Car bomb strikes French embassy in Tripoli


Tell me how best Peace can be Hated…

This Just In

A car bomb exploded just outside the French embassy in Tripoli early Tuesday morning, injuring two French security guards and a local girl, officials said.

The blast was so powerful it blew the front wall off the embassy. Windows of nearby buildings in this upscale, largely residential neighborhood were also blown out.

Deputy Prime Minister Awad Barasi said a 13-year-old girl in a nearby house was injured in the attack and will be taken to Tunisia for treatment.

A criminal investigation is under way to try to determine who was behind the attack, and why.

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Getting a decade’s Pay in One Day


It would really be unfair to think that an old saying, ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ fits well with the monetary scenario of our musicians.

This is where it is said that once our musicians get money it evaporates in a split of second; even more quickly than boiled water in a Sahara desert.

To start with, someone explained to me that the reason some of us that are under a payroll of companies that we work for seem to be doing well, even until we retire, is because the companies control us, especially on how much we can spend within a month.

The salaries we get, which is then divided by way of a medical scheme and pension help us not to waste money unnecessarily.

The scenario is different with musicians. You remember how some musicians became millionaires overnight and how he blew all this money by living a high life, only to be dragged out of the Ivy League when they spent all the resources meant for their future.

The money that I would make in a decade can equal the money that a musician would make after selling a single album within a month.

What this means therefore is that we need the musicians to be taught, or to realise that this money that musicians make after sell of a single album is not to be spent today only and this is where the aspect of savings comes in.

Apart from very few musicians that have managed to invest, most musicians die very poor not because they never had an opportunity to amass a lot of wealth, but because they never managed it well.

Of course we have exceptions like Stonard Lungu who despite very good music that he produced over the years he never had an opportunity to earn money from his toils.

If you go on the market, you will be able to get any album that you would want to get for Joseph Nkasa or Lucius Banda, but you will not find anything at all for Lungu.

There was a time that I was looking for a track that Lungu had done and when I asked him he said he does not have it but I could get it from the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation.

This is because the industry has no money but a few have managed to get money out of luck.

When I talk of luck, what quickly comes to mind is the situation of Maskal and Piksy; one is the ambassador for Access while the other is for Airtel respectively.

When you think of how much Lulu and Dan Lu have been around in the industry as compared to Maskal and Piksy, you would realise that these would have been considered for the ambassadorial stints.

But luck does not follow a known pattern and this is why the monies that the artists are making today, better be well managed.

Their income today might peak or plunge unlike those that are on a salary.

The reason there is a failing on the part of managing these resources should not be left in the hands of artists themselves.

Bodies like the ministries of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Copyright Society of Malawi and even the Musicians Association of Malawi (MAM) should cultivate the entrepreneurial aspect of what these musicians meet in the course of their careers and how best they can invest their resources for posterity’s sake.

The bodies mentioned above should really be ashamed when musicians ask for alms even when they have a pool of wealth in their veins.

It is because of lack of action from these bodies that the Music industry in Malawi continues to be elusive to the main player who matters in the business.

The musician should stop to still being a beggar even in the face of all the talent, effort, sacrifice and courage to bring something on the music market.

For the musicians to be able to invest something has to also be done to some of the culprits that make musicians fail to achieve anything at all. The Malawi Broadcasting Corporation – MBC loves to play the music from the local artists although they do not love to pay back in form of royalties.

At one point Cosoma complained that MBC had a debt of K50 million in royalty arrears.

Executive Director for Cosoma Dora Makwinja left me with an impression as a woman who is resolute to protecting talent.

She once told me that as a body, she will ensure that not only is talent for the artist protected but that the artist also benefits from his or her endeavour.

As a country, we are yet to be on the road to achieve anything in this aspect because vultures are on the loose to pounce on anything that is on the market which they reproduce and sell while the artist is not even aware of what is happening.

So while we try to teach the musician to invest, let first help them market their music which we terribly failed to do with Lungu and let’s pay what is due to musicians.

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Honouring your ‘Prophets’


The Catholic Church has gone against the old age maxim that ‘a Prophet is never honoured in his land’ when it organised an event on March 31, 2013 in none other place than Balaka itself where legends of the Alleluya Band were recognised.

If you must know, the Church was the first to introduce education and of course an alternative religious knowledge – Christianity – in Malawi. By way of spreading the Gospel the church realised that it would not introduce religious teaching to the ignorant and sick followers. It thus built schools and hospitals.

During church services it introduced choirs that would give some harmonic touch to the everyday readings as by just reading verses it was killing the spirit of attention in the services.

This in away resulted in even making the church go a mile further by organising bands that would use modern musical instruments.

In Malawi bands came and went, but the coming of Alleluya Band, especially when it perpetuated at the time that Malawi crossed a very vital political bridge – from single party rule to multiparty democratic dispensation – meant that it would carry its duty of becoming a pioneer of some musical renaissance.

The band hogged the lime light when late Pope John Paul (the second), visited the country in May 1989. I was privileged to have watched the band long before it became famous at Nyungwe Parish around this time because at the time I was staying ku Namaka also known as Kwa Kachingwe in Chiradzulu.

Then I was absorbed in the way it played and never imagined that a day like this would come when I would be here and write about them.

Let me not digress, my point here is that we have been bored by eulogies that pour out from pundits and self-acclaimed experts when we lose those we say were the best in the things that they used to do when living.

Such stories have been heard or were heard during the funerals of the legendary Robert and Arnold Fumulani, Michael Mukhito Phiri, Allan Namoko, Stonard Lungu etc.

Now at 50, when the church, not Musicians Association of Malawi, or Copy Right Society of Malawi not even the Ministry of Culture honours Paul Banda then it makes my mouth dry with astonishment for this exactly falls into the very thing that I beg to happen on this page day in, day out.

I have said before that this is the band that helped the country to realise that music can also be recorded and put in cassette albums and sold so that you and me can listen to it in the comfort of our homes at a time of our choice provided we had cassette players.

Two years ago I wrote this entry:

“Cry Our Beloved Alleluya Band

Everyone who is not aware of our modern music history, I mean history of digital music, will better be told from the beginning. The beginning therefore will be telling a different story if it does not start from Alleluya Band.

You know, it is not as if there were no bands that used to play before the multiparty dispensation; there were bands like the Likhubula Dance Band, which was backing Robert Fumulani, there were also Police Orchestra, the MBC Band and the Chichiri Queens and uncountable local artist.

There was also talent within the country but there was no knowledge of how one could put his talent into musical product through a recording studio.

Bands used to go to one and only place where the Malawian music was played and therefore this is where they used to listen to their music and for that reason, they knew that bands used to record there because there was nowhere else and this was at the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation MBC studios.

The music was also being recorded merely for MBC airplay because it was being stored on reels, which was something that could not be taken on the market for sale?

At least it was only the emergence on the scene of Alleluya Banda from Balaka, led by the agile guitarist hands of Sir. Paul Banda, that led people to realise several things about what can happen with music.

They appreciated that independent studios can record elsewhere other than the MBC studios alone. They discerned that local music performed by local artists could also be put in a cassette and be made available for the take of those with money to, to enjoy it in the comfort of their homes.

There was a time when the sound that the pen once emitted from the drum was to the effect that whether one likes it or not Sir. Paul Banda ‘revolutionarised’ Malawi music.

This was the case because of this history and for Bwana Banda to achieve all his deserving accolades it was because he used Alleluya Band to launch his decorated musical career.

Lucius Banda needs no introduction to the world of music from these parts; he has marked his name; no, he has engraved his name in the hall of fame.

But at Zuc Lodge in Balaka last Sunday, the man who started it all ‘Father Mario Pacifici’ lined up Paul and Lucius Banda, Elias Kamoto, Charles Sinetre, Noel Makadali, Samson Chikoti, Vincent Kachingwe, Foster Chimangafisi, Mati Kalima, Pat ‘A Big’ Tung’ande and
Philemon Mwamadi and saluted them. How about that?