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At 88, Agide still glitters

The past years have seen Edgar ndi Davis Band, driven by lawyers-cum-musicians Davis Njobvu and Edgar Kachere, celebrate with pomp veteran musician Giddes Chalamanda’s birthday.

But this year, Giddes’ birthday, which is January 15 and also happens to be Chilembwe Day when Malawians celebrate the life of one of the country’s freedom fighters John Chilembwe, passed silently.

The legendary musician, creator of songs such as ‘Che Meli’ ‘Liny’ and ‘Mkazi Ndi Mawaya’ among others, turned 88 on the day.

But at such an age, Giddes, better known as Agide, is still strong and energetic; no wonder he excited people at Premier Lodge in Blantyre on Saturday where he performed for a long time, sharing the stage with Edgar ndi Davis Band.

He might be losing his voice due to old age but Giddes’ commitment to music is exceptional.

The old-timer, who no longer plays the guitar during shows these days and has restricted himself to vocals, warmed up the stage for Edgar ndi Davis Band but by public demand, he came back on stage to offer more songs, some of which were requests by people.

The show, however, could have done better in terms of the audience turn out which was not huge.

During the show, people took time to splash money at the veteran musician.

Giddes has said now and again that he loves music and that this is why he dumped boxing.

He said he was thankful to God for keeping him healthy and for the talent which has made him a name, although he is quick to say that music has not given him the best on the plate.

“I will continue to say that much as I have done a lot in music, it has failed to pay me handsomely. I am still poor,” Giddes said.

He also said that he will continue to sing, as long as he was alive and healthy.

“As long as I am healthy and alive, I will not stop music. Actually I should say it here that I have more songs which can make more albums but all this needs money so sponsorship is welcome,” said the legend, as he treated himself to a bottle of Carlsberg Chill.

He added: “I am taking this beer just to relax myself but I normally don’t take much and I am always committed and disciplined on stage.”

He also said he was thankful to Njobvu and Kachere for the support.

“They are people who have supported me fully and to them I say God bless them abundantly,” Giddes said.

He called on youthful artists to be disciplined if they are to take their talents to the top.

Njobvu said it felt great to be back and hold their first 2018 gig alongside Giddes.

“It was a very good reception and as Edgar ndi Davis, we can only get better. We intend to produce a new album as well as launch Giddes’ album,” Njobvu said.

He added that they have been talking about their album and Giddes’ album for the past two years but they were pre-occupied with other duties.

Njobvu also said having managed to take Giddes to USA for the first time; they have also received invitations from UK, adding funds permitting and with massive support, they would want to go places.

He described Giddes as their model and soul of Malawian music and that, at 88, he still offers the best on stage.

Kachere said it was beautiful for them performing at Premier Lodge.

“The reception was good and, at 88, Giddes sparked. Giddes needs to be celebrated now,” he said.

Kachere then said people should look out for their fifth album this year.

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