Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre attracted an impressive audience on Thursday during the reopening of the Sounds of Malawi Acoustic session which was headlined by Lucky Stars Band led by legendary Boniface Ndamera.
Sounds of Malawi Acoustic session, which is now hosted by ethno-musician Waliko Makhala who took over from Code Sangala currently in United States of America, went on a break due to Covid.
As a result of Covid, the platform, which seeks to promote the country’s music, has in its recent sessions experienced a low turnout but Thursday’s patronage gave organisers hope that people were ready to embrace Sounds of Malawi Acoustic session this year.
Lucky Stars Band is not new in the music arena in the country and one would not skip talking about its hit ‘Chinafuna M’bale’ which was recorded long time ago and continues to enjoy massive airplay in radio stations, wedding and engagement ceremonies and drinking joints.
It was an exciting moment for the audience, which once again got to enjoy sounds from Lucky Stars and they sang along to some of the songs such as ‘Chinafuna M’bale’ and ‘Mungondimana Mowa’.
Being an acoustic session, Ndamera did not perform with a full band as has been the case in other platforms but rather there was a trio with him and another member playing acoustic guitars and another percussion.
The platform has a question-and-answer session where people get to learn more about the artist and it prolonged as the audience wanted to know more about Lucky Stars including the inspiration behind tracks such as ‘Chinafuna M’bale’.
Ndamera and team, by public demand, also had to be forced to perform three more songs as the audience still longed for more local vibes.
Now in his 70s, Ndamera said he was happy to reopen Sounds of Malawi Acoustic session and perform at JCC for the first time.
“Of course, I was using a new guitar and, so, I felt the sound was lacking at times and not that tight but I am thankful to JCC for giving me this platform,” he said.
During the show, some people bemoaned the absence of CDs for Lucky Stars but others felt this was due to piracy and that proper distribution systems needed to be put in place for artists to reap from their sweat.
“I have more songs, both old and new, but the challenge I have is to do with funds to go to the studio, to record and then produce CDs and DVDs. The issue of funds has been my song and if we can have well-wishers supporting us, then everything will be in black and white,” he said.
He also spoke about a new album Wakhonda Ubale which is a continuation of ‘Chinafuna M’bale’.
JCC Director Luc Deschamps said it was a great feeling kickingoff Sounds of Malawi Acoustic session with Lucky Stars Band.
“Lucky Stars is a symbol of traditional music; the beauty of it all was that it was acoustic and Mr Ndamera plays the guitar in a unique way and his music is very powerful,” Deschamps said.