Balaka-based group Alleluya Band leaves for Italy in May where they are expected to hold 40 shows.

Band leader Coss Chiwalo said the band will leave on May 23 and return on August 1.

“This is an annual trip which we undertake with a purpose but this time around we will have 40 shows although there is a probability we could even have more,” said Chiwalo.

The group, which has produced several renowned musicians will, however, leave without Paul Subiri who Chiwalo said is working on a new album.

“All the other members are on the trip and we are even taking with us a new dancer,” he said.

Last year, as in the previous years, Alleluya Band performed in Italy. They also participated at the World Youth Day in Spain.

“People should not confuse these trips, because our visit to Italy is an annual project but the World Youth Day is something different.

It was supposed to be held next in 2014 but because of the World Cup, it will be held next year in Brazil,” said Chiwalo.

He said that every time they make trips outside the country, they come up with new songs which are eventually compiled into an album.

“We have new songs which we are currently practicing and mostly we focus on songs fused with traditional dances. We have songs like ‘Baobab’ which song came about after noticing that a lot of tourists who always want to see this tree when they come to Malawi so we feel that it is a special tree,” said Chiwalo.

Last year, the group recorded Wala Wala on their trip to Italy.

Chiwalo said their new album will finally hit the market soon.

“The album is long overdue but now the consignment is here. We are planning to launch the album, which was recorded in Italy and after the launch, we will songs from the album in the rest of ourperformances,” he said.

Some of the songs featuring in Wala Wala include the song ‘Nyumba,’ which features Lucius Banda, a prominent musician that was groomed by the band.

Andiamo Youth Cooperative Trust director Andrew Galeta said Alleluya Band’s trips are made for a purpose.

“Of course, some people have failed to understand these trips, some think when they go there, the members are supposed to make money.

These trips are arranged by our friends in Italy and this is why some of the members reside with families. This is a cultural exchange but also at the same time a platform for spread the word of God,” said Galeta.

He said the group was bringing the fruits of the shows back to the Balaka community.

“In the 2010 trip the group through the shows raised funds for our nurseries which we are running and last year they also raised funds for street kids,” he said.

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