the currency by authorities.

The kwacha closed at K166 from K163 against the US Dollar as of two weeks ago before trading at K167.40 against the US dollar and K260.30 against British pound and K21.06 against the South African rand a week later.

Late last week it jumped to K168.12 while the pound moved to K261.72 and the rand was at K21.19 against the kwacha respectively before moving to K168.36, a dollar, K263.08 a pound, and K21.21 a rand a day later.

Although the argument from Mutharika has been that once the currency is devalued the prices of basic commodities will sky-rocket beyond a common man’s reach, prices of the very commodities he is talking about have been going up silently in the last six months.

Government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati said they are aware that prices of basic commodities are going up.

She said there is no way they would try to change the status quo considering that Malawi’s economy is liberalised, a point which economic experts have bashed, arguing that if the economy were really liberalised the kwacha should have been left to float freely.

The Consumer Association of Malawi CAMA says Kaliati should not boast of a liberalized market when some laws directly affecting consumers are not observed.

CAMA’s Executive director John Kapito told Gregory Gondwe Blog that government is failing to establish a consumer council that would safeguard unnecessary price hikes of goods on the country’s market.

“It is expected of government through the ministry of trade and industry to establish a consumer council that would be working towards safeguarding market prices as well as unnecessary price hikes of consumables,” said Kapito.

This is stipulated within the consumer protection act that was passed in 2003.

Up to date, the council’s existence remains a pipe dream, a development that gives room to unscrupulous traders to adjust prices of goods as they wish.

CAMA blames it all, on government, for failure to implement this piece of legislation, which observes that this has negatively impacted on ordinary Malawians.

However, principal secretary in the ministry of trade and industry Nebat Nyirenda said his ministry has already started establishing a consumer council secretariat and that people will soon be recruited.

Nyirenda said the board for the consumer council has already been established in accordance with the law and that it comprises of members from the private sector, ex-officio members from government and a representative from the chamber.

Economics Association of Malawi (ECAMA) has urged government to come-up with reasonable devaluation of the kwacha in line with IMF suggestions in order to allow for the donor inflows which remain suspended.

“Devaluation will certainly be inflationary but its stabilising peak is sooner than in a speculative environment. Devaluation will unlock the IMF programme, a prerequisite condition for most donor support inflows,” said ECAMA vice president Edward Chilima in an interview with a local daily.

He said once the IMF programme is in place, the country will minimise in adequate forex reserves as well as the challenges with fuel availability, which is another significant cause of recent commodity price increases.

He said the current situation has increased speculation and panic.

Mutharika has however argued: “While the villagers will be suffering, the economists will have options for survival but not the villagers who have no jobs and any source of income.”

Mutharika described the local economists, whom he said are being influenced by IMF, as ‘brainwashed by colonialists.’

One precondition for the resumption of budgetary support by Malawi’s donors under the Common Approach to Budget Support (CABS) is that Malawi revives its International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.

How Do Musicians Spend their Money?


Donot be cheated, Malawian musicians have managed to hit gold through our verypatronage when we buy their music and lately, they are making more money withlive shows.

Ifyou want to attend a musical show at Ozone for example, be ready to part wayswith a thousand kwacha. If you are to attend a show at Mzuzu Hotel Boma Park,keep K800 in the pockets, because that’s what they will demand for you to passthrough the gate.
Aminimum of 1000 people most of the times would have passed through the gate,meaning K800, 000 would have been pocketed. If the fans are as many as 2000which is a common feat when the show is either for The Blacks or Lucius Bandathen the figures are in seven digits. 
Addedto this, there are street sales of the album through compact cassettes orcompact disks which is minus the musical DVD which when thrown into the frayand with good patronage, the money becomes so big to be true. 
Thenthere is also Mechanical, Public Performance and Broadcasting Royalties, whichmost of the times come as a surprise to musicians who end up buying cars andother useless expensive consumable items for they do not have any single ideawhat to do with their money.
Malawianmusicians will always complain that the market is exploitative and this is thereason they cannot prosper. While this, to a large extent could be true, thereis also one area that they do not talk about; this is where windfalls likemanna avails itself for their taking. And this comes when you look at the waymoney comes in.
Ithink we can easily follow the musicians and find out how they manage theirworth.
Itreminds me of what happened on December 29, 2009, when Lawrence Mbenjere set anew record when he became the first musician to cart home money in excess ofover K2.5 million in royalties.
Iwrote about it then, and then as is the case today, my interest is not todiscuss whether that was a vote of approval of what he is churning out by theconsumers or there are other factors at play, but my interest would be; has hereally benefited from this money? Has he managed it properly?
Whatwas also historical was the fact that since the establishment of the CopyrightSociety of Malawi (COSOMA) 15 or 17 years ago at that time, K2, 523, 459.16 wasthe biggest money it ever dished out to a single musician.
Ithas not given out again since then, I should hope this year, COSOMA is supposedto pay the musicians.
Atleast in 2009 Lucious Banda carted home K1, 094, 579.10, Thomas Chibade K712,742.48. Joseph Nkasa who in 2003 got a million got K597, 942.27 this time round.
Mbenjereto get this kind of money, accumulatively he amassed K2.35 million fromMechanical Royalties that an artist receives after they record with a recordcompany.
Onthe other hand, K103, 000 Mbenjere earned from broadcasting royalties thatcomes from air play of an artist’s music by a radio or TV station. He alsoamassed a meagre K66, 000 from Public Performance Royalties unbelievably, thisis the money that is earned when the artist’s music is played in public placeslike bars, hotels etc.
WhileI still doubt COSOMA’s capacity to ably manage the collection of money from allpublic places where music is played as no COSOMA official ever visits most barsand such places, I wonder how this is done.
 I still want to know how musicians, whose musicis played there, ever profit from such ongoing.
Thereis no way; a bill for institutions like radio can beat that of public places.This is what I find sticky with the management of the Public PerformanceRoyalties.
Thisis also not to mention the poor remittance on Broadcasting Royalties, by suchshameless institutions like MBC.
Mycontention today is not about MBC, it is about the management aspect of theselittle resources that our musicians accrue.
Atleast Lucius Banda has numerous business establishments including SummitCultural Centre in the Capital Lilongwe and Zembani Lodge and a music companywith the same name.
Likewise,Mbenjere Music and Video Production companies at least have their workssprouting about, meaning this is an investment of some kind.
Iam yet to find out how Joseph Nkasa or Thomas Chibade has invested theirresources.
TheMinistry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, which is supposed to be lookingafter the musicians, is doing little to change the status quo to egg on theinvesting mentality in our musicians. I remember director of culture in theministry, Bernard Kwilimbe, himselfa reputable musician, said at one time that there is a ignorance on the part ofmusicians as they not know that this is a calling that goes with properplanning. Planning comes from proper management, no?
Whilethere is this knowledge by government, there is nothing that it has so far doneto help improve the situation on the ground; one way to achieve this is toconduct several clinics within the year to equip musicians with musicmanagement.
Feedback:drummingpen@columnist.com

Can we trust 1Malawimusic.net?


Call me atechnology freak, but I seem to have very strong misgivings on the new site thatwill enable Malawian musicians to promote their music to a global audience.
It is saidthis will also give fans a chance to get their hands on it for free; I don’tknow if my freakiness is coming in because of this point.
But foryour information Timve Media Group (TMG) as a recording studio and agency thatworks to promote local musicians has created a new site, 1Malawimusic.net.
This willbe possible for it will be allowing local musicians to promote their talent byuploading selected tracks or even full albums online.
The otherthing that is perhaps giving me creeps is the fact that this site is deliveringthe music to registered users, who can legally download and share it for free.
If youvisit the site ‘1 Malawian Music dot Net’ you will be left impressed with thebeauty of the site with album covers of our local musicians.
The firstwindows of the website is on promotion, then there is where you can get to the termsof use with declaring under a sub-headline called ‘content’ that the authorreserves the right not to be responsible for the topicality, correctness,completeness or quality of the information provided.
It thusdeclares further that liability claims regarding damage caused by the use ofany information provided, including any kind of information which is incompleteor incorrect, will therefore be rejected.


A second point under the terms of use is Referrals and links which says the author is not responsible forany contents linked or referred to from his pages and is not liable for anypostings or messages published by users of discussion boards, guest books or mailinglists provided on his page.

The third one discusses Copyright where it says the author intended not to use anycopyrighted material for the publication or, if not possible, to indicate thecopyright of the respective object.

It says the copyright for any material created by the author is reserved. The fourth on Privacy policy says they monitorstats on this website, while the fifth one on Legal validity of their disclaimer.
It also saysif one owns any music that is posted onthe site and would like to request it to be taken off; they would be requiredto email them with proof of ownership.
Of course videos arestreamed from YouTube but the claims that every time a video gets played on theirwebsite YouTube will register views.
The musicians have also a section on thewebsite on how they can upload their music.

Artists areadvised not to email music, unless communicated to the hosts who say will notupload any music that has been emailed to them via email.
Musiciansare supposed to put the music tracks as mp3 in a folder that has been labeledwith their name including a picture and any other information they require togo with their music like social links, email, video links etc) and then zip thefolder.

The website has already registered the mostdownloaded music and leading the list a track called ‘Ngati Kumaloto’ done byBlack Thunder, Third Eye and Barry One.
The second track is ‘Mafilu’ done by Sonye,Nepman and Tay Grin; the third is ‘Unamata’ by Piksy, fourth is ‘Sweet like’ byKalista and Sonye, fifth is ‘Pauchidolo’ by Young Kay featuring Armstrong.
‘Dziko lathu’ by Mafunyeta takes sixth,followed on the seventh by Pombo, Maskal and Sonye with their remix called‘Tabwela’. Young Kay’s ‘Zipepese’ and ‘Wazilila’ and ‘Domado’ both done byFikisa are eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
It is clear that the musicians are not beingtold how, apart from the initial reason to promote them, they will benefitfinancially. I know there has to be a way of ensuring that artists are not leftin the cold.
Yes the website is well organised with awindow for dancehall and reggae, gospel, hip-hop, R&B, all artists, fullalbums and videos.
The other challenge I am faced with withinis how those who will freely download the music will not produce many copies ofsuch and sell them at the expense of the musicians. The question are how willthe musicians going to be protected from exploitation, first from the websitehost and secondly the users.
I know how already, the musicians in Malawiare abused through the normal mediocre marketing system that is available inMalawi.
But being a completely new technology asproven by the type of musicians already on the site [as you cannot find MikokoBrothers Band for example] what measures will also be there not to use artists’ignorance to exploit them.
This is all questioned considering how muchmoney is involved to release a music track let alone an album. Can 1Malawimusic.net be trusted?
Feedback:drummingpen@columnist.com