Malawi continued to attract foreign artists in the year 2017.
Organisers once again did their best to bring foreign artists to give people something different.
Some of the international acts were worth people’s money and did well while others flopped.
The coming of foreign artists served as testimony that Malawi is a good destination for performances, although, to some extent, power outages painted a very bad picture of the country.
The year 2017 saw South African singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, humanitarian and teacher, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, dubbed the Princess of Africa, silently sneaking into the country in November.
The legendary singer performed at the official launch of Minet Africa in Malawi after a change of shareholding from Aon Group to Capital Works.
The singer, who also doubled as the director of ceremonies during a gala dinner held at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre, took people down the memory lane when she dished out several well-known songs from her albums including ‘Thank You Mr DJ’ and ‘Umqombothi’.
However, this was a closed door event which only benefited those who were invited.
It was a good outing for those who patronised the event and the veteran singer was lively during the performance, although she started her performance by playing to a CD.
The year also saw Impakt Events, led by Soldier Lucius Banda, bringing Kenyatta, son to reggae maestro Joseph Hill, who had two performances at Mibawa in Blantyre and Civo Stadium in Lilongwe on June 2 and 3, respectively.
Kenyatta Hill proved, during the two shows, that he was not far from his father when he put up impressive performances.
Kenyatta silenced those who thought he was not a good artist, putting up razor-sharp performances in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
The reggae artist, who described Malawi as a lovely country and ‘confirmed’ that t was, indeed, the Warm Heart of Africa, added that he was impressed with the support and promised to come back.
It was the first time for Kenyatta to perform in the country and, in so doing, he joined a list of several Jamaican acts that have performed in the country in the past years. These include Busy Signal, Fantan Mojah, Luciano, Turbulence and Morgan Heritage.
“This is truly the Warm Heart of Africa. I am short of words. The vibe from the people during the shows was just great and they kept me lively throughout,” Kenyatta said.
Kenyatta also revealed that he performed with the original members of Culture – Albert Walker and Telford Nelson— for the first time after a long time.
“It’s been sometime since I performed with them and Malawi surely experienced something special and great. This is just the beginning and I would like to come back,” Kenyatta said.
Walker and Telford, who have been in music for over 40 years, during which period they have performed with Kenyatta’s son, said they would continue to work with him as long as they were alive.
“We are trying to push Kenyatta to continue his father’s legacy. It was exciting performing in Malawi and we hope to come back for more shows,” said the veterans, who were a marvel to watch on backing vocals although, with age, their voices are draining off.
Apart from coming with the original Culture members, Kenyatta also came with his mother.
As if this was not enough, Flood Church, who recently brought American Christian rapper Sho Baraka, earlier this year brought another US Christian rapper Da Truth and South Africa’s Lilly Million, who performed in Lilongwe and Blantyre in May.
It was not the first time for Da Truth to perform in the country. He also performed in the country in 2013.
South Africa’s veteran musician, Sipho ‘Big Fish’ Makhabane, also performed in the country in September, courtesy of Great Angels Choir.
Makhabane is now a happy artist, having managed to give people a treat after failing to do so during his first outing in 2016.
In 2016, the artist also came to Malawi, courtesy of a different organiser, but there was not show.
South African artists were on fire this year, as Thuthukani Cele and Sister Phumi Maduna also had a concert in Malawi, courtesy of Entertainers Promotions.
Cele is a well-known name as he used to star with the late Lucky Dube.
However, despite Entertainers Promotions making all the necessary arrangements and promoting the concert fully, there was a poor turnout.
The country also marveled at the performances of Cassper Nyovest, who has Malawian roots, as he performed at this year’s Ovasion Fusion Festival in Lilongwe.
It was not the first time for him to perform in the country. His previous outing saw him perform in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
The ‘Doc Shebeleza’ star said he would come back, describing the support he received as a “musical destination”.
“I am always impressed with the support here. People love music and this is good because it motivates artists. I will surely come back,” Cassper said.
During the Ovasion Fusion Festival held in Lilongwe in November, there was also a performance by Zambia-based South African artist Caitlin de Ville.
This year also saw South African rapper, Emtee, headlining the Urban Music People.
The award-winning artist performed in Lilongwe and at the Blantyre Sports Club in Blantyre.
However, his performances lacked the punch that he is known for.
Mafikizolo from South Africa also performed in the country in 2017.
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