Reggae group Black Missionaries Monday called on authorities not to be selective when applying laws following their failure to hold two shows over the weekend.
The group announced that they were to hold three shows during Easter starting off at Vibes in Zomba on Friday and Modern Park in Balaka on Saturday and finish off at Club 24/7 in Blantyre on Easter Sunday.
However, they were not allowed to hold the two shows in Zomba and Balaka, respectively, and only managed to hold the Club 24/7 gig.
“We lost out; we advertised these shows and invested a lot only to be told at the eleventh hour that we could not go ahead. Some of our colleagues managed to hold their shows but we did not,” the group’s lead vocalist Anjiru Fumulani said on Sunday.
He said they decided to go ahead with the show at Club 24/7 because it was in the afternoon.
Anjiru said artists have not been holding shows for close to a year due to the pandemic and yet politicians were doing their normal work.
“We rely on these shows to support our families and, due to a ban on gatherings of more than 50, we have been affected.
“We are citizens who respect laws but politicians have been campaigning recently pulling huge numbers and this is where we are questioning this selective way of doing things,” he said.
He said the creative sector has been monitored heavily and yet other sectors are operating normally.
“Markets are operating normally and yet the creative sector is not being given that chance. They need to level the playing field,” Anjiru said.
During their show at Club 24/7 Club, the reggae outfit performed for some time until late on when they were stopped by law enforcers.
Club 24/7 owner McDonald Soko had to come on stage and announce to the audience that law enforcers were outside and calling for an end to the gig.
The show eventually ended around past 10pm with Black Missionaries offering two last songs ‘Nsanje’ and ‘Salimo’ as people protested.
Being a holiday the following day, most people wanted a phungwe gig.
“We respect the law that is why I had to tell the audience to understand the situation. We are suffering but we always do things peacefully and obey the laws. We will continue to fight for our cause especially on loosening up Covid measures,” Soko said.
The show, which started in the afternoon, opened with acts of other Chileka siblings such as Yanjanani Chumbu, Khozie Masimbe and Moda Fumulani before Anthony Mr Cool Makondetsa took over the stage late on, with Blacks playing last.
Despite being frustrated, the artists put up good performances with Anjiru calling upon people to continue observing Covid measures.
“Let us continue to stay safe, sanitise and mask up; otherwise, all will be well and we will get back to normal. We also should not stop praying so that God should take away this pandemic,” Anjiru said.
This was the group’s first show attended by an attractive audience since the break. Some people were putting on masks but others did not.
Last month, the group held a virtual show at Mibawa in Blantyre.