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Night of clean sound

Peter Mawanga, Nyago sparkle

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Nyago

Headliner Peter Mawanga alongside curtainraiser Nyago showed the beauty and sweetness of music and its rich value when they gave outstanding performances during a concert at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre on Saturday night.

With an imposing audience, the two amazing acts left no stone unturned in their routines, offering clean and moving music and, no wonder, each one left people longing for more.

Unlike Nyago who has starred at JCC before, this was a debut performance for Mawanga, who has in the past years been tied up with international concerts with rare local shows.

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He admitted during his set that JCC has invited him on several occasions but he has not made it but finally he made it on Saturday in an Unplugged 2021 Mini Tour that will also see him perform in Lilongwe.

Coming from the name Triza Titus before rebranding under the direction of Q Malewezi, Nyago was the first to hit the stage, taking people to the Northern Region with her Vimbuza vibes.

Nyago has taken the right trail to move with healing sound of the popular traditional dance Vimbuza and, with it and possessed, she sings zealously.

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“It was healing for me and it was beautiful performing on same stage with the legend Peter Mawanga. I was honoured,” she said after her performance.

Nyago did not perform with a full band but there were no gaps in a two-act piece that featured Jonathan Tembo on acoustic guitar and backing vocals.

“It’s been a calling for me to do this type of music. I have been running away from it for some time but I thought I should face it and I wanted to be me. I am glad people love it and we will take Vimbuza to the world,” she said.

Dressed in a beautiful Chitenje attire, Nyago said she was working on an album to come out soon.

Mawanga acknowledged Nyago’s impressive act before his performance and he made sure he raised the bar.

The musician, formerly known as Peter Pine, did not star with his full Amaravi Movement Band that he has toured with in international concerts.

This time, it was a three-act set that had him on lead vocals and guitar, Omex Chimpeni on drums and percussions and one of the longest serving members of the band—Alfred Sitolo Nkhoma—on bass and acoustic guitars.

But despite missing the others, there were no gaps as the audience got a powerful dosage of Mawanga’s sound journeying with them from where he is now to his past.

He even got the audience interested when he switched in between songs playing the guitar and at times the sansi (thumb piano) showing his value for traditional instruments.

In acknowledging God’s love for the gift of life to everyone, Mawanga started off with a track ‘Ulemu’ before moving on to songs such as ‘Palije’, ‘What About You’, ‘Tsoka’, ‘Ngwalu’, ‘Watulo’ ‘Yesu ndi Khomo’ and ‘Alipo’.

Mawanga told stories behind every track on the line-up, which did not skip ‘Ezra’ from the album Stories of Aids: Mawu A Malawi which he collaborated with United States of America fiddler Andrew Finn Magill.

But he kept the best moment for the last when he rekindled memories of his past when he dropped ‘Amakhala ku Blantyre’ that had people singing along.

“It was more like a catch up with friends after a long time and emotions are high and I had to share stories. I thought it would be low but it was all good,” Mawanga said.

JCC Director Luc Deschamps described the show as massive, adding that a former US Ambassador Jenine Jackson paid entry fee for some of Jacaranda School for Orphans students.

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