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Blacks ready for ‘Kuimba 12’ launch

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By Richard Chirombo

Same venue. Same mission, different albums. Thirty months apart.

Chileka-based reggae group the Black Missionaries get back to the familiar grounds of Robin’s Park in Blantyre to launch their latest offering, Kuimba 12 album, tomorrow.

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The last time Black Missionaries headed to Robin’s Park in Blantyre launch an album was on Friday, June 29 2018, when they launched Kuimba 11 to an ecstatic audience.

Before launching the album then, the band did what has become customary now: releasing four promotional songs, namely ‘M’busa’, ‘Zofuna Mtima Wanga’, ‘Umboni’ and ‘Gombe la Nyanja’.

And, as was the case before the June 29 2018 launch of Kuimba 11, the group released four promotional songs before tomorrow’s launch. These are ‘Praise’, ‘Za Dziko Lapansi’, ‘Timponye’ and ‘Ndikanapanda’.

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There must be something between the Blacks, as the Black Missionaries are also known, and four!

Black Missionaries lead vocalist Anjiru Fumulani heaved a sigh of relief yesterday, saying it was “exciting” that the launch was finally on, starting with Blantyre tomorrow and Glalie Gardens in Lilongwe on Saturday.

The commercial city event starts at 08:30pm while Lilongwe fun-lovers will be treated to Kuimba 12 songs from 3pm.

Anjiru’s sense of relief is understandable because, according to him, the launch has been a subject of postponements myriad times, blaming the development on the Covid pandemic.

At the height of the third wave of Covid, Presidential Taskforce on Covid co-Chairperson Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda announced restrictions on group gatherings, reducing the number to a figure that was not sustainable for artists, income-generation wise.

“We are done with preparations and we, as a band, are ready for the launch. We are ready to make people sample the 12 tracks in the album. The good thing is that we have both English and Chichewa songs,” Anjiru said.

As per tradition, the Blacks start with songs that were not part of promotional ones. At some point, promotional songs are thrown into the picture, bringing that familiar feel to those that were exposed to them— kind like leaking examinations before candidates can sit them.

“I am saying we are very ready for the Robin’s Park launch on Friday as well as the launch in Lilongwe on Saturday. We urge people to come in their large numbers because this, again, will be a memorable occasion,” Anjiru said.

As usual, Anthony Makondetsa, Khozie Masimbe, Moda Fumulani and Yanjanani Chumbu will be in tow. They always have been.

Others who are not part of the Chileka crew will also have their time on the big stage. These are Lambanie Dube of ‘Chisoni N’kumatenda’ fame and Piksy, known for hits such as ‘Unamata’, ‘Uncle Short One’, ‘Kameneka’, ‘Nyimbo Yako’ and ‘Ponya Mwendo’.

Back in June 2018, the Robin’s Park menu included Great Angels Choir, also known as the People’s Choir, which performed hit songs ‘Mwasankha Ine’ and ‘Tadikira’.

The other artist who was part of the launch was Dan Lu, who dished ‘Akumva Pain’ and ‘Shuppie’.

This must be Lambanie Dube and Piksy’s time.

Keyboardist Chizondi Fumulani and bassist Peter Amidu will, like on June 29 2018, be there to add colour to the event through their tools.

As for the Lilongwe show, it, surely, is not about the same venue. In 2018, Lilongwe Golf Club was the venue, swallowing multitudes. This time around, it is Glalie Garden’s turn.

In terms of artists, veteran musician Lucius Banda, Nepman, Lulu and Don Tarz are billed to spice up the show.

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