Mixed reaction as Wailing Brothers launch album


Revived Wailing Brothers finally launched their 14-track album titled Unfinished Project at Robin’s Park in Blantyre where they attracted a sizeable audience. This being a launch which started on Friday and spilled over to the early hours of Saturday, the group did their best but the performance still lacked that much needed pomp.

The launch of their album which was recorded at JK, Greener Arts and Ralph Records marked a journey of forward ever and backward never for the group.

As people eagerly waited for Wailing Brothers’ set which came after midnight, the group excited the audience when the members stormed the stage with bags of cement, bricks, bucket of water and a wheel barrow among other building materials.


This was to show the audience that they were serious with what they were doing and that this was the foundation.

Having brought the building materials on stage, the members then started doing the work, moving the bags of cement and bricks while some members went about mixing the cement and water in the wheel barrow.

It was after doing this that the group went straight to the business of music which saw youthful Chiku Simbi leading in vocals alongside lead guitarist Takudziwani Chokani.


They did not play all the songs in the album, but hugely impressed with sound looking at the calibre of experienced instrumentalists who included Ephraim Chambota on bass, Paul Chokani on drums, Takudziwani on lead and Chisomo Ngondo on keyboard.

Some songs were simply new to the audience which brought no excitement to people even those who were on the dance floor and this was also compounded by the fact that the lead vocalist Chiku was not energetic.

Chiku tried his best, he has potential but the stage was too big for him being the first time.

This was also observed during transitions when Takudziwani led in some of the songs, there was such a very big difference with Takudziwani striking the chord and winning the hearts of the people.

But Takudziwani maintained that Wailing Brothers is there to give a platform to the up and coming talents to grow and Chiku is just one of them.

Some songs stood out on the night and have good lyrical content including ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,’ led by Takudziwani which had people singing along but other songs were rushed and needed refining.

The other songs in the album are ‘Mwatero Ndinu,’ ‘Afritune,’ ‘Levi,’ ‘Sing a Song,’ and ‘I Love My Guitar.’

“We are excited that the launch has come to pass, people have come to support us and as we have said, we are not in competition, we are just continuing the reggae mission which our brother late Elias started.

“Again we want to work with different artists with more emphasis on the up and coming artists to grow their talent and put Malawi on the world map,” said Takudziwani.

Takudziwani, who has been performing with Black Missionaries with his brother Paul maintained that their revival of Wailing Brothers was not to kill Black Missionaries but to strengthen the mission.

“There is a lot of talk from people but let’s not castigate each other, we have done this to grow our music, there is talent out there which needs a platform and we are there to do that,” said the lead guitarist during the launch which was also attended by their families including their father and mother.

Their mother and father, who watched the whole launch including the performance of Lucius Banda, who closed the chapter finishing his set at 4am also hailed their children for reviving Wailing Brothers and praised them for launching the album.

Lucius, who performed with his Zembani Band, welcomed Wailing Brothers’ revival saying Black Missionaries has given birth to a child.

“It’s good to see that bands are developing and this is why we came to support them. It’s good to have more bands and this is a good initiative and I don’t see any problem or hard feelings for those who say they have done great injustice to Black Missionaries.

“Zembani Band is an example where more artists came out and went on to form their bands which is good,” said Lucius alias Soldier, who offered an electric performance.

Black Missionaries members were absent during the launch and Takudziwani said they have no hard feelings and that chances are there that they will share the stage in the other shows.

The launch attracted mixed reaction from people with others saying the group rushed to make this move and that they could have taken their time as well as allow the songs to play while others commended them for their bravery.

“They are still young and need to develop but the industry needs more players and we need variety so I commend the group for its bravery,” said Fletcher Chipanga.

During the launch Wailing Brothers also unveiled Arnold Fumulani, a brother to late Gift, who said he will be on his feet now.

The others, who performed backed by Wailing Brothers were Moda Fumulani, another brother to late Gift, who dropped new songs and Toza Matafale, who also dished out new songs.

Wailing Brothers also took time out to observe a minute of silence to Black Missionaries keyboardist Gift Thugo, who died early this month.

The group was expected to perform at Lilongwe Golf Club on Sunday.

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