I had the opportunity to watch Zathu Band perform for MBC’s Made On Monday musical programme in Blantyre but for whatever reasons I could not make it. Fortunately I chanced upon the programme on MBC TV on Saturday.
It is not like it is first time that I have had the opportunity to listen and watch Zathu Band perform. In fact I have been meaning to write about the band from the first time that I came across their music.
Now that I have heard them talk on the programme now it confirms my first impression.
Whoever was in charge of the auditions to identify the six members of the group that include: Xander (Paul Kachala), Annetti (Nyokase Madise), Mphatso (Theresa Dzanjalimodzi), Chikondi (Esther Chitheka-Luis) T-Reel (Praise Umali) and JP (Jonathan Pangani) did a good job.
These six individuals have talent which is unique to specific personality and the band has offered a platform to allow for its fusion which has further enabled the direction that the production of the band has taken, which is to amalgamate different genres in order to create one identifiable one.
What hit me the first time I listened to the songs from the band was that it was more like a one-stop-genres production where one cannot confidently declare the songs as urban or traditional.
What is clear is that much as there has been an attempt to provide the urban feel, the element of the local traditional sound cannot escape the ear.
The aim for creating Zathu Band was to bring boys and girls together to create a new sound for Malawi and indeed for me this new sound the band has created.
Imagine if let’s say the band is one made up if different talent of the following keel: Xander is Lulu, T-Reel is Macelba, JP is Skeffa Chimoto, Chikondi is Alicia Keys, Mphatso is Brenda Fassie and Annetti is Asa that Soul artist famed for her track Fire on the Mountain.
And all these diverse talents was one group. Ladies and gentlemen this is Zathu Band. Take time to listen to their music. By the way they have just released a 12-track-album Chinzathu Ichichi.
Besides the intentions of this band whose members are also a cast for a radio play that is trying to reach out to fellow youth as they try to hear out their challenges and find solutions for them, the quality of their music is something to talk about in a special breath.
If the youths in this country want to take a musical path, let them take a professionally dignified route. As I complain all the time, we are continuously being given a raw deal by a lot of pretenders.
For me I know very little about the band in terms of its nature of formation. Thus is it a project and if it is, how is it going to nurture these individual talents to reach great heights? Music in Malawi can be so tough if it is meant to provide the bread and butter. The question is how are these members sustaining themselves? Are they on contract? And who is their boss in this case? How happy are they with their package if any?
Again the most pertinent question is that one element that qualified them to be in the group is their youthful status. Unfortunately soon they will grow into men and women and will become less relevant to the cause.
How is the mission going to be sustained? Are they (I don’t know them apparently) going to audition another batch of youthful talent to replace them?
However has answers would really do me kind if they provided them for me and my readers. Otherwise without even any hint of doubt I would declare that Zathu Band is an admixture of super talent that needs to be perpetuated by all means necessary.
The Zathu Band experiment has yielded positive results it’s time to replicate it.