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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Musicians mourn First Lady
By SELLINA NKOWANI - 05 June 2007 - 08:44:26

Perhaps realising the effectiveness of music in soothing the souls of many people, some of the country’s musicians have composed songs mourning the death of the First Lady Ethel Mutharika who died on May 28.

Since the death of the first lady was announced, musicians have been scrambling for the best studios in town to record songs in honour of the First Lady.

Balaka based Lucius Banda creatively transformed the press release from State House to come up with ‘Thambo Lagwa’.

In his song, Lucius chronicles the life of the First Lady and her undying efforts to better the lives of the less privileged people in the country.

Not wanting to be outdone, the ‘Kamandidutsadutsa’ star Mlaka Maliro released ‘Muwasunge’ last week.

Mlaka says as a musician, he has benefited a lot from the First Lady. He says there could not have been a better way to mourn the First Lady than dedicating the song to her.

The song which also talks about the humble life that Ethel used to lead, is also an encouragement to the President and his family to have trust in God although they have lost their loved one.

“Personally, I am one of the musicians who have benefited much from the First Lady. When I got married, she came to my wedding and she even advised us on how newly weds are supposed to behave. That is why I decided to come up with this song,” he said.

Mlaka cancelled the shows he lined up last week to respect the First Lady. He was supposed to perform alongside Skeffa Chimoto at the Warehouse on Sunday. Mlaka also said he would shoot the video of the song and he would like to include a footage of the funeral.

However, some of the musicians who have composed songs of the First Lady’s passing have parried away other people’s view that they are doing this for the love of money.

“It’s not that I will be selling the song to make more money. I have done that before but I didn’t sell the songs I did to honour Bright Nkhata and Tepu Ndiche,” said Patrick Simakweli who released ‘Uwuse ndi Mtendere’ on Sunday to honour the First Lady.

Gospel musicians have not ignored the First Lady. Sungunani Kundwe, who has featured well known gospel artist George Mkandawire, has done a Shona song to honour the First Lady.

“I am not trying to gain fame out of this trying moment but mine is an encouragement to the people the First Lady has left behind and I want to comfort them,” Kundwe said.

Billy who is the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture has also composed a tribute titled Tonthola which he says is an assurance to the bereaved family that death is the only way we can get to heaven and that Ethel is not dead but just sleeping.

He however said MBC is not playing it because they say it is a dance song.

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