The best of 2013


When I said Skeffa Chimoto was the best artist in 2012 I had reasons that no one ever disputed. Even in the face of lack of releasing an album at that time, the backing explanation still made sense.
He happens to be the Best Drumming Pen Best Artist for 2013.
Given an opportunity to do it alone, however, I should confess that I was not going to settle for him. Nevertheless, since I write for readers, they have overwhelmingly told me Skeffa Chimoto was their best artist, his album Chikondi was tops and his track ‘Chinamuluma Chakuda’ was the most sought after.
Others argued that this would not make a fair reflection of what really happened in 2013 because Skeffa only released his album just 31 days before the end of the year and to say this was the best album would be a mockery.
Going by what numerous readers sent me this time round, there were just too many productions to pick from; The Black Missionaries released ‘Kuimba 9’, Anthony Makondetsa launched ‘Fuko Lokondedwa’, Lucius Banda issued ‘Time’ and Lawrence ‘Lulu’ Khwisa released ‘Ndakudziwa’.
These were the results according to you:
……………..
Best Album: Fuko Lokondedwa
Best Musician: Anthony Makondetsa
Best Song: Fire Time
……………..
Best Album: Ndakudziwa
Best Musician: Lulu
Best Song: Ndzalera
……………………
Best Album: Kuimba 9
Best Musician: The Black Missionaries
Best Song: I am not a failure
……………………………………
I got most of the artists above as the best for the year. One of those that felt Lulu was the best said it was very difficult to choose the best from ‘Mponyere’, ‘Ndzalera’ and Mtima Wakana’ because the tracks are just very good.
In fact since ‘Ndzalera’ video gets airplay on Zambian entertainment channel, Muvi TV, then this was the more reason Lulu had to be the best, this according to one reader.
The reason Skeffa was the Drumming Pen’s best 2012 musician was that he never relented in his approach to court quality in his performance and I would say the same for this year. This is a journey he started travelling 2011 and he has never showed any fatigue to give his patrons half-baked stuff.
Just like last year, this time round his stage work remained focused proving why those that love his energy-packed stage-exhibitions call him the ‘Jamming Machine’.
Skeffa continues to remain professional and set the right path for budding artists, unlike most of our musicians who are always topping the chart in all sorts of ugly things like boozing, womanising and unnecessary controversy.
So, like in 2012, in 2013 Skeffa continued to steer away from unnecessary tittle-tattle.
…………………………………………………………………………………………..
In 2013, when The Black Missionaries released their ‘Kuimba 9’, a debate ensued as some months before Anthony Makondetsa had done the 2013 album ‘Fuko Lokondedwa’ and now what became very common within social gatherings was that people were trying to compare the toils in Black Missionaries album to those in Makondetsa’s works.
I then said in the year that dismissing such assertions as a mere cheap effort to compare apples to mangoes would be a hopeless effort to run away from reality.
Over the years I have been a critic of the Black Missionaries’ failure to toss away the template that founding leader Evison Matafale and his successor Musamude Fumulani created for Ma Blacks. But the year 2013 taught me something else.
Last time I wrote about Kuimba 8, upon its release almost three years ago I was of the view that this is the same old skin which was only bulged with new wine.
Kuimba 9 has taught me not to take it away from the boys. After the years that we interred the remains of Matafale and Musamude, seriously it will be utter jealousy to still claim they are reaping success because they are still riding on the fame of the fallen leading pioneers.
Because of this effort Kuimba 9 becomes The Best Drumming Pen’ 2013 Album.
2013 also proved that Anthony ‘Mr. Cool’ Makondetsa is the most consistent artists Malawi has.
In the year I wrote: On the account of the contagious awe that his six previous albums have drawn out of many people, Makondetsa had in 2013 carved another piece of facet that became the most shining of his multi-faceted career with the release of ‘Fuko Lokondedwa’ – his seventh album.
Since his first album in 2000, Tisatengeke, the journey has been that of hope. In 2001, he released Kambelembele, 2003 saw him christening Maonekedwe as the third album followed two years later by another one, Mfakafaka. Two years later in 2007Ndilibe Mlandu tagged along by Mbumba ya Abraham in 2009.
The consistency is in the anthemic approach to his compositions.
The Best 2013 Drumming Pen Video Album is the 13th Album entitled: “Ethel Kamwendo Banda Live at Comesa Hall”; while the Best Drumming Pen 2013 Musical Revelation is Faith Mussa.

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About Gregory Gondwe - Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Gregory Gondwe is a Malawian journalist who started practising journalism in 1993. Until March 31, 2012 he was regional editor and bureau chief for Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS). Gregory is also a media consultant assisting several international journalists pursuing assignments in Malawi. He holds a Diploma of Journalism and an Intermediate Certificate in Journalism among other media-related certificates. He is also columnist for Malawi's first and oldest weekly, Malawi News. He can be contacted on gregorygondwe@gmail.com.
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