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Fare thee well Beatrice

By Sam Banda Jnr:

REST IN PEACE—Kamwendo-Banda and her husband lay their wreath

Veteran singer, drummer, dancer and percussionist Beatrice Kamwendo, sister to gospel musician Ethel Kamwendo- Banda, was laid to rest Wednesday at Makhetha, Machinjiri, in Blantyre.

Religious leaders, politicians, artists and traditional leaders escorted Beatrice to her final resting place.

At exactly 5:45pm, the remains of Beatrice were interred.

The 53-year-old artist, who starred for several groups including Kamwendo Brothers, Wepaz, Ravers and Jenna Sisters, which was part of Ben Mankhamba’s group, was one of the very few female acts who used to play drums and other instruments in the country.

Several artists mourned Beatrice yesterday, describing her as a talented artist, who was passionate about music and that many female artists looked up to her for advice.

“She is one of the very few female artists who led the way for female musicians and showed that female artists can also excel in playing instruments and not only restrict themselves to vocals and dancing. We will surely miss her,” gospel musician Favoured Martha said.

Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) South Chapter Vice Chairperson, Tony Chitimatima, who represented the music body’s president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, said the creative industry had been dealt a big blow by Beatrice’s death.

“We were looking up to her to help in teaching up and coming artists because she had immense talent. As a music body, we are saddened by Beatrice’s death,” Chitimatima said.

Beatrice was also a dedicated member of Nkolokoti Livingwaters Church in Blantyre where until her death, she was a director of the praise team. She also held other positions in the church.

To celebrate her life but also show the best of her musical talent, artists, both secular and gospel, performed during the funeral ceremony in the church.

Beatrice died at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre on Tuesday. She was transferred from Thyolo District Hospital where she was first admitted after being diagnosed with tuberculosis.

She is survived by four children and five grandchildren

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