Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Friday, 16 November 2012

Star and Moda in Brothers’ Mission


In the spur of the moment, thus after the death of their elder brothers, at least Star Marley brother to Vic and  Moda Fumulani brother to Gift promised to carry on with their fallen brothers’ music mission.
Gift died in 2008 while Vic Marley who died on road accident in 2005.
To start with, I would say it is a mistake for the two young artists to have announced their entrance into the musical terrain riding on the back of their fallen brothers.
Time has proven that there has been terrible false start on both, with Star Marley not living up to Vic’s billing while Moda has just confined himself to some road shows with his cousins’ band The Black Missionaries which his brother used sparingly.
One has only to check how Vic Marley used to release his music and how it was provoking reaction from the people. And there is Gift Fumulani and how he could get huge following for those who used to love and still love his music.
The command that the two had over their fans has continuously dwindled even when the younger brothers are around and supposedly carrying on with the missions of their elder brothers. 
Then there is a question of how late Gift Fumulani’s ten-track album ‘Mphamvu yake Mulungu’  told a story of how confused he were by showing in his music that he was still searching for a right spiritual sanctuary.
By all Malawian reggae standards, Gift Fumulani’s reggae transcended all the borders that divide the kind of music genres that is pleasing to the ear.
Each of Gift Fumulani’s albums could bring with it some rarity that one comes up with in their musical career. Now if I say it is a Pity that Gift Fumulani never lived to continue pulling all the tricks from the hat, I mean just that, because Moda has proven that he is no Gift Fumulani.
The dilemma in Gift’s albums is characteristic of all musicians in the country who are also reggae music players or spot dreadlocks and chant Jah Rastafarie in their music.
Other quarters have labelled Fumulani’s albums as gospel album products, to which going by all the lyrics in the songs of his albums Fumulani failed to say yes or no.
This in other words is purely meant to say that Fumulani’s album is purely reggae, which is known as conscious vibes because of its religious construct. One question that stands out high when listening to this album is whether Fumulani is a Rasta or just a Christian.
Anybody who liked Gift Fumulani’s first album could in no way ignore his last album ‘Mphamvu yake Mulungu’ and if they had doubts over his capabilities, this album vindicated him and gave them a headache to differentiate between him and his cousins of the Black Missionaries.
One clear thing, between the Fumulanis, thus Gift and Black Missionaries is the internal war that is raging within them of whether they can depend of Rasta life or Christianity as their source of salvation. This at least Moda has managed to carry on.
Now coming to Vic Marley, the www.nyasabeats.com says this about Vic Marley: “Vic Marley represents the symbol of true talent. It is unfortunate that this talented musician passed away early before we discovered more of his remarkable talent.”
Again here the solace was that the young Star will carry the day, but if you ask for my opinion, I would ‘un-likewise’ say that he has not.
Vic Marley had so strong a passion for music and he defied the strict family Muslim set-up he was brought up in where he realised his father Mr. Kunje would not have loved to have him doing what he famed himself with.
As Victor Kunje, he changed to Vic Marley so that even when his father will listen to his music he should not realise this was music of his very own son.
You cannot find that kind of passion in anyone else but Vic Marley alone and not even Star Marley can lay acclaim to this specialty.
Now don’t be misled with my idea of discussing the younger brothers in comparison to the elder brothers. This is not meant to belittle their efforts but to explain their mistake.
Star Marley and Moda Fumulani if they still believe they are musical enough, should come out in their own terms.
This is why after the death of Bob Marley, people started saying Peter Tosh will now take over from Bob Marley, but he declared: “I am the first Peter Tosh and not the Second Bob Marley”.
Likewise, there was neither supposed to be the second Vic Marley nor the second Gift Fumulani.   
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