Coronavirus (Covid -19) which has affected the world including Malawi and continues to claim lives has forced Blantyre-based gospel group – Ndirande Anglican Voices to postpone its 20th anniversary celebration scheduled for April 26 2020.
The group’s lead singer, Dennis Kalimbe, said on Friday they have shifted the 20th anniversary celebration which was supposed to be held at Robins Park in Blantyre to August 30 2020.
“We are hoping that by then, the situation will be normal. We pray to God to take away this pandemic which has greatly affected the world. We have shifted the anniversary to August with the hope that the situation will be normal,” Kalimbe said.
He said they started preparing for the anniversary last year but they could not go ahead with the event with Covid-19.
“We have invested a lot of money because we wanted to do it to our best. We actually struggled to raise this money but we had no choice because of the pandemic. For now, we need to accept the situation and ask people to stay safe and take all the necessarily precautionary measures in the fight against the spread of Covid-19,” Kalimbe said.
He said the change of the date has not affected the venue as they will hold it at Robins Park in Blantyre and that the line-up will not change.
Kalimbe described the group’s journey as interesting.
“We have had success stories as well as challenges but God has been with us throughout,” he said.
Kalimbe recalls one of the best things for the group as a tour of United Kingdom they had in 2006 where they held a number of performances.
“We have performed in other countries but this was one of the best and we will live to remember it as a group and by then we were 26 members. Now, some members got married and others moved to other places due to work. There are only seven members remaining, who were there when the group was starting,” he said.
Kalimbe also speaks volumes of Ndasaina album which put them in the limelight.
“Ndasaina was the breakthrough and by then there were other top groups such as Katawa Singers. Again, the other albums have also done better and blessed a lot of people,” he said.
Kalimbe also revealed that they will be releasing their seventh album later this year if all goes according to plan.
“We lost Joseph Tembo who has been working on our albums, he recorded four albums with us with the other one produced by Dickson Kankhunda and then Steve Mereka produced Namondwe Tonthola. This seventh album we are working with Steve Mereka and we are looking forward to nothing but the best,” he said.
Kalimbe then called upon people to continue supporting them saying they were where they are because of their immense support.
“By the way, we want to give back to the community and part of the money we will raise during the anniversary, we will support Ndirande Health Centre which has served us,” the lead singer said.