Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Monday, 13 June 2011

Music Stumbles unto Gold in Maskal

Some two week-ends ago I decided, for the first time, to patronise Summit Cultural Centre in Lilongwe’s kwa Biwi location.
Several local names were lined up, Dan Muyaya, Stella Mwanza, Moses Makawa, Nthumwi Piksy, Maskal, and Skeffa Chimoto.
As you can appreciate, this was a galore of talent in exhibition and faces of fellow patrons glowed with appreciation; meaning those artists did not disappoint.
Nevertheless, there were several issues that I observed; ranging from stage management, vocal usage and general demeanour and presentation during performance.
Take for example the new rare secular musical shoot, Stella Mwanza, I am calling her a rare secular musical shoot because she is a woman. Remember some weeks ago I lamented lack of secular female musicians, but now she is around trying to spruce up the face of this fading category.
I should however, hasten to say I was deeply disappointed with her performance. Stella Mwanza was timid throughout her performance; there is a need of an urgent assistance in this respect because she just has too much potential that if left untapped will waste away.
Perhaps you would dismiss my timidity assertion off-handedly, saying – given the freshness this is allowable, but what about her failure to know we she can come in when instruments start playing. Stella Mwanza was not even sure where to start impressing with her vocal contributions that every time, she would fix he gaze at the drummer to get a sign to cue in.
She has a colleague who also dances for her, if anything she steals the day for her as she has no control over anything that is happening on her stage. She just does control anything, from players of instruments to ‘her’ dancers.
Moses Makawa who came next afterwards has become of age. He touches where the fans want to be reached and this is perhaps what one has to do when a vocal artist. Khuzumule Band that plays for him is an assembly of young talented fellows who showed that they spend more time practising.
If Makawa sent a few dogs to hunt for entertainment starved fans in the audience, then Maskal brought a kennel for each individual patron. Those that rarely show any signs emotional provocations were left drooling for more. This is how talented Maskal is.
In Maskal, Malawi has stumbled unto gold; you could see how he engages the audience and sends them spell bound.
He could sing impossibly, like where he suddenly goes off key and when everybody else will be thinking he has lost it, he would get back on the road. Such playfulness could burst the oesophagus open, but he dares it.
At the moment, on the musical market Maskal is not very far away from Skeffa Chimoto.

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