January 15 every year is a holiday in the country. It is a special day when the country commemorates one of at its heroes John Chilembwe who fought for freedom and this year the day fell on Friday.
Apart from commemorating Chilembwe, who came from Chiradzulu District, the day is also special for legendary musician Giddes Chalamanda, who comes from Mazuwa Village, Traditional Authority Mpama, in the same district.
Popularly known as Agide in the music circles, the musician turned 91 last Friday with no gift to bring pomp to his birthday. Little did he know that two days later, he would be handed a new house as a birthday present.
And, so, it was all smiles for him Sunday when he received a house built by a group of Malawian women based in Europe calling themselves Malawi Queens Europe.
Agide, who started music at the age of 12 and has composed so many songs, gets a new house barely a year after FDH Bank through musician Patience Namadingo also built him a grocery.
Flanked by his wife Abiti Alafuledi and a representative of Village Head Mazuwa, Agide received keys of the house after the cutting of the ribbon before going inside the new house as the reggae mash-up medley in which he collaborated with Namadingo played in the background.
The new house has been built where there used to be the old house which was in poor state and nearly collapsing.
The veteran musician could not hide his excitement with the new house, which has cost Malawi Queens Europe close to K2 million.
“I don’t know what to say, I just want to thank God, what God has done is special, I have stayed for a long time in a poor house. God really makes a way where there is no way.
“Through Malawi Queens Europe, Andichotsa apa kukandiyika apo [I have been uplifted] Today is a Sunday when we worship and I am getting a house on a Sunday, I am blessed,” he said.
The musician famed for songs such as ‘Che Meli’ and ‘Liny’ said what the Malawi Queens Europe women had done should not stop here but extended to other people who are needy.
“Namadingo and FDH built me a grocery and now Malawi Queens Europe have built me a house. I am a boss in my own right although I don’t have money. This is a beautiful house,” the musician who promised to continue composing songs as long as he is alive, said.
Representative of Malawi Queens Europe Norah Chiwaula Mclintock, who is based in Scotland, said the house was a token of thank you to Agide for entertaining the country for years with his music.
“Malawi Queens Europe is a group of women based in Europe and we are all Malawians. Our objective is to share business ideas and also do charity work. In 2017, we donated clothes to the post-natal ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre but this time we thought of helping Agide,” Chiwaula Mclintock said.
She said they decided to say thank you to Agide while he is still alive.
“This was the family’s wish to build them a house. So, we contributed money and we are happy that everything has been finalised. We destroyed the old house and started all over with the foundation,” Chiwaula Mclintock said.