Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Friday, 16 November 2012

Nkasa abused Secular Stage


Joseph Nkasa, the touted wordsmith is a unique musician on the local scene for more than one reason.
Like a bee to a flower, politicians have always been attracted to him. But politicians being what they are only use him for a particular purpose and once that has been achieved they tend to leave him waiting for unfulfilled promise. They behave like bees indeed, once they get the nectar from an attractive flower, and then it’s a done deal.
Former President Bakili Muluzi got attracted with his fame and as he had successfully done with Lucius Banda, he wanted to rope in Joseph Nkasa to be in his hero worshiping team. He started by promising to buy Nkasa a vehicle.
Of course, the car never came and Nkasa composed the track ‘Anamva’ where he reminded the president about his promise.
Exit Muluzi enters Bingu wa Mutharika. The late Mutharika, according to Nkasa, promised to buy him a house due to ‘Mose wa Lero’ a track that indisputably helped Mutharika’s 2009 Presidential campaign.
Now if you look at all these happenings, one thing that is clear is that it was secular music that he used to touch base with personalities that were perched right there at the pinnacle of the country’s political authority. 
Nkasa is unlike many artists who have tried it in the secular music industry and having felt they can go on no more miles have turned to gospel. Merely, the reason for doing so is greed. There is too much easy money in the gospel music industry.
I have said in the past.
Christianity or Islam tells us that God created us even when we know we were born from our mothers and fathers. This parenthood knowledge has therefore compelled most of us to question our parents who God’s mother and father are, when we are at a tender age.
While the explanation is that God is Omnipotent, He was there and shall always be there looks like enough, it still has holes, which fail to hold together even a child’s credulity.
This is where a belief will use its ‘closed system’ because every religious belief is a closed system, so other philosophers argue.
Being such, it has its bedrock on a specific dogmatic belief. This is the reason one can neither question nor disagree with church authorities.
Closed system simply shut-up you by saying it is the evil powers of Satan that drives a person to ask such questions and this snaps any desire to ask more.  This approach is what is usually looked at as a dogmatic slumber, where you wake up at your own peril.
This frame is unfortunately one which most of Gospel musicians want to use. They sing very bad songs, which they are not even ashamed to put into compact disks or tapes and call them albums, comfort in the belief that no one will point a finger at their mediocrity because it is the word of God.
Artists that are into gospel take it for granted that since it is gospel music then they could get away with it.
No, I am not going to believe that, this is a big lie. God loves beauty, this is the reason even his creations are a beauty including Lucifer himself – or herself pardon my gender sensitivity here – although in believer’s depiction they will try to show him as a badly horned looking creature.
For every 10 gospel songs produced in Malawi, you find that one will be a hit while for every 10 secular songs produced in the country at least five will become the street anthems due to its popular appeal.
Now when Nkasa came on the musical scene he truly came as a gospel artist. I should start by saying that ever since he started in 1996 his career to date has been decorated with 18 albums.
If you look at his first 4 albums you will appreciate his initial gospel bearing. He started with ‘Satana Waponya’, ‘Messiah Alikubwera’, ‘Ndigwireni Dzanja Yehova’ and ‘Kutha Kwafika’.
Now FOUR gospel albums, one semi-gospel of course, never did any good to Nkasa’s name. And what does he do? He decided to jump ship and turn secular with the album ‘Kupupuluma’.
Now after soaring so high with secular music and even after making himself a name he thinks he can go back and start all over again in the gospel music arena.
To be fair with his actions, Nkasa has merely abused the instruments within the secular music industry as a launch pad that he hopes will catapult him to stardom in the gospel music world.
Artists are blamed of trying to use the gospel music industry for money, but one Nkasa did not only use it for money, he used it for fame as well.
He in fact christened himself as ‘Phungu’ and he knows why. Now he is a gospel musician, I guess he is still Phungu and he will befittingly give the reasons why.
Feedback: drummnigpen@columnist.com

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