Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A Song for the eight

My friend Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa announced of his intentions to write a poem just a few minutes after the heart wrenching death of eight – including seven beautiful and innocent souls – that were stampeded to death when all they wanted was to watch Big Bullets play against Silver Strikers as part of independence celebrations on July 6 in Lilongwe.

For the first time since the proliferation of social media I wished that what was spread about the Bingu Stadium stampede was all but fake news.

Imagine the morning that these children woke up mingling with their parents and siblings and perhaps asking for a penny that they would use to buy fizzy drinks while waiting for the match to start at the stadium.

Imagine the flow of love that permeates around homes when morning breaks and everyone is ready to start off for the day. I know the feeling because God has blessed me with a career wife, a ten-year-old son Vinandi as well as a ten-month-old daughter Vichi who become part of such morning experience.

I want you to put yourself in the shoes of parents that have lost these children. In the morning of July 6, 2017 they parted ways with their boys promising to meet again later in the day.

Just few hours before the morning wears thin you hear that your son has died from such uncharacteristic death – not that death has a tolerable character – and that now you have to bury his little beautiful body in the soil. It is heart breaking.

I am not here to pass verdict on anyone but I am here to declare that no amount of consolation can take away this pain. I feel it so deep and so soul cutting that it leaves a soreness that is lacklustre. It is such an emotive happenstance that every time I think about it I always picture that which should not have been.

With such events I know musicians rush to compose music for one reason or the other. This entry is to put out a word of caution to those that would try to get all their creative juices running and come up with songs for the victims or the accident.

When you consider the vitriol and outpour of sympathy that has characterised the aftermath you are in some instances left in disbelief that people can be so callous in trying to show cleverness over such a tragedy of excruciating magnitude.

It is therefore for this reason that those of our musicians that will come up with consoling songs to celebrate the young lives of the deceased babies should only do so with humane and pure artistic tact.

It will be so sad and a reminder of this pain if our artists will bring out heartless lyrics to talk about the innocent souls in a manner that will forever disrespect their souls.

Bad productions will also be a minus to the cause and it will really be unpalatable to just do it for the sake of it.

I have seen musicians in the country composing songs for the fallen politicians or men and women of influence some of which have left a lot to be desired.

This particular twist of fate is unique in its own way because – I hate to say it was avoidable – of the events that led to its occurrence and what followed afterwards.

If at all there will be a song for the eight, it should be a perfect eulogy that can be able to live side by side with the pain that will forever remain. At least therefore it should have to be something that will also forever assuage this pain.  


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