Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Death Stabs Music on Mwanyama


Towards the month-end of December 2010, Lovemore Mwanyama was the one that the media quoted when Skeffa Chimoto, the current top selling musician escaped death in a road accident.
Mwanyama is the one who explained to the media that Skeffa and his band Real Sounds were en-route to Lilongwe from Salima when the vehicle they were travelling in had a tyre burst.
Lovemore Mwanyama, was speaking as Skeffa’s Manager then.
Now, this year, towards the end of September, Skeffa took up the task of informing the media that unlike him, Mwanyama never survived a road accident and died at the Kamuzu Central Hospital.
My interest is not in the comparing the two accidents and the exchange of positions for the two, but to mourn with the music industry on a huge loss suffered on the decease of Mwanyama.
I used to think Lovemore Mwanyama is at first Mlaka Maliro’s hangers-on and when I started seeing him closer to where Skeffa was when performing live; I thought the habit to get attracted by famous musicians was in his blood.
Little did I realise that in fact he was the King Maker.
McDonald Mlaka Maliro is Malawi’s musician whom President Bingu wa Mutharika declared is his best local artist.
To reach that kind of musical zenith is not easy. It never only depends on one’s chance but it also needs to a boost from one’s natural talent.
At one time in the country, Mlaka used to be a ladies’ musician where every other lady in the country would tell you they fall for Mlaka Maliro’s music.
At one time Mlaka Maliro, Billy Kaunda and of course their Godfather Lucius Banda used to be the musicians of special mention in the country. 
He is perhaps the only musician who can sell in Japan after making a name when there when he collaborated with a Japanese Kohei Yamada, who served as a member of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) in Malawi.
They co-authored and recorded a song that became a number-one hit "Ndimakukonda," in order to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention.
I am telling you all this about Mlaka, not because I have digressed, but I want to show you how great Mlaka was and still is and how he could afford all this success because Lovemore Mwanyama was his manager.
Then let’s talk about Skeffa Chimoto. These pages have written so much about him as a person and his successful musical exploits. In fact his top record as a musician is there for all to see.
He is indisputably the country’s current top selling musician with his ‘Ndife Amodzi’ latest album.
Lovemore Mwanyama assisted Mlaka to gain autonomy when he helped him assemble Maloto Vibration, likewise Skeffa Chimoto’s Real Sounds Band, it was Mwanyama who helped him build it.
Then there is a horde of musicians that Mwanyama assisted through counselling and recording them at his Eclipse Studio.
The hullabaloo that is Lake of Stars where musicians showcase talent is where musicians worth their salt in the country feel honoured once invited to perform.
Skeffa was this year invited to perform at the event but pulled out at the eleventh hour to pay respect to the fallen Lovemore Mwanyama.
Chimoto never concealed his grief and loss on the death of Mwanyama saying for him to be in the limelight today, it is because of Mwanyama.
Mwanyama spotted potential in Skeffa and helped him nurture his talent until it reached where all of us now heard and saw that there is one Skeffa Chimoto in the music industry.
On September 28, 2011 Lovemore Mwanyama, was interred at his home Kalanzi village at Mlangeni in Traditional Authority Njolomole in Ntcheu, at the age of 40 when his life was just starting.
In fact, his life was supposed to start on 25 October this month because this is the date he was born way back in 1971.
I hope musicians like Mlaka Maliro and Skeffa Chimoto who will realise how painful the stab, death has inflicted on the music industry in general and on them in particular, will mourn with measured grief.
More so, because deaths of people like Mwanyama need to be celebrated and not mourned.
At least if all others would honour his life, I expect Mlaka Maliro and Skeffa Chimoto to compose and record song or songs on Lovemore Mwanyama that should help to celebrate his decorated life.
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