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Independence gala

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The air is filled with joy and jubilation. The arena is set for celebrating our hard won freedom. Yeah, July6th is always a historic and a day that cannot just pass without the pomp and ceremony.

Yeah, countryfolks, this is our Independence Day when we were set free from the shackles of colonialism. The stupid federation was dismantled and left to decay in the abyss. Songs of freedom echoed in the plains,valleys and mountains of the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi.

Mbumba

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I always miss the traditional dances as performed by Kamuzu’s mbumba.

The truth of the matter is that there used to be wonderful melodies and dance movements as the mbumba clad in the traditional chilundu attire performed with elegance and all the flamboyance at the Independence Day celebrations. Then, the best venue used to be the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

We used to witness excellent organisation of the event as the organisers worked like ants building an anthill. Politicians, chiefs, mbumba za Kamuzu- Women’s league, youth league members,young pioneers, born free, students, policee, defence force, sportsmen, civil servants , the Clergy almost everyone was involved.

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I recall the stadium being filled to capacity as early as 2am on the day with thousands more left outside trying to follow the proceedings inside. I wondered how people could make it a point to rush to the stadium at such early hours of the morning. Of course there were lots of activities including the youth rally, traditional dances, military parades and displays and football match.

Speech

Maybe the best part of the day was the speech by the founding father of the nation Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Yeah, countryfolks, the Lion of Malawi roared for hours and all the time there used to be something new and captivating. We were taken back to the days of the struggle for total liberation of the land. We were told of food, clothes and shelter as the basic human necessities. Yeah, countryfolks, who can forget Kamuzu’s position on food security, decent clothing and houses that do not leak in rainy season? Who would also forget the threat of the dissidents and those we were meant to believe were a threat to national security?

Kamuzu was an orator. He knew his people at least those that had defiled all odds such as the cold weather of Blantyre to be in the stadium and listen him speak.

And the mbumba would improvise as the Ngwazi speech was in progress! It amazed most of us and of course we could not speak loud as almost our voices were submerged in the din of excitement.

This improvisation of songs such as the ones that lashed at political opponents of the one party system of government makes a lot of us wonder up to now. The process of song composition instantly remains a puzzle. Maybe the mbumba were alerted before the speech? Maybe the MCP party gurus had their ear to the ground and whispered to the mbumba to compose such pieces. Maybe.

But it remains to be further investigated as musical phenomenon that emerged during that period in our history.

Entertainers Promotions

Back to the present. Tonight, an Independence Gala is set at Motel Paradise in Blantyre and as usual it is organised by Entertainers Promotions. Entertainers Promotions continue to invest heavily in the creative industry with a 55,000 Watts sound system and stage lights.

We usually take such investment for granted in this land that flows with milk and honey. Yeah, countryfolks we do not spare a moment to appreciate those that despite the high expenditure they encounter in organising such events.

Organisation and pioneering of such events as the Independence Gala could be best placed in the Department of Culture. Period. I say more fire to our top local artists and heavyweights are performing at this year’s Independence gala.

Aluta continua…

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