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Lucius Banda walks Valentine’s Day talk

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When Soldier Lucius Banda promised prospective patrons to the Lingadzi Inn Mandimu Garden Valentine’s Day concert that he would perform non-stop for close to four hours, others would have taken it as a bluff.

But lovebirds who patronised the show in Lilongwe went home satisfied in terms of both love and entertainment.

Soldier, as Banda is known, set a record by performing for up to four hours, giving the fans nothing but a mixed bag of songs from the 18 studio albums he has released in his musical journey. His is a journey of three decades.

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It has become customary for the musician to perform for not more than two hours, which is understandable for someone who, at 46 years, is not getting any younger and always has to make way for established and up-and-coming musicians he usually shares the performance stage with.

On a chilly night Tuesday evening, Soldier stormed the stage at 7:30 and left only after 11pm. What was perhaps not true was the promise that the performance would be exclusive to him.

But, for good measure, Lucius left the stage to Sam Simakweli and Nepman. So it was perhaps a deception the audience was happy with. But moments before closing his act he had dared the audience to choose songs they wanted him to perform. It was a contest Lucius won easily as the audience kept requesting songs he had already performed, perhaps an indication that the Soldier had knocked the stuffing out of the usually ever demanding audience.

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Dressed in a red shirt, in keeping with the colours of the day of romance, and a black pair of trousers, Lucius gave a continuous performance, stopping only for not more than five minutes after every hour to hand the microphone to the Director of Ceremonies, Bon Winiko Kalindo, who complimented the act nicely with his at-the-spur-of-the-moment jokes which got the audience in stitches.

However, the comedian-cum-politician was not in all-jokes-mood as, at times, he seriously engaged the audience in serious talk. At one point, for example, he asked the fans to support local musicians.

At another point, he encouraged couples to show affection to each other on the day and thereafter.

It was a great performance and show for the fans, who, in the early hours had cast doubts about the show talking place as the rains that have fallen in love with the Capital City threatened to spoil the show.

They poured moderately ceasing at only around.

Banda opened his performance with the day’s theme Song ‘Zakukhosi’ before playing a string of his slow love jams including ‘Esther’, ‘Kheliwe’ and ‘Usatembenuke’ to a largely seated audience that was warming up to what the Soldier had in store.

It was during his second set from 9pm to 10pm that the sitting audience rose from the chairs and thronged the dance floor to shake their bodies to ‘Wandithawadi’ and, from then on, some patrons never left the dance floor, dancing to more songs especially ‘Mtima Wako’ (Sijakuzi), ‘Okondedwa’ and ‘Mumulangize Jenifa’ which got them singing along.

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