Many people reacted differently when musician Patience Namadingo announced that within the next 40 days he will be one artist with one guitar followed by one cameraman to perform one song on every visit out of 400 visits he was prepared to take.
What he was doing was to raise K1.2million in 40 days for a Paediatric Cancer Ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. He used what he described as three simple steps to raise this much. The first step was for those interested to call him to visit the caller’s space, be at their homes, in their office etcetera to play just one song for K3000 per available person.
The arrangement was that he would be responding to 10 calls every day; but the news is that just 4 days into the initiative he already has K1.2 million in the bag.
The debate raging fierce after this announcement had several conclusions. While others thought Patience is a genius, others said he is just being a witty and cunning businessman because the K1.2million he is talking about might as well just be 10 percent of what he might end up making.
The claim is that he is the biggest beneficiary of the initiative. What if he is invited to a factory of 50 workers each parting ways with K3000 which is already K150, 000?
Others were saying who is going to audit Namadingo because some might pay more than K3, 000.Others were doubtful that he could not reachtargeted amount as they felt Patience was overrating both his importance and popularity because he has a high opinion of himself.
Others said they did not see anything wrong if he gets more because he will also need to arrange for logistics.
Now this is how we discourage a good initiative sometimes. How many so called famous artists in this country have ever taken an initiative to show a social responsibility regardless of how much they would benefit themselves? Granted, Namadingo is barred from going ahead with the fundraiser because he will personally benefit, so who should be allowed to do it?
As a musical artist Patience Namadingo seem to be getting inventive in marketing his brand. Recently he has been recording short songs without having to produce a whole album including one where he sang about local supporters of European football teams. Then look at the quality of his music videos not to mention his own branded and personalised website.
Others have argued that Patience has one tune which he only changes by bringing in different lyrical contents. This is an argument for another day.
Apart from Q Malewezi, BICC is a venue that most local artists fear to tread. But one ambitious Patience has strutted his stuff right there.
And at least by the reviews that this column got, the young man gave out a spirited performance. So far we haven’t heard of people who went there complaining of poor sound or anything negative. All we have heard is that the evening was one to remember.
Now looking at the path that the young man has taken it is clear that Patience Namadingo is one determined artist. And this is the more reason that the determination that he has in his professional life is being extended to his charity work which is somewhat chained to his artistry.
The news that in less than a week Namadingo managed to raise the initial 1.2 million kwacha is a powerful message that art has potential to turn things around in Malawi. It has power to turn the fortunes of the less privileged in society.
All that we need to do as Malawians is to develop an open mind and be more optimistic and trusting about issues that are being done for the good of the nation. This type of art that Namadingo is promoting is one sure way of not only promoting his brand as an artist but surely lessening the burden of the less privileged in society.
While ‘doubting Thomases’ have the right to ask one or two questions, The Lyrical pen can only say this ‘Good luck Patience Namadingo!