Invest in culture


I am watching this performance of Soldier Lucius Banda and Zembani band at Mibawa Café in Blantyre. It has been a while since I attended such a show. I am always on the lookout for such gigs in town. I have to move to Premier Lodge from here to support Ma Blacks too. I have to divide my time. Yeah, time is so precious nowadays.

Zembani Band

I like the combination of Zembani artists. I think each one of them has some unique talent. I know that it is not easy to spot such a talent among the whole crew. But, wait a minute; there is massive talent in Zembani. There is more that these artists can offer to the nation and I know we have not exploited them to the fullest. Imagine if we had such bands in the country and have them perform all over the world. Imagine how much contribution these artists would bring to our economy.



As I watch Soldier Lucius Banda perform here at Mibawa cafe, thoughts rise. Yeah, I am thinking of the Soldier as not only an honourable member of



Parliament but as our voice in the August house. I am also reminded of his position in the house. I am aware of some of the standing orders. I am aware too that some of the issues are best discussed within closed doors. I know that some people are retrogressive in their thinking as far as cultural development is concerned.


I know that some people are always afraid to raise issues about culture. I know that some artists like me cannot speak out since our lips are sown with needles of silence. I know we are at times afraid to speak our mind. But I trust our Soldier is there for a purpose. I am aware of the thinking of our politicians. I know some politicians will use and dump the artist. Have we not witnessed this before where our beloved artists are taken for a ride? Have we not witnessed this before in our land that flows with milk and honey? We have seen it before, country folks.

There are some who are always afraid to stand for the artists. I know the artists themselves also need to rise up. Yeah, country folks, you heard me right. Artists must rise up now and lobby for the advancement of a cultural development agenda.

The Soldier cannot push our agenda alone without us artists rising up to the occasion. Imagine how many of our artists are aware of the national budget allocation to the Department of Culture? I wonder if our artists have followed the deliberations in the August house. I wonder if the Finance Minister Budget statement meant anything to our artists.

As I am watching this performance, here at Mibawa cafe, I am reminded of the reality outside. I am reminded of the plight of our artists. I am reminded of the so many broken promises too. I am reminded of the hand to mouth survival lifestyle of our artists. I am reminded of so many things.


As I watch the Soldier performing some of the old classic hits, I am aware that as a nation we have not invested in culture. We have not created a conducive environment for the creative industries to flourish. We always pay lip service to cultural development.

How many investors have shown interest in the creative industries? How many have shown interest in building theatres and establishing recording companies? How many have plans to empower our artists?

Have we not on this very column cried our lungs out about a Presidential Initiative on Culture? Yeah, country folks, we have not as a nation supported the cultural agenda. Period.

I am out of Mibawa Cafe with so many questions without answers. Yeah, I must move on anyway. Move on to Premier Lodge and watch Ma Blacks.

Ma Blacks

The people’s band Black Missionaries are the talk of town now. The latest Kuimba 10 has brought an avalanche of comments on the social media .I have heard varied comments. I am here at Premier Lodge to make my own judgment.

But, wait a minute. Taku is on the lead guitar as usual but tonight he seems to be possessed. His guitar gimmicks are second to none. I wonder where he has mastered this technique of strumming the guitar with such skill.

I am yet to listen to the whole Kuimba 10 and make my informed decision. Otherwise, from the look of things and this piece being played on stage, this is still good reggae vibes! More fire Rasta!

Aluta continua…

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