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Masauko Chipembere sings praise of Sounds of Malawi

By Sam Banda Jnr:

Musician Masauko Chipembere Jr, who is now based in Costa Rica on Thursday hailed organisers of the Sounds of Malawi Acoustic Session for creating a platform that would bring the best out of artists.

The artist has just released his solo album Masauko, debuted at Sounds of Malawi Acoustic Session at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre, where he shared the stage with South African artist Sinethemba Makanya.

“It was beautiful performing at Sounds of Malawi and, to me, Sounds of Malawi represents a new era for us here as we are getting into the intimate poetry of the music”, Masauko said.

He said music was now more concerned with lyrics and that being a Chipembere himself, the message is more important.

“Young people must strive to bring out the best in their songs and come up with rich and mature lyrics. This country has talent and there are just so many amazing musicians,” Masauko said.

The artist, who today celebrates his father’s birthday, on Saturday also performed at Grittah’s Camp in Lilongwe.

Masauko’s father Henry was born on August 5 1930 and died on September 24 1975.

“In Blantyre it was an acoustic set but in Lilongwe it was with a band but all the two shows attracted huge audiences. I would like to say thank you for the support,” he said.

The artist performed in front of his 84-year-old mother Catherine Chipembere at JCC and described her presence as natural.

“It is very natural for me to perform in front of my mother because this habit of singing started with my mother. Many of my songs were inspired by my mother because she was a singer,” he said.

While he is always excited being home, Masauko also described it as complicated.

“For me, it is complicated especially as someone who was born outside the country; I didn’t grow up speaking Chichewa, I am abit of an outsider but at the same I have a deep responsibility to keep my father’s legacy alive and the aspect of his work in life,” he said.

The singer and guitarist who dished out songs such as ‘Ilala’, ‘Watch this Woman’, ‘ Ichi Chakoma’, and ‘Old Shackles’, said his presence in the country is also to make sure that people do not just think about his father as a name of a highway but begin to be more intimate with what he was trying to convey.

“I believe that if my father were alive, his idea would be that Malawians are starving and then the question is how do we get people eat every day? This is where I am talking about permaculture. This is permanent agriculture where crops are developed all year round using different methods;” the musician said.

He said through such projects where he is targeting rural areas, he is living the light of his father.

“I am more concerned with the people in the villages, to help develop them and my mother and father were of the view of lifting all those at the bottom. I actually need young artists to see my concentration in the villages and hope they will join me,” Masauko said.

He said young people must be concerned with the poorest people, adding that their mission should be to change the nature of life.

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