Being neighboring countries, there are a lot of existing deals and benefits that happen between Malawi and Zambia such as economic relations. Apart from easy transportation of goods through the construction of the 24 km railway line to link Malawi’s line at the border in Mchinji with the district of Chipata in Zambia. Music is also allowing the two countries to effectively work together. There are countless examples which indicate booming Malawi-Zambia music relationship such as abundant shows that are being staged in Malawi. Songstress Mampi and the Organized Family from Zambia are in the region of regulars of Malawi’s entertainment calendar. Let alone Malawian musicians go to Lusaka and attract pomp. Apart from getting involved in live performances, Malawi and Zambian musicians have been working on collaborative projects. For example, Zambia’s Dalisoul released a video for the song ‘One Day’ which features Malawi stage master Skeffa Chimoto. The song was produced by Trixtar. In a related development, budding Afro R&B singer Armstrong has been featured in ‘Musiye Ayende’ by Zambia’s Dalisoul and Afunika. According to Armstrong, ‘Musiye Ayende’ is one out of the three projects he has worked with the Zambian counterparts. The Afro R&B lad of ‘Ndakusowa’ hit said he was optimistic that the two-way projects with his Zambian counterparts will help to book him a space in Zambia’s competitive music industry. Courtesy of Zambia’s Digital X and Malawi’s Nyimbo Music Company (NYC), which entered into a joint venture two years ago, two Zambian musicians Kayula Bwalya aka Kay and BRIAN Cheengwa (P-Jay) visited Malawi for a number or projects with local musicians. Nyimbo Music Company CEO Daudi Suleman had this to say in the local media: “We are particularly happy that Zambian music already has its impact in Malawi, but what is more important are the rewards both countries will get through this partnership. This partnership will, apart from the many things planned, help Malawian music to penetrate Zambia through Digital X and Zambian music to do the same through Nyimbo. We have a lot in common and we will have more Zambian artistes coming to Malawi and Malawian artistes doing the same to Zambia,” However, the situation on the ground indicates that Malawian musicians have a lot of homework to do in order to benefit from their music relationship with Zambia. For example, Zambian music has managed to penetrate local airwaves with a bang as well


as enjoying massive airplay in entertainment joints. To talk about live shows, let alone Malawian musicians travel to Zambia and pull the crowd as it is the case with Organized Family or Mampi the ‘Walilowelela’ hitmaker in the country. However, the question which begs a lot of answers is: “Has Malawi been turned into a money spinner for Zambian musicians only? “Foreign musicians penetrate Malawi effortlessly because they have massive support from local people. For example, their music is promoted heavily on radio stations hence making them popular and prone to successful shows. It is also this inclination by local DJs to promote foreign music at the expense on local talent, which is popping up their morale. There is a need for change in mind-set towards local products if we are seriously to promote talent in Malawi. Authorities should look into this. For example, there should be a deliberate policy which can favour local music in order to promote Malawian arts and culture as it is the case with other countries,” said Musicians Association of Malawi (Mam) president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango. Suleman of Nyimbo concurred with Mam president, saying it is local support which determines and propels musicians’ popularity and success. “Foreign artists come to Malawi to stage shows because they know that they have support from the local audience. They outshine us because Malawi music generally lacks support right from reputable corporations,” he said. Skeffa Chimoto, Lucius Banda and The Black Missionaries band are some of the Malawi’s creams that get exposure in Zambia but let alone stage shows there frequently just like Organized Family. Wend Harawa is Malawi’s sole songstress who once performed as guest artist at 2009’s Born and Bred Video Awards at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia. She also turns out to be a local musician who has links with abundant artists from Zambia. By Howard mlozi

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