With Richard Chirombo:
Everyone wants good things. Everyone takes care, to whatever extent, of someone. It could be a close or distant relation or someone who has fallen into the ‘trap’ that is our life.
Whatever the case, musicians— as the voice of the voiceless— take on themselves more responsibility than us, ‘less’ mortals.
I mean, catering for the needs of multitudes is no small job.
This, though, does not stop people from coming forward and declaring themselves artists. One does not need to stand on an anthill actually, and declare that they have been baptised as artists. An individual’s work speaks for itself.
The moment one moves to the studio to record a song or a collection of songs— be it Extended Play or album— they have put their hands to the wheel, ready for service.
Of course, there are others who openly declare that they are musicians. Others go further to point at specific areas they want to focus on; poverty alleviation, counselling, dancing, and what have you.
Take Lucius Banda, for example. He chose, for himself — mwina atakhuta samosa; yes, atakhuta samusa. Ha!Ha! Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha! Ha!Ha! —the title ‘Soldier’, by which he commits to fight for the voiceless. Let us just say the less privileged. Fine and well.
How about Phungu Joseph Nkasa? Well, one day, even before brushing teeth— yes, asanatsuke mkamwa. Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!H a!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha! — he decided to call himself Phungu [counsellor]. Not just Phungu, but phungu for the poor.
Then there is Charles Sinetre. After he had a lot of raw mangoes— yes, atakhuta mango osakhwima. Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha! Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha! — he decided to call himself Reggae Ambassador.
Maybe he observed that Malawians— or his audiences— were starved of danceable beats and needed something to ‘warm’ them up.
Lommie Mafunga, maybe after he ate loads of fruits that grow along the Shire River, decided to call himself Nkhetekete. Whatever that means! Maybe he ate too much of the fruits— mangoes, oranges, guavas and what have you— that grace the Shire River banks.
Well, but there is someone who chose to stick to his name: Khuza Rampi.
At first, when I heard the name Rampi, I laughed: “Well, Malawians are lucky. Foreign artists are visiting us and settling here for good,” I told a friend, Emmanuel Mtambalika.
But, instead of appreciating my input, the friend laughed at me.
“Ng’ooooooo! Sadziwa za oyimba a ku Malawi! Khuza Rampi is Malawian. Maybe you were even thinking along the lines that he is from Tanzania! Ng’oooooo! Actually, Khuza Rampi is against Tanzania’s decision to claim ownership over a part of our lake. Ng’oooo!” He said.
I wanted to grab his neckless head! Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha !Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!
Anyway, when I finally met with Rampi, he talked a lot about the challenges Malawians musicians were facing, notably piracy, lack of music labels, unavailability of managers for musicians, rising costs of album production and what have you.
Well, he was passionate about these subjects— while crying for positive change of course.
Well, good thing is, Rampi no longer cries for improved conditions in the music industry.
Last week, on his Facebook page, he boasted that he was no longer a ‘slave’ of problems.
And I see the reason. He has started boasting on Facebook that, now that he stays in South Africa, he can buy anything a Malawian resident in Malawi wants to get from South Africa and send it here.
So long as the Malawian pays, of course.
This shows that the ‘boy’ could be swimming in some meandering river of (what?) rands!
Now, that is relief, even if it were temporary.
Now, Rampi source some mice for me in South Africa, 10 of them will do, and I will pay back the money.
If you, Rampi, find, in South Africa, mice twice the size of those we have in Malawi, I will pay you double. Yes, double. Ha! Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!H a!Ha!Ha!