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Billy as he pleases: part one

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There comes time when— after being bound by the ‘chains’ of, say, Speaker of Parliament’s pronouncements, the animal called Point of Order, the frequent mention of the term Mr [Madam] Speaker [Sir], among other minor irritations that come after pocketing fat allowances in Parliament— an artist who has been thrown out of the august House, courtesy of the stone called ‘vote’, an artist who once wore the cloak of ‘honorable’, becomes free to do as he [sorry for my gender insensitivity here] pleases. He represents both he or she, according to the way of life in ancient Israel, after whose 12 tribes I laugh a dozen times. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Remember, each ha! represents a tribe of Israel!

The paragraph above is too long. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Maybe it is long because the man I am talking about is a man of many achievements. I mean, Billy Kaunda.

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You see, I, for one, cannot forget the musician, more so because of his ‘Mwapindulanji?’ album.

That album took the country by storm. It was a bomb-of-music. It took established artists out of their comfort zone.

It made us realise that, in the morning of Malawi’s democratic dispensation [I mean, after 1994. There are some confused people who think that Malawi embraced multiparty politics in 1994. Wrong. We had multiparty elections when the Union Jack was exiled to Britain, never to come back, when the elephant called independence took over the room occupied by kalulu-the-hare we called colonialism. So, 1994 was a point when we made our re-entry into the tummy of the animal called multiparty. I digressed.]

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I was talking of Billy Kaunda [there are no short cuts here]. I remember his ‘Mwapindulanji?’ because, all along, our family only had a Nzeru Radio set that had no compartments for playing cassettes. As such, watching others play music on their radio cassettes [radio plus cassette] was something of a dream. Those were the days when Malawians were a proud lot. Malawians had something to call their own; a company we used to call Nzeru Radio Co. In those days, 1985 was synonymous with Nzeru because that is the year the company was established.

And, then, even with that Nzeru radio set, we— I mean, our household— could call ourselves lucky because there were others, in the neighbourhood, who had no radio set.

Fortunately still, Billy Kaunda produced ‘Mwapindulanji?’ when my dear father had just bought a radio cassette! Just imagine. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

I suspect, really suspect, that my father’s delays to buy a radio cassette have contributed to my delays to propose love to someone I could marry! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Delays have not started with me!

Okay. After buying the radio cassette, which coincided with Billy Kaunda releasing ‘Mwapindulanji?’, my father bought our first music cassette. And the artist was Pamela Nkutha. That is how I fell in love with the song ‘Muranziwa’. I can see some young ‘boys’ looking at me. They do not know who Nkutha is. Well, a South African artist whose songs I do not dance to without shedding a tear.

I think I suffer from a disease called nostalgia.

Well, someone is bothering me with phone calls. Let me deal with him or her first and I will continue next week! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

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