By Sam Banda Jnr:
Karonga-based poet Robert Chiwamba decided to give poetry lovers an early Christmas gift by launching his third album Kuchokera ku Chanco ndi Kachirombo at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe on Saturday night.
He launched the album in front of his mother as well as other well-known personnel in the creative industry such as Marvin Hanke.
Chiwamba’s mother sat in the front row and kept on nodding her head and, at times, clapping hands when her son was offering his fresh poems.
She said later after the launch: “I don’t have much to say but only thank him for the good work. I enjoyed it,” she said.
The launch, dubbed Kachiwamba ka Msangulutso which delayed starting, received a fair audience that enjoyed the package of the headliner’s collection of poems from the new album as well as those of curtain- raisers.
It was a night that saw Chiwamba unpack several poems from the 58 in the album and they included ‘Chikondi’, which a collaboration with singer Sangie.
Before Chiwamba took to the stage, other poets including master of ceremonies Madalitso Nyambo, who was lively throughout, Jedidiah, Fannie Mbewe, Northern Region-based poet Yona Mlakatuli Gondwe and Phindu Banda warmed the stage.
Chiwamba made his first entry soon after Phindu’s performance and offered several poems before taking a break.
And before Chiwamba came for auction, which saw some people getting the album at as high as K50,000, Nyamalikiti reminded people of his exploits when he offered a few of his pieces including ‘Dziko Lili M’manja mwa Agalu’, and ‘Uwona Kuti Utani’ which speaks volumes of the popular Flozzy drink from Mozambique which was banned at some moment.
“It was good, and people have supported me. There is a wind of change now in poetry and now we can host high class shows where people can pay K10,000 at the gate, which was not the case in the past,” Chiwamba, said.
Recorded by Mvahiwa Hanke at Audio Clinic Studios in Blantyre, the album is dedicated to public university students who struggle to raise fees and other messages centre on different issues affecting the country such as climate change and HIV/Aids.
“The year 2018 has been great for me I was selected ambassador for Unesco and the European Union. I would like to wish all people a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year,” Chiwamba said.
Poetry Association of Malawi President, Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa, who performed at the launch but also hinted that he would release a new album next year, hailed Chiwamba for the launch.
“It was a very good launch, Robert Chiwamba showed us he was prepared. This is a good direction. There is need to do more for poetry to reach out to the people. I therefore call upon people to support him and other poets by buying original copies,” Nyamalikiti said.
The Pam leader advised poetry lovers to avoid buying pirated copies.
“Don’t burn and share for Robert has taken time to work on the 58 poems,” he said.Some of the poems in the album include ‘Eish! Anthu Mukukwatiratu’, ‘Ku Ukwati Wachibwenzi Chako Chakale’ and ‘N’dzakukwatira Magetsi Akadzayaka’.
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