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Barren lyrics?

Musician Lomie Mafunga, who in 2003 composed and released a song that urged people in flood-prone areas to move upland, says he is hopeful that the people of Nsanje and Chikhwawa districts would one day take heed of his message.

Mafunga, known for the song ‘Baba Mika’, produced Bwato ndi Moto in 2003. The persona bemoans people’s tendency to stick to flood-prone areas.

In the song, bwato (canoe) is used as a metaphor for salvation. He, in fact, implores people who live along river banks to permanently move upland.

“In this case, relocating upland is like buying a canoe and taking off for dry land,” Mafunga said in an interview on Wednesday.

The artist, who comes from Chikwawa District, said he has seen people drown, lose their property or sleep in tents offered by relief organisations, yet they do not change their hearts and move upland.

Asked if flood victims’ reluctance to move upland meant his song has failed to bear fruits, Mafunga said it was in the nature of people to resist change.

“I do not think I have failed to reach out to the people through music. And, for your information, I will continue singing about the importance of relocation until they get the message. It is not necessary that we should continue losing lives. Organisations continue engaging me in efforts aimed at raising awareness about floods and this is an indication that they believe I can influence change of mindset,” Mafunga said.

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