Third Eye, real name Mandela Mwanza, is so passionate about music that he does it with all his heart.
His lyrical content in most of his songs is rich and, although he has been out of the limelight of late, the Mandela Washington Fellow has done more than enough with his music in Malawi that he is poised to conquer the world.
This is because he weaves his hip hop lyrics in a unique way.
This is evident in one of the projects he has been working on, a song titled 2021, which is part of an African Union Commission initiative.
The song was released on International Music Day.
“It is a theme song for an initiative by the African Union Commission. They want to empower one million young Africans by 2021,” Third Eye said.
But how did he land the deal?
“I attended the African Union Commission pan-African Youth Forum hosted at their headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in April 2019,” he said.
It was there that the musician was introduced to the initiative and decided to work on a song for them in order to make sure that Malawian youths are not overlooked by such an initiative as is usually the case.
“Luckily, they loved the song and have since been using it to raise awareness about the initiative through their website and social media pages,” the youthful artist said.
He said he was hoping that the song would convince the African Union Commission to interact with the youth in the country more frequently through him and other artists so as to gain a portion of the one million opportunities available through the African Union Commission by 2021.
“I am also proud to have a Malawian song played by the legendary Chuck D on his radio programme and for the song to make it to a chart filled with such global giants. Hopefully I will be able to introduce Chuck D and his team to more Malawian talent that can represent this country on the global stage,” Third Eye said.
He hailed the organisation that selected him to be part of the gathering in Ethiopia and sponsored him as one of the delegates to the pan-African Youth Forum called Open Society Foundation.
“They are also now sponsoring a music video for the 2021 song through their West African regional office Osiwa,” Third Eye said.
Commissioner of the Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission, Sarah Anyang Agbor, said the song is about the initiative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, titled ‘1 Million By 2021’.
“The initiative aims to reach the lives of one million young Africans by the year 2021 through four thematic areas. These are Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Engagement, we call these the 4 Es,” Agbor said.
She said this initiative was launched in April 2019 at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Agbor said Third Eye, as a young African artist was the perfect person to invite to the launch of the initiative and that at the launch he performed the song which has become the theme song for this initiative.
“The song speaks to the ways in which young people will be reached and their lives transformed by interventions in the 4 Es. The song is a fantastic offering and highlights the range of talent and artistry of African youth,” she said.
Third Eye, who has eight solo albums to his credit also revealed that he is working on a joint album with West Cole titled You Reap What You Sow.
“It is a 10-track album featuring artists such as Piksy, Danny Kalima, George Kalukusha, Salim Nathu and Nepman while also shining the spotlight on new talent for the future like Wishes Flexy, De Zenzo, Kisco and Dizzy Otis,” he said.
His eight albums are Imagine Being Jesus and Not Knowing It, Taking Candy from a Blind Baby, The Hat-trick, Broken Verses, Kumidima, Third World Citizen, It’s Over and Highly Underrated.
“Music has taken me to places I never thought I would be. I cannot think of anything else that would earn me recognition from global figures like Barrack Obama. Without music I cannot see how I could have worked with different organisations such as Unicef, UNFPA, Osiwa, Osisa, Osiea and Open Society Foundation among others,” he said.
Asked on the progress of the music industry in the country, Third Eye saying using the term industry for him was a commercial situation.
“And I don’t see much progress there in terms of the youth accessing markets to sell their songs to and having platforms on which to do so. I am partly to blame as I tried to rectify this with my mobile app Rediyo. But unfortunately there were other challenges that needed to be looked into critically,” he said.
The artist said because of the challenges, he gave up on the project.
“Hopefully, others will create solutions and negotiate better with different stakeholders and take the industry to the top,” he said.
As for the AU theme song, Third Eye said people can download it on Mikozi Network, Zonse Live and Malawi Music.
In the song, Third Eye talks about population boom.