Legendary singer and guitarist Giddes Chalamanda has said he was given a treat in United States of America and that he will live to remember the tour.
The veteran musician said this in an exclusive interview ahead of their first Welcome Back show to be held tomorrow at Sunbird Capital Hotel Marquee in Lilongwe.
The Welcome Back show will bring on board performances from Giddes as the main headliner, Edgar ndi Davis, Patience Namadingo, who was also part of the USA tour, Tamika and Martha Nolemba.
“It was a good trip and there was no problem at all. God was with us throughout the trip. We had fun and Malawians there welcomed us well. I thank Edgar Kachere and Davis Njobvu and all others for making sure that I see America for the first time,” he said.
“We boarded brand new cars, America, America, life is all good and what I saw there is great and as of now, I can’t say anything. Actually, they want me to go again with my wife Abiti Alafuledi too.”
Giddes, who at 86 years is still strong, said they were given all the love during the tour.
“We were given all the love. I recall the likes of Omega, who brushed me during shows to be light and clear. I am happy that my dream of visiting America came true and if I were still young, I could have said repeat again,” said the old-timer.
He called on up-and coming artists as well as youths to keep on working hard and utilise their talents “because you never know what it will bring you in future and lets strive to do original music.”
“I just thank God for my song Buffalo Soldier, where I sang about my wish to visit America. This is the song that made me visit America,” he said.
Giddes also revealed that his latest album Mkazi ndi Mawaya is ready and that it was sold in America.
“People supported us in America and bought the album and I hope people will do the same here because I have tackled different issues including love,” said the creator of Che Meli and Liny hits.
Davis said the trip was an eye -opener and that they had fun, adding that they were happy that the dream that Giddes had of visiting America was now a reality.
“We stayed in different places starting in Washington DC where we also met our fellow artists Maskal and Mandela Mwanza and we also had the presence of Patience Namadingo and Edgar ndi Davis Band, so it was a massive combination before being hosted by the Library of Congress and later Indiana where there are more Malawians,” he said.
Davis described the three-week tour in USA as great and that they will never forget it.
“We also performed at State Theatre and we also had picnics which bring people together and have fun which we actually don’t do in Malawi. By the way, we also had time to go to church just to praise God for the USA tour and it was there where we asked for help after our performance,” he said.
Davis said the church spearheaded by Pastor Ben Nkhonjera accepted to assist them and promised to donate $1,500 which they will buy different items and donate to Chiradzulu Hospital.
He also revealed that they had problems to access the visa as its conditions are tough but “they thank God that everything went on well.”
“In America, music is serious, they work hard and actually almost all the guitars we were using during shows were brand new. Again, we were performing in places with our Malawian flag flying but here people have no flags, we need to love our country because this is the Malawi that God gave us,” Davis said.
He also said as Malawian artists, they need to be unique and stick to “our own music and not copy” Western sounds.
“People loved Giddes’ music because it is Malawian and original and this is what we have to strive to do. We actually have a new album from him Mkazi ndi Mawaya which sold like hot cakes in America and we will unveil it here,” he said.
On tomorrow’s show, Davis said it will give them a chance to interact with people and also tell them stories.
“We have Welcome Back shows lined up but this is the first and we hope people will come in large numbers to hear our stories,”Davis said.
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