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Countdown to Grammy Awards

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On Monday, February 15, Malawians will be glued to the screens to watch the 58th Grammy Awards taking place in Los Angeles, USA hoping that Zomba Prison Music Project makes history.

The nomination of Zomba Prison Music Project for their album I Have No Everything Here surprised many people in that they are not known in the country.

Zomba Prison Music Project has been nominated in the category of Best World Music Album and faces a challenge from other nominees Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo, Angelique Kidjo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo With Ella Spira & The Inala Ensemble and Anoushka Shankar.

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Several people have said they would want the Zomba Prison Music Project to win the award as they have had enough of other artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

According to available information, the Zomba Prison Project is an innovative advocacy based music project involving prisoners at Zomba Prison.

Information on the Zomba Music Project taken from sixdegreesrecords.com said that in the summer of 2013, Grammy-winning producer, Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, TV on the Radio) and his wife, Italian photographer and filmmaker, Marilena Delli, travelled to the border of Malawi and Mozambique specifically to document and record the music of prisoners at the maximum security prison in Zomba.

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So the music in the album talks about the life at Zomba Prison.

Over five dozen people were recorded for the Zomba Prison project sessions, totalling more than six hours of music.

There are 83 categories in total in this year’s Grammy Awards.

Meanwhile US based singer Tiwonge Mhango alongside other artists George Mkandawire and Young Kay as well as other officials on Sunday visited Zomba Maximum Prison to offer support to the band.

Young Kay confirmed their visit but said the whole programme was organised by Mhango, who he has collaborated with in the song titled ‘Mbuye.’

Tiwonge is said to have made the visit with colleagues to boost the morale of the band and offer them the much needed support.

Among other things, the musician donated food items to the band and also pledged to purchase equipment for the band once he returns to the US.

The singer is in the country after spending 17 years in the US without coming home.

Whilst in the country, Tiwonge also plans to shoot a video with Young Kay before he goes back to the US where it is reported that he is a successful businessman in logistics and transportation.

Tiwonge has an album to his credit titled Shine which he released in 2009 and comprises hits such as ‘Kulibe,’ ‘Pamtetete,’ and ‘Send Your Fire.’

MultiChoice Malawi has also moved in to hype up the 58th Grammy Awards announcing that it will hold a screening and dinner which is strictly by invitation at Protea Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre.

“We just want people to save the date and be glued to the screen to watch the 58th Grammy Awards. At Ryalls we are also getting CDs for the Zomba Prison Music project which we will distribute,” said MultiChoice Malawi Sales and Marketing Manager Chimwemwe Nyirenda.

He said they have started the campaign on radio and that they will then move to the other media.

‘As MultiChoice Malawi we would to acknowledge and appreciate what the Zomba Prison Band has done by creating history as the first ever Malawian band or Artist to be nominated for the World Music Most Prestigious Awards, The Grammy Awards. Their achievement has not gone unnoticed and we are happy also that DStv will broadcast the event live to Malawians so that they can be part of the history,” said Nyirenda.

He also said that as DStv they were proud to bring the red carpet and must watch event live from Los Angeles, California, USA on all bouquets on Channel O (DStv Channel 320) on Tuesday, February 16, 3am and repeat at 7pm.

The Zomba Prison Music Project band will not travel to the Grammy Awards.

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