Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

When music runs into a saviour

John Nthakomwa is one investor that the Malawi music industry desires his replication. It’s a pity it had to wait until last Sunday on June the first for me to realise this.
There has been a time when I have been shocked with disbelief. Last Sunday was such a day. Mibawa has acquired musical equipment that is going with a movable first-rate stage which is valued some billions of kwacha.
To imagine that there are people who can invest such huge amount in entertainment you really cannot help it but doff your hat. If one would be taken by a pleasant surprise at the sight of the equipment and numerous speakers that produce crystal clear sound, then you would also be in profound disbelief at the quality of sound that bellied the atmosphere.
Mibawa Resident Band with Goma Nyondo and his two vocal leading partners, the accomplished reggae outfit Soul Raiders, Skeffa Chimoto, Lawrence Khwisa and Faith Mussa sounded as if they were using their studio recorded music in CDs.
Well, the proof was when Mibawa and Soul Raiders who played several famous reggae copies from Bob Marley to Peter Tosh to Culture faultlessly were there to prove that the patrons were indeed faced with reality.
Now with such huge musical investment, Nthakomwa now wants to continue mesmerising the country’s music lovers.
Nthakomwa has now even invested in what he is calling Mibawa One Stop Complex which will include recording studios – mark studio(s), shops restaurants and an entertainment club. All this will be along the Midima Roundabout in Limbe Blantyre.
In his words Nthakomwa says they have invested in sound and studio equipment and now thet want to take the lead in development of local contebnt for Malawian Television stations which dish out too much foreign content.
I mean this is what I have always been talking about.
Nthakomwa is the man that all and sundry need to emulate. Who does not use music at one point or the other? But even when the response would be a deafening affirmative on how everyone uses music there has not been much when it comes to investment in this industry.
Of course you cannot take it away from lawyer Jai Banda, Mr. Entertainer himself who for years has really tried to promote the music industry with huge investments, but for long he has been a lonely voice. Investors like parliamentarian Lucius Banda have really tried but not given credit because he is an artist himself and the feeling has been that it is to his personal benefit.
But when you check the list of those that I have mentioned above, you will appreciate that these are individuals, with have companies like Chibuku Industries, Sunbird Hotels who are not seriously into the needed investments.
I have always argued that companies like Carlsberg thrive on using music to promote and achieve sales of their products but they have not invested a lot into the industry. Therefore when the music industry gets blessed when it has people like John Nthakomwa he needs to get encouragement from the private sector as well as the government.
Well, what was ironic last Sunday was that here was quality but patrons were dropping in, in dribs and drabs but John Nthakomwa was undeterred as he managed the sound console to produce the quality that ever music loving ear would kill for.
With the kind of high-tech equipment that Mibawa has invested into, musicians will no longer find excuses for their handicap to dish out the best and I can now declare that open-air music concerts in Malawi will never be the same.   

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