Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Nkasa’s musical Prostitution

Joseph Nkasa came on the musical scene in the late 90s with kind of music that never made any mark. It was until in the early to mid 2000 when he brought some ‘Wayenda wapenga’ toils that he got his first substantive recognition.

When he materialized again with an album that had tracks like ‘Zosayina-sayina’ the acceptance of lyrical packed songs was overwhelming that apart from huge sales in 2003 he got over K1m in Mechanical, Public Performance and Broadcasting Royalties from the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).

This was a huge amount of money at the time and it made him go bananas as he bought property including cars without thinking of how best to manage his resources.

By the time he got another payment in 2009 from Cosoma which was close to K600 thousand he had still not learnt a lesson on how best to manage resources.

To show that that his popularity has waned in this December 29, 2009 pay out, it was Lawrence Mbenjere who set a new record when he became the first musician to cart home money in excess of over K2.5 million in royalties.

At that time it looked historical that since the establishment Cosoma the K2, 523, 459.16 that Mbenjere got was the biggest money it has dished out to a single musician.

And at the same event, Lucious Banda carted home K1, 094, 579.10, Thomas Chibade K712, 742.48. Joseph Nkasa who in 2003 got a million got K597, 942.27 this time round.


Nkasa’s hunt for money has taken him to many places including begging and even performing with Zembani Band. But all this never brought as much money as he wanted.

In between though, he almost hit gold when he started toying with politicians in earnest.

Copying Lucius Banda’s 2004 campaign song ‘Yellow’ he did a track for the President Bingu wa Mutharika called ‘Mose wa lero’ which helped lift his stature as a presidential candidate making Mutharika the first to win with an over 70 percent landslide victory.
Nkasa has always claimed never to have received ‘enough’ money with the hit single. But with his show for political money, this now remains disputable because he has now gone to bed with different politicians for the sake of money.
Nkasa composed a song for Speaker Chimunthu Banda when he was contesting for DPP Presidency, but it emerged that it was not successful at all as Chimunthu tumbled miserably.

After Chimunthu Banda he allegedly went into an agreement with PPM’s Mark Katsonga who allegedly paid K7 million for political songs, jingles and live performances all to discredit Joyce Banda government and prop up the name of PPM’s torch bearer.

In fact media reports indicate that Nkasa signed an MOU with Katsonga to produce a five-track album – among the tracks, ‘Kulira kwa a Mphawi’, ‘Wanunkha Malawi’, ‘Opani Yehova’ – at a cost of K1,074,000.00; five promotional jingles at K500,000 and hold 93 live performances to a tune of K5,580,000 coming to a total of K7, 154, 000.

While the effectiveness of this project has not even materialised, Nkasa has now done a track for Joyce Banda whom he discredited in the other tracks where he is singing complete opposite to what he sang in the other tracks.

The JB track which was first heard on her Ufulu Radio and state owned MBC presents a litany of development achievements of the President and why she will be voted into power.
While I can neither accuse Nkasa for his lack of ethical sense nor the politicians for taking any routes to seek vain glory, one thing that is clearly standing out is that Joseph Nkasa does not believe in what he sings.
It is therefore very difficult for Malawians to even believe in whatever messages his tracks contain, otherwise his message remains a mockery to voters. Imagine if one listens to both the Katsonga tracks and the JB song, would they really make a position based on Nkasa’s position?
No wonder Nkasa has not succeeded as a musician even when he attempted to establish his  Zosayina Band because he is into musical prostitution that knows no morals. With such dearth of any guiding principles looking into one’s career, one cannot prosper in any discipline.

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