Makondetsa Vs Mablacks

Anthony Makondetsa is a cousin to the Fumulani as well as the Chokani members of the Black Missionaries, commonly known as Mablacks.
Now that The Black Missionaries have released their latest album of ‘Kuimba 9’, what has come very common within social gatherings is that people are trying to compare the toils in Black Missionaries album to those in Anthony Makondetsa’s very latest album ‘Fuko Lokondedwa’.
My fear is that I might be wrong if I dismiss such assertions as a mere cheap effort to compare apples to mangoes, but before I do I would like to follow this line of thinking so that I am able to understand what makes the mind even think of dismissing one over the other.
Let’s start looking at two tracks found in either album as a tribute to their Grand Father Enoch Fumulani.
Many have told me that Black Missionaries title ‘Wokondedwa’ is not as punchy as Anthony Makondetsa’s equally tribute track ‘Wagwa Mtengo’.
Listening to these tracks, I think both artists have scored 100 percent in their outpour on the loss of their Grandfather and have to be recommended on their own right.
Below, I have produced parts of the lyrics in both tracks:
Wokondedwa – (Beloved) by Black Missionaries
Palibe munthu adziwa ayi tsiku lowutsa kuthupi koma tikhale onkonzeka
(No one knows when the body will rest in peace, but let’s be prepared)
Palibe munthu adziwanso tsiku lobwera mfumuyo – koma tikhale ochenjera
(No one knows when the King will come – but let’s be vigilant)
Inali nthawi yosweka mtima polingalira zam’bale koma ambuye atonthoza
(It was a heart breaking moment, to mourn the beloved, but God consoled)
Walimbana ndi kulimbana kwabwino Yerusalemu sawodzera,
(You fought with the good struggle, Jerusalem will not sleep)
Monga Gogo wanga anachitira Enoch
(Like my grandfather Enoch did)
Chikondi chanu tichitsowa, Malangizo tinalandira, nzeru zanu zinali zakuya ntheladi
(We miss your love, your counsel we received, your wisdom was really deep)
Pitani Okondedwa, Sindingathe kukamba zambiri zainuyo
(Go ye well beloved, I can’t say enough about you)
Pitani Okondedwa, Mpaka tsiku lamzukulo pomwe tizakumansenso
(Go ye well beloved, Until the day when our bodies will lie, when we will meet again)
And compare these lyrics to the ones below
Wagwa Mtengo (The Tree has fallen) by Anthony Makondetsa
Nthunzi wathawa, poti mtengo wagwa, wagwa mtengo,
(The shed has disappeared because the tree has fallen, the tree has fallen)
Agogo apita lero mtengo wagwa lero, wagwa mtengo
(Grandfather has gone; the tree has fallen, the tree has fallen)
Tikaupeza kuti wina mtengowu, mthunzi wake unali womwewu
(Where else are we going to find another tree, it was providing the only shade)
Zipatso zake nzokoma zedi , tikazipeza kuti zina
(Its fruits, so delicious, where else are we going to find the fruits)
Mbeu yake inachoka kutali, kukazalidwa kwa Singano
(The seedlings came from very far away and was planted in Singango)
Udali womwewu mtengowu eeeh unkawonekela kutali zedi
(This was the only tree; its visibility was far reaching)
Ooooh Mama ine wagwa mtengo, Agogo apita kalanga ine wagwa mtengo
(Ooooh my goodness the tree has fallen – Grandfather is gone oh my God, the tree has fallen)
For whatever reasons I am surprised people are trying to make the two a subject of debate; debate which has to vilify one and exonerate the other’s shortfall.
It reminds me of what Peter Tosh was said after people were always trying to compare him with Bob Marley who had just died. He simply said: “I am the first Peter Tosh and not the Second Bob Marley.”
The same would be said about Anthony Makondetsa and The Black Missionaries, both are at their best in their own rights and it will be little demanding to respect them accordingly.
I guess, all the sarcasm that Mablacks have been getting has always reached their ears and they decided to respond back by doing track whose diplomatic approach might have eluded many to get its meaning.
Nkhondo – (War)
Ndayenda ine kufuna-funa mbalekufuna-funa mlongo osamupeza
(I have travelled far and wide, looking for a brother, looking for a sister, without find any)
Ndaona ine chikondi mdziko chinatha kale matsiku aja
(I have seen, love in this world vanished many days ago)
Pogona iwe uyambe watula nkhawa zako Gwada pansi upemphere Atero Yehova
(Before you go to bed, kneel down and pray, says Jehovah)
Ukadzuka mbale wanga usanapange chilichonse gwada pansi upemphere atero Mlengi
(Once you wake up, before you do anything at all, kneel down and pray, says the Creator)
Dzikoli ndi loyipa muli kaduka, miseche kupondeleza aaah
(This world is dreadful; there is jealousy, backbiting, oppression)
Tawona nkhondo, tawona nthenda, tawona njala, tawona utchimo
(Look at the wars, Look at diseases, look at famine, Look at sins)
Amakufuna pomwe zikukuyendela Chimwemwe tsaya, Choncho sibwino
(They want to be closer to you when the bread is well buttered; and full of glee – that is not fair)
Sanena iwo zabwino ukali moyo, koma ukamwalira anali mwamuna uja
(They will not say anything good when you are still alive, but once you are dead they keep saying, you were great)
Ndikapita mwana wanga mpamene azandiyamike, ati n’nali ndilutso, kukhala satero
(Once I am dead my son, that’s when they will appreciate that I was talented, that’s not the way to be)
Chitonzo, Kunyogodola ndi miseche ndiye nkhalidwe lawo, palibe kuyamika
(Mockery, trivializing and back-biting it’s their way of life, they do not appreciate)
I guess this is self explanatory, considering that people always trivialise the efforts The Black Missionaries have made by always saying they still cannot beat the standards set by the two dead pioneers, Evison Matafale, their cousin and Musamude Fumulani their elderly brother.
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