Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Billy Kaunda – The Fading Musician

Comparisons of personalities on who could be better than the other in different fields are abounding in this country. Usually a conclusion is never reached since such assertions are always paraded without any backing research efforts.
Ever since music ‘revolutionalised’ from the era of Robert Fumulani to that of Paul Banda in the early 1990s, the coming on the scene by Lucious Banda followed shortly after by Billy Kaunda left tongues wagging as who was the best of the two.
‘Mwapindulanji’, an album by Billy Kaunda, used to be compared to ‘Son of a Poor Man’, a South African recorded album by Lucious Banda. This was the case as the euphoria of having kissed goodbye the dictatorial rule ushering in the multiparty democratic rule was sinking in.
Eventually, everyone either accepted Lucious as he is and loved him as such or accepted Billy as he stirred up his songs and followed him without stint; others dismissed and fell for the other while a large section was of the view that both needed to be taken on board.
Since the lyrics in songs of Lucious Banda and Billy Kaunda were all but political, it is of little surprise that the two ended up doubling as politicians.
Again Lucious stepped on the political terrain earlier and from this time he started experiencing a divided following; others that followed his music thought the United Democratic Front, a party he had vilified in his songs but later joined, showed that, in principle, he is more worst than the politicians he musically castigated.
When Billy followed, the public swipe he faced was not as bad as the one Lucious had politically, perhaps disputing the assertions that used to trade points just to prove who was better than the other.
While both entered parliament and pursued political careers alongside the musical profession, Lucious had to be brought down politically and his music managed to clean up the political egg that smeared his face.
Love him or hate him, Lucious managed to survive because regardless of his political involvement he still had time for his music and every time he entered the studio to do a piece or two he brought out that which keep people debating.
Unfortunately for Billy Kaunda, ever since he joined the political fray, it looks like he does not give the seriousness that his musical career deserves and therefore while Lucious suffered political backlash it is Billy’s musical career that has to contend with some hostility due to the raw deal the industry says it is getting from him.
The result is that without even arguing or debating, his latest songs have robbed him political marks the first albums gained him. In the days past, every other album Billy would release was a new born child to the music industry that would be cherished and cared for...Now it is like he is not even caring, in the past he would find a woman whom he would impregnate and throughout the nine months he would ensure that the pregnancy is well taken care of, eventually the child that would come from it was robust.
Now he is very cosmetic; he would try to visit the toy shops, let the woman carry some rags for less than nine months and then present to all a baby toy, at first glance people would think it is a real baby, but few seconds later realise it is just a toy.
This is Billy Kaunda whose political life has robbed the musical industry their star studded musician; his videos are a monotonous repetitions that clearly show he has run out of ideas...The men and women in the videos will be the same ones that will dance in the same styles, and Billy will seat in the same places, gesticulating familiarly; of course the only change would be the lyrics or the song, but the rest would be the usual boring monotony.
Cry the beloved musician, Billy Kaunda is fading.

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