A night of art at Chanco
The audience might not have been impressive but the Grand Music Bonanza organised by University of Malawi – Chancellor College (Chanco) Scholarship Fund in collaboration with Department of Fine and Performing Arts at the Great Hall in Zomba lived up to its billing.
The sizeable audience enjoyed the music performances on a cold and showery night that left some calling for more.
It was a night that saw people sampling music from the old and the young as well as different music genres which included rock and jazz.
The night saw the power of art as apart from music, the audience also sampled different paintings which were on sale.
There were actually some paintings which were auctioned by Dr Chomora Mikeka and saw other academicians buying the artworks at as high as K200,000. The one which went at K200,000 was an abstract painting.
Mikeka said during auction that the paintings which were sold would go a long way in helping some of the needy students especially those who are struggling with upkeep allowances among others.
The organisers did well in terms of starting the programme on time and the performances were on point with artists utilising their given time.
There were guest artists on the night but the Department of Fine and Performing Arts also showed its verve with its own performances which came from Andrew Faria and The Alpha as well as Alinane Mphande, who starred with her team.
Then next up came veteran singer and guitarist Patrick Simakweli who reminded the audience of his past exploits dishing out several songs from his albums.
This was a set where Simakweli featuring another veteran bass player Francis Chintembo, showed their skills on the guitars and the audience could not hold it but clap hands in appreciation at the end of each song.
The set also showed the better side of Simakweli as he moved in swiftly in the rock and roll genres as well as jazz.
Chanco music graduate James Kuchilala better known as Malala in the music circles also performed with Anonymous Acoustics featuring among others retired Belgian music teacher and performer Johann Vanhoutte.
Their act however, dragged the audience on their feet when led by Vanhoutte, who invited musician Charles Sinetre to the stage later started playing childhood songs which had people in the Great Hall singing along.
Using an extended free style but still moving within acoustic sound, they performed songs such as ‘Galuyu Wandani,’ ‘Sera Mwana Wa Teacher,’ and ‘Ife Ndife Ana A Atate,’ which is a popular Sunday School song.
Their performance ended when the audience was still on its feet.
But there was to be no dryness as despite an auction and speeches which were not that long, the night was dedicated to the performances.
Singer and guitarist Faith Mussa and his newly formed Mdidi Band was probably the best act of the night as he once again performed to his best from the word go.
A former law student at Chanco, Faith, who said he was happy to perform at his former university and help fundraise for needy students, shook the Great Hall with his gospel songs.
He sparked with his ‘Desperate’ hit and showed his masterly on the guitar no wonder when he finished his set, master of ceremonies Professor Mufunanji Magalasi had to request him to do another song by public demand.
Faith closed his chapter with ‘Pamudzi Pano,’ a song which he said he enjoys performing because it shows the richness of the country’s music.
Lilongwe-based musician Lawi and The Mango was also billed to perform but he did not make it and instead Edgar ndi Davis performed.
Edgar ndi Davis came in at the last huddle and with frontrunners, lawyers Edgar Kachere and Davis Njobvu as former Chanco students, they said they were happy to perform at their former university after a long time.
The group made sure they ended a high as well picking up from where Faith had left and despite encountering technical glitches on the opening, they moved on to do the best offering songs such as ‘Energy Saver,’ ‘Galuyu,’ ‘Kalekale’ and ‘Fanuel.’
Chancellor College Registrar Mary Wasili said she was very pleased with the event adding that this is one of a series of fundraising events they will be holding to raise money for the Chanco Scholarship Fund which is aimed at supporting needy students.
The Scholarship Fund which will use proper selection criteria is a brainchild of academicians particularly from the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.
“The situation is very critical, students are withdrawing from their studies because they cannot afford to pay tuition fees. Already 188 students have withdrawn and we are thankful for the support we have received tonight,” she said.
DJ Moda provided free equipment on the night while Agma Holdings through its Axa Bus Service transported artists.
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