Sunday, April 29, 2012
Bingu’s Songs in the US
Is it in politicians? Or because late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s young brother Peter is a political apprentice that he decided to caricature himself into some buffoonery when he eulogized his brother at his funeral on Monday.
Peter Mutharika wanted to impress the cross section of those that had come to help inter the remains of his brother and in so doing wanted to give the impression that the brother was not only the Jack of all trades but was also the master of all.
I have no business discussing all what Bingu was involved in as laid out by his young brother who said their six years gap on their birth made them very close and shared a lot of things.
And so Peter decided to tell the mourners some of those things that his elder brother had achieved in his life time.
What started getting me interested is when he said his brother was a poet who used a pseudo name to publish a whole lot of them. My interest came because at times the lyrics that people come up with are sometimes poetic in their nature and construct.
I never expected what came next when Peter said Bingu was also an accomplished dancer, composer, and songwriter who also did it under a pseudo name. I guess the dancing was not being done under a pseudo.
Peter claims that the songs that Bingu wrote have made it big in the United States of America and they are the most favourite and most played songs.
He then goes further that he cannot tell the nation what those songs are even when his brother is dead.
For some reasons known by the two Mutharikas, they wanted to keep Bingu’s musical talent a secret.
This space cannot dispute Bingu’s musical ability because for the past two weeks we have been acknowledging it. But what I find fascinating is what Peter alleged and I have been struggling to give him the benefit of doubt but my gut feeling is telling me he does not even deserve it.
Bingu as our leader for 8 years is not a person who would write songs that have made it big in the US and remain quite.
Of course Bingu always said that ‘The work of his Hands would speak for him’ but we also have learnt that most of the times, especially in the last botched up days of his rule, he took over the speaking.
When he was inaugurating the Mausoleum that he had built for his wife, where he has also been interred, he told the nation that he conceptualized and designed the imposing structure.
Peter cited this one as well when he described the brother as a designer, he cited President Joyce Banda as Bingu’s show that he was a champion of human rights, likewise to brag about his late brother’s fishing skills he talked of a big blue fish that he killed during a vacation in Portugal.
Music is a kind of art which is like a lightened candle that you cannot put under a cover. It has to illuminate wherever it is placed.
And knowing Bingu and given the citations that Peter made to strengthen any claim of who Bingu was, what was the good reason for Bingu not to talk about his song writing skills or Peter not to mention any of the now famous songs in America that Bingu wrote.
Peter says Bingu had written Gospel and Country songs and decided not to mention them.
And this left Malawians with music interest start speculating that perhaps some of the songs that famed Kenny Rodgers and Ken Williams were in fact a composition of Bingu?
If indeed Bingu was good at that, why didn’t he compose songs that he would have been used during his campaigns? Instead he adopted Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda’s ‘Tiyende Pamodzi ndi Mtima umodzi’ which became his ruling Democratic Progressive Party – DPP’s rallying cry during the campaign period in the 2009 elections.
To whose benefit would the hiding of the said compositions that Bingu made be? Was Peter Mutharika truthful or he was carried away by the events unfolding at his brother’s funeral?
Let me hasten to say here that if Bingu’s song composition is part of what has been tucked away in the US in a treasure trove, would it, perhaps be one of the reasons it cannot be revealed, because revealing it would lead to more discoveries?
The US enjoys the laws that deal with intellectual property right as well as copyright issues. How is such composition enjoying these provisions?
If Bingu wrote songs that Americans are enjoying immensely, it could be that back home in Malawi here, we are also enjoying the said songs not even knowing that they are a composition of our fallen leader.
How bad can it get? Are you agreeing with me that Peter has to come clean on his brother’s composition so that we place it – depending on its level of ingenuity - in the hall of fame where songs of Stonald Lungu Dr.
Daniel Kachamba, Robert and Arnold Fumulani, Evision Matafale and other accomplished artists is kept?