Patience is the centre of Skeffa Chimoto’s latest offering, ‘Mthunzi wa Chitedze’, which was premiered on Times Television on Thursday last week.
The picture portrayed in the song is that of people that make hasty decisions they live to regret.
A girlfriend abandons a man she has dated for years simply because he is short on cash.
However, the man in whose arms she rushes into is already married; meaning that, from the word-go, the girl is meant to be at the receiving end of divided attention.
In another case, a businessperson whose enterprises are flourishing decides to ‘fortify’ it with black magic, only to bound himself to unknown devices as, in line with the traditional doctor’s strict conditions, he cannot use money generated through the business on lavish things.
In another short-cut-gone-bad case, a female employee who craves instant promotions sells her body to a male persona who ends up harming her. The form of harm is implicit, and not explicit; as such, it could be promotion promise not being honoured or the female persona falling in the trap of sexually transmitted infections.
And, as if referring to Cashgate, the plunder of resources at Capital Hill, a thieving employee features in ‘Mthunzi wa Chitedze’, falling foul of his own behaviour by losing the job that myriad others admire.
And, then, there are cases of pastors taking shortcuts or copying from others instead of being unique— in all cases the negative consequences have a deep surface.
There are several scenarios presented in the song, which spans seven minutes or so.
In the song, the song writer, who happens to be Chimoto himself, explores the mystery of hard reality and how people, through their actions, refine and redefine their destiny.
It is a single replete with stories of people that begin in triumph, albeit short-lived, but end in tragedy due to obsession with short-term glory.
Under such circumstances, and in the song, portents of trouble are obvious.
Chimoto picks on moments of short-sightedness, in all cases fuelled by greed, throughout the song, and, through the lyrics, pours the waters of good-humoured contempt on all those who flounder when they blush shoulders with greed.
Part of the song goes:
Mwina bwezi pano utafika/
Walira msampha utaning’a/
Kuthawa dzuwa ofikafika/
Kutsatira mthuzi osaudziwa/
Wausa pa Mthunzi wa Chitedze/
Mwanawe kudekha sikupusa/
Mawanga nkhanga kupusa/
Oyendayenda suyanga ndere/
Anali naye boyfriend/
Mnyamata owongoka bwino/
Ka banja ka mtsogolo kabwino/
Mnyamata adali wa potential/
Koma ntchito anali asanayipeze/
Sister kudekha kudavuta/
Anakadzipereka kwa mzibambo okwatira kale/
Mwafika ku banja koma tsoka Chikondi kulibe/
Mwazipeza ndalama koma m’thupi mudalowa mchenga/
Mnyamata uja adakwatira wina
adapusha limodzi nawonso adaphula/
Kupepesa adayambira kale/
Adachoka adamupsera mtima/
Patience pays sister/
Mwausadi pa mthunzi wa chitedze/
Mwina ukadati udziyendabe/
Mwina bwezi utabooleza/
Sungasiye sukulu kuthamangira banja…
Through their actions, people in the song portray, through their actions, humans as diminutive creatures that easily fall for anything that offers quick returns or undeserved success.
It is as if, in the anonymity of their minds, people are programmed to stumble whenever the temptation involves money, wealth or instant success.
Those that happen to have the cash, or potential for success, seem to be those who are in full flower be it at workplaces in the public or private sector, their own business stations or those who are flourishing in their relationships.
But Chimoto is intent on drumming home the message that no person worth his or her salt should embarrass himself with the soft-handed conceits that is ready-made success.
In the end, ‘Mthunzi wa Chitedze’ is a chronicle of promising stories that end in disappointment.
That is often the case when one turns greed, as opposed to patience, into an inter-culture.
For, when everything is said and done, the age that follows an era of undeserved success is often of division, sometimes of death.
In cases where death is not the destination, at least one’s hope for a brighter future turns into ruins, haunted by past misdeeds.
However, ‘Mthunzi wa Chitedze’— as a song done in the Chimoto style that prioritises a litany of words—is narrow and inhibits creative thought in the sense that lyrics live nothing to the imagination.
For instance, in the case of the female persona who discards a long-time boyfriend for the warm arms of a moneyed man, the full story is told of how she bumps into problems [the sort of problems that are fully outlined in the song], culminating in regrets.
If the listener were to turn the circumstances into his or her own, and relate to the situation, there are bound to be parallels.
The other issue is that of length of the song. With short descriptions of events, and enough room for the music lover to fill in the details, the song would have been a tad short.
This notwithstanding, Chimoto weaves words creatively, coupled with good choice of instruments, to drum home the message that those that end up washing their faces with a fountain of tears get what they deserve.
In the end, patience seems to be paying.
It is a rare case where revenge hits the target.