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Night of Zonke Dikana, Patience Namadingo

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South Africa’s award winning, songstress Zonke Dikana commonly known as Zonke, finally performed at this year’s Standard Bank Blue Mingoli concert at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe on Saturday night where she shared the stage with the country’s artist Patience Namadingo.

Zonke’s name was unfamiliar to some people in the country when it was announced as the headlinel for this year’s Blue Mingoli concert.

No wonder when she jumped on stage soon after Namadingo’s show, she was not sure of what to expect from the audience and she kept on asking the people as to whether they were enjoying her set.

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She surely got a resounding yes from the audience which finally pushed her to gain confidence.

Zonke’s performance started on a low but gradually picked up with some people taking to the dance floor to enjoy her renditions.

The artist, who is said to have interacted with some primary students earlier, throughout her performance she introduced each song and explained as to why she composed it.

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She interacted with the audience but she needed to do more to bring people closer to her music especially in the middle of her set when she had started gaining ground.

Zonke, who showed her dancing skills in some of the songs performed for close to an hour before she bade farewell thanking people for embracing the concert.

“Thank you Malawi for the support,” she said before she walked away as her band which included three backing vocalists continued performing.

One of the people, who watched the show described Zonke, who had her big break when she wrote a song titled Africa, My Motherland for Germany-based band Jazzkantine as a good artist.

“She is a good artist, very powerful voice but I still think she could have done more in terms of winning people’s hearts,” said one of the fans, who identified himself as Benson and came with his mother and grandmother.

 

There were more people in the VIP section which included business gurus with a fair audience in the standard tickets section.

Namadingo, who warmed the stage once again, underlined his strength as a musician, when he put up a grand performance.

Backed by a three-member team including Amos Mlolowa on drums and Chisomo Ngondo on keyboard, Namadingo, carrying a Malawian flag, delivered a razor sharp act.

His entry attracted cheers from the audience as he came first as a lead vocalist, started singing before introducing the three members, one by one – from keys to the bass guitarist and then drummer.

He also had people cheering him on when he dished out Mtendere which he performed in different versions including rumba from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), reggae from Jamaica, R&B from USA and could not skip the Malawian touch.

Namadingo also dished out songs from his latest album Lero which is packaged with tracks such as Msati Mseke.

At one moment, he also moved in to perform a track which pokes fun at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) for the blackouts in the country.

The artist then called on people to support his music by buying his CDs to help him support his Patience Namadingo Foundation which is helping the government to uplift education in the country.

“I made it a point that 20 percent from every performance should go towards the foundation and so from this Blue Mingoli concert fee 20 percent will go to the foundation. I also ask you to buy the CDs from which we also take out 20 percent,” he said.

With the theme More than Music, the concert saw an exhibition of beautiful artworks by Art House Africa led by visual artist Elson Kambalu having partnered Standard Bank.

“We are excited as visual artists to exhibit our works and we had time to reach out to different people although I should say we did not make more sales. However, we did make contacts and we hope this partnership will continue,” Kambalu said.

The artworks were exhibited outside the auditorium and people had time to appreciate them before the start of the concert and during a short break when Zonke was taking the stage after Namadingo’s performance

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