Musicians, actors in tribute show

Manana sings
his heart out

Music and theatre shared the stage on Saturday night in a tribute show celebrating the lives of comedians John Nyanga and Eric Mabedi, popularly known as Izeki ndi Jakobo, actor Frank Patani Mwase and musician Sweeney Chimkango held at Mibawa Multipurpose Hall in Blantyre.

Organised by Mibawa and beamed live on Mibawa Television in conjunction with Goodwill Funeral Services which catered for artists’ logistics, the event, which went all the way to midnight, lived up to its billing with the four fallen artists receiving praise for helping shape the country through their talents.

The tribute show comes barely two weeks after the country lost Chimkango and Mabedi.


During the show, people who graced the tribute show and those who were watching on television sampled some of the fallen artists’ performances.

It was a celebration of the four fallen artists’ life and their works but it brought emotions, with some shedding tears during performances.

Kwathu Drama Group, which benefitted from the talents of Nyanga and Mabedi before their exploits as Izeki ndi Jakobo took centre stage, performed a play titled Tilolerane in which the late Mabedi played a key role.


Some of the actors that performed in the production on the night included Emma Chikwembeya, Charles Mphoka, Moses Mandebvu, Mussa Penoh and Linda Chatha.

There were also performances from theatre practitioners such as Ben Maluwasa, Shadreck Jumaina, McArthur Matukuta, Louis Thembachako Masamba, Precious Denja and Maxwell Chiphinga aka Max DC.

In music, which had accapella as well, the audience watched performances from among others, legendary gospel musician Wycliffe Chimwendo, Afro Spirituals led by Sweeney’s brother MacDonald Custom and Omba Lipenga with Adams Family led by Ken Manana, closing the curtain.

Sweeney’s children were also part of the performances where they showed their talents breathed into them by their father.

Adams Family rekindled memories of their past exploits when they impressed from start to finish and, in their line-up, did not skip one of Sweeney’s songs ‘Miseu ya Golide’, which was led by Custom.

The audience sang along to all the songs which Adams Family, backed by lead guitarist Collen Ali, bassist Godfrey Mbidzi, Emmanuel Gonthako on saxophone and MacDonald Muwawa, among others, offered and it also included ‘Anagwa’.

“Adams Family made a name because of Sweeney. Sweeney raised Adams Family’s profile and we are thankful to him,” Manana said of the group known as Malawi’s Boyz II Men.

The families of Nyanga and Mabedi were not present on the night but the families of Mwase and Chimkango applauded Mibawa and Goodwill Funeral Services for organising the tribute show.

Mwase’s daughter spoke on behalf of the family while the family of Chimkango was represented by Sweeney’s brother Lameck.

Goodwill Funeral Services said the idea to celebrate these fallen artists was commendable, hence coming in to support.

Mibawa’s Wellingtone Kuntaja said Mibawa would continue to hold events to remember fallen artists, who contribute immensely to the development of the country.

“We would like to thank families of the four fallen artists for allowing us to hold the tribute show; the families are in pain for losing their loved ones but they accepted. What they actually pointed out is that these people were not for them alone but for the nation,” Kuntaja said.

He also hailed artists for being part of the tribute show within short notice.

This is not the first time for Mibawa to host a tribute show as they also held another one remembering fallen artists such as legendary Wambali Mkandawire.

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