Impressive turnout at O’brien, Mollen memorial
Artists from different artistic disciplines such as poets, comedians, dancers, presidential mimickers and musicians on Sunday shared the stage lighting the second memorial show remembering the lives of renowned poets O’Brien and Mollen Nazombe held at South Lunzu Primary School Ground in Blantyre.
O’brien died on June 27 2011 while Mollen died on March 27 2019.
The two contributed immensely to the progression of poetry in the country.
O’brien famous for poems such as ‘Dendekera’ is the brains behind Patsinde poetry programme on Joy Radio and also helped in the creation of Poetry Association of Malawi (Pam).
Mollen continued his brother’s legacy and is recognised with raising poetry through events.
Today, several media houses have created poetry programmes on both radio and television.
The memorial show attracted an impressive audience and also saw the presence of one of the musicians of the moment Giboh Pearson of the ‘Izathera Mapenalty’ fame.
The sound was not that perfect for a live set let alone the stage but it did not distract the audience from enjoying the Phalombe music star’s set.
In its second year, the memorial seems to have now gained ground but organisers still have a long way to go to advance its affairs.
There was lack of discipline in terms of following the schedule and this led to some acts not performing whereas others just offered short acts with people craving for more.
In their doings, almost all the artists heaped praise on O’brien and Mollen for raising the talents of many poets in the country.
A family representative Devlin Nazombe, said as a family, they created the memorial show which is free of charge to celebrate the lives of O’brien and Mollen and remind people of their feats in poetry circles.
He admitted that they need to work extremely hard in their schedule to make sure that they keep time.
“We had the line-up ready but some artists were coming in late and this made things difficult. We are learning and we are improving every year,” Devlin said.
Popularly known as Mmisili Opanda Zida, Devlin is currently a producer and host of a poetry programme known as Katambalale which airs on Angaliba FM and Angaliba Television.
Poetry Association of Malawi (Pam) President Robert Chiwamba, who performed at the event, commended the Nazombe family for creating such a platform to celebrate the lives of O’brien and Mollen.
“O’brien and Mollen did a lot for this nation in terms of growing poetry. But they need to improve; we have seen some acts not performing today because there were delays and no proper planning. They also need to involve other players to make this event big,” Chiwamba said.
C o m e d i a n Thembwelembwe said the memorial needs more support for it to be executed perfectly adding that there was also need to look at celebrating the lives of other talents such as comedians Izeki ndi Jakobo.
Other poets, who starred at the event, included Hudson Chamasowa, Kenneth Khondiwa, Promise Peter and Mlakatuli Nabanda.
Other artists, who performed at the event included Mr Malawi, Amalitili77 and Blantyre Vintage.