By Sam Banda Jnr:
Veteran gospel musician Ethel Kamwendo-Banda on Friday launched her triple albums at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre.
This was the second launch, following up on the first launch at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe a week ago.
The Lilongwe concert failed to attract a big audience despite the artist putting up a good show but there was some improvement at Sunbird Mount Soche.
However, Njamba room was not filled to its capacity and some of the seats were not occupied.
The launch for the three albums namely Ndili Pa Mnzere, Moyo Wanga and Tate Ndinu Woyera saw the audience treated to a dinner as well before enjoying music vibes from the headliner Ethel.
Unlike in Lilongwe, where people had time to watch a documentary of Ethel’s journey from an artist who used to perform barefoot to where she is now, a documentary was not shown in Blantyre.
Ethel’s manager and husband Blessings Banda said they could not show the documentary because time was not on their side.
“We have the documentary but in Blantyre with the dinner we thought we should not show it,” Banda said.
Meanwhile, the triple launch, which was expected to take place at Squirrels Park in Blantyre, has been cancelled.
Banda confirmed the development.
“Due to challenges beyond her control, she will not be able to take the launch to Mzuzu as earlier announced. We will, however, come out to announce of the new date. We apologise for that,” he said.
He ruled out that this has come about because of the low turnouts at the shows in Lilongwe and Blantyre with Ethel spending over K10 million in preparations for the triple launches including production of the three albums in India.
Ethel hit the stage after people enjoyed the acts of poet Yankho Seunda and Brenda Chombo Banda, before enjoying dinner.
It was after dinner that Ethel jumped on stage to give people her vibes backed by Impact Sounds, which has the likes of bassist Ephraim Chambota, keyboardists Gresham Mokwena and OBK and lead guitarist Manyozo Tchado.
Ethel opened the account with a praise and worship song ‘Zikomo’, which also saw her introduce her son Peter to the world.
It was a perfect moment for the two as they took the audience on a praise and worship session. Peter is also the producer of one of her mother’s album Tate Ndinu Woyera.
Peter, who has a long way to go to perfect his trade and needs to improve his stage presence and interaction, offered his own song.
“It was great performing with my mother, it was fun but also good to minister the word of God,” he said.
After Ethel’s first two songs, there was an auction, with the guest of honour James Chuma as the highest getting it at K600,000.
There was also one patron who got it at K500,000 while others such as former minister John Bande got it at K100,000.
The songbird, who started as a secular and has been in gospel music for 19 years then went on to offer other songs such as ‘Ndili Pa Mnzere’ and ‘Gwira Yesu’ and had time to dish out her old song ‘Ndiumboni’.
She has done well in coming up with a variety of songs with different genres to appeal to different people.
“I am thankful to God that I have launched in Blantyre. It was a good launch and it is not about the audience, the few that came have enjoyed and will spread the word,” Ethel said.