By Alick Ponje:
King James Phiri on Sunday took a bold step going it alone without a huge line-up of curtainraisers associated with gospel shows when he launched two albums Chichitika and Yahweh as well as a DVD at Robin’s Park in Blantyre.
The gospel musician, who made headlines with his second album Mukumane ndi Moyo Wanga put up a very good script that produced the best results on the day.
Unlike in other gospel concerts where he has only managed to offer a few songs due to a long list of artists, King James Phiri entertained the audience to the fullest dropping several songs including the title track ‘Chichitika’, and ‘Achite Manyazi’.
In the song ‘Chichitika’ which features Sam Maliza, he encourages those who have lost hope that, no matter the challenges, something good will happen in their life.
It is a song he served towards the end of the show and Maliza was present joining him as the audience responded by singing along.
“I should commend King James Phiri for organising a very good show. We need such platforms where musicians and the audience can come together and worship God through music. I have enjoyed the show to the fullest,” Maliza said.
Having been out of the stage for some time, Maliza said he is in the studio working on a new album and that people should watch the space.
Putting on a grey suit, King James Phiri earlier on also offered the title track of his previous album Mukumane ndi Moyo Wanga that also had people singing and dancing.
Signs were there showing growth for the musician who simply described his showdown as a measure of strength and that he has an ‘audience’.
“It is high time gospel musicians gave the audience what they deserve. I am thankful for the support and you can see people were hungry for more songs. From here I am planning to go to other areas including the Northern Region,” he said.
King James Phiri hired Mibawa, which provided equipment for the show and used Dynamics Band during the show whose end result was perfect sound.
The only setback for him was that he did not manage to pull a huge audience.
The other setback during the launch is that there was a prolonged auction that disappointed some of the fans.
Auctions are part of most gospel launches and while masters of ceremonies promise to do them for a short time, they end up doing them for a long time as they seek to generate more money.
During the auction, several people took to the stage to support the gospel star and they included fellow musicians among them Dan Lufani, who was accompanied by his wife and Born Richie.
Popularly known as Dan Lu, the musician was also given an opportunity with his wife to light candles.
The auction fetched a lot of money, with the highest bidder paying K400,000.
Born Richie, whose song ‘Lingakome’, is currently enjoying airplay got the albums at K100,000 with his wife also parting with K100,000 while Pastor Gilton Chakhaza got the album at K200,000.
Before King James Phiri jumped to the stage, his Spirit of Worshippers which he has created warmed up the stage.
There was also a brief moment for people to see Frank Chimpanzi on stage. Chimpanzi is based in South Africa.
During the show, King James Phiri recognised Mr Entertainer Jai Banda and Times Group Arts Journalist Sam Banda Jnr, who he said have contributed immensely to the growth of the music industry.
“These people have played a crucial role in uplifting the music industry in the country and I felt I should recognise them,” he said.
Mr Entertainer, who has been there in the music industry supporting artists hailed the gospel musician for the gesture.
“I would like to thank King James Phiri for this recognition. Most of the times people are recognised when they are dead. I just to wish him all the best with the new albums,” he said.
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