Let us value traditional instruments—Mkanthama


By Sam Banda Jnr:

Veteran ethno-musician Charles Chavalamangwere Mkanthama has said the country needs to do more to promote traditional instruments.

Mkanthama, who is from Ntchisi and plays the thumb piano known locally as nsansi, called on the current generation to embrace traditional instruments by using them during their performances.


“If we are not careful, we may end up losing our instruments. Our counterparts in other countries are valuing their instruments. This is part of our culture and history. Our parents started all this, learned from our grandfathers and passed the knowledge to us and now the current generation has to take that up,” Mkanthama said.

Apart from playing the nsansi, Mkanthama also plays kaligo, which is another exceptional traditional instrument that produces its own unique sound.

“I am happy that we have young people like Patrick Chimbewa. I am proud of him, he learnt so fast and is passionate about traditional instruments. In fact, he is doing better than me and sometimes I am surprised with the way he goes about his music,” Mkanthama said.


Chimbewa at one-time had an opportunity to travel to Norway, where he showed the best of traditional instruments.

In West Africa, some of the artists, who have always showed the beauty of traditional instruments include Mali’s Salif Keita.

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