Consult us in processes, Mum tells artists, promoters
As Lawi, Awilo talk remains
Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) Wednesday called upon musicians, promoters and various players involved in music business including organising international gigs in the country to utilise and consult them to avoid some of the glitches.
The music body said this as the country is still digesting the recent concert organised by Lawi Music Group at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe that saw Congolese star Awilo Longomba, who was billed to perform, not show up.
Despite Awilo’s absence, the show still went on with Patience Namadingo coming in at the 11th hour to support Lawi.
“As a music body, we feel it is high time musicians, promoters and event organisers consulted us on these issues. The case of Lawi and Awilo is just one of them and it is a wake- up call. We are not attacking anyone but we need to sanitise these processes so, that we can make sure that contractual procedures are followed,” Mum Secretary General Tonny Chitimatima, said.
He said as a membership based organisation, they work with members and potential members and that they even help certify the country’s artists when they are performing outside the country.
“As a body, we have links with various music unions outside the country and so, in consulting us, we would make sure that we look into all contractual issues so that everything is followed otherwise, our hope also lies in the coming of the National Arts and Heritage Council (Nahec) which would give us a mandate in terms of helping musicians fully,” Chitimatima said.
Lawi Wednesday maintained that they followed all the processes to have Awilo perform in the country and that they made the payment as requested.
“We have all the receipts and we followed everything what they requested. I actually did not work alone in this, I used players, who are conversant in bringing international artists,” the artist, who had a successful show that attracted a huge audience, said.
Lawi initially indicated on his Facebook page in a video that they spent over K15 million including air tickets for Awilo.
But Leo Brown, one of Awilo’s managers, in a video labelled Lawi a ‘liar’ claiming he lied to them and sponsors on the issue.
Soldier Lucius Banda, who is the director of Impakt Events, which brought Awilo in 2017, said they struggled with Awilo for him to come to Malawi for the Sand Music Festival despite paying him.
“We had to send a team in United Kingdom to push him. I feel there is more we need to do as a sector in terms of sharing ideas and knowledge on how some of these artists behave. Promoters and event organisers and even musicians need to engage to avoid these things,” Lucius, who is also presidential advisor on youth and arts, said.