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Ben Mankhamba unearths new singer

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Well-known singer and guitarist Ben Mankhamba on Sunday unveiled a new singer Anita Denga during a concert at HS Winehouse in Blantyre.

Mankhamba came out last year to announce that he was looking for a female singer to be part of his acoustic band and that after several auditions he got none.

“I held auditions but unfortunately I was not impressed by the crop of the singers. But now I am happy to announce that I have finally captured a promising talent,” said the musician, who is also Village Headman Chingalire.

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Anita performed with Mankhamba on Sunday where she won the hearts of the audience.

“She is such an amazing singer and at the moment she will only be performing on the acoustic side so that she gains more experience. I will also act as her manager so that she learns the do and don’ts in the industry,” said Mankhamba.

Apart from the acoustic band which also has Felix Jere on bass guitar and Gift Msosomela on percussions, Mankhamba said he was also part of the other group where he performs with Jenna Sisters and Zig Zaggers.

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He said at the moment Anita is only a singer and not yet a composer.

“For now she needs not to have that pressure of composing, I am doing the compositions and she will be singing until the time she is ready. But she is also not restricted to perform with me, other bands can utilise her but she can be playing cover songs,” said Mankhamba.

He said that Anita was a surprise package and that she was another singer to watch in 2016.

The musician better known for songs such as ‘Kamba Anga Mwala,’ said he was looking forward to giving out more to the people in 2016.

“2015 was not that a busy year in terms of performances for me, Jenna Sisters and Zig Zaggers Band. Companies were not forthcoming because of economic challenges but we did more on the acoustic side,” he said.

Mankhamba said he was also kept busy with projects at Chingalire Rural Growth Centre where among others people are learning different skills including art.

Anita who started singing at a tender age and that she was involved in singing songs in the Tikwere programme said she was happy to perform with Mankhamba.

“He is an experienced musician and I am happy to perform with him. The performance on Sunday was amazing, at first I didn’t know what to expect but the support I got from people has motivated me,” said the 20-year old singer.

She said she was picked to start singing in Tikwere programme when she was in standard six at Blantyre Girls Primary School and that it was during this time that she met musicians like Mankhamba and Ethel Kamwendo Banda.

“I have always loved singing but then Mr Mankhamba told me that I was very young and that I was also not good that time. But now he told me I was good and I am happy with the type of music we are doing because it’s traditional,” said Anita.

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