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Obscenity is trash

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For lack of creativity, several musicians have emerged in Malawi who prefer music that thrives on obscenity rather than elements of music that give music its life.

If such mediocrity was preferred by musicians like Allan Namoko, Daniel Kachamba, Michael Yekha and Robert Fumulani, we would not have a past as our reference of class. From the strange anti-clockwise -then-clockwise technique used by Kachamba, to the great compositions of Namoko, we have legends whose music will constantly remind us that mediocrity never defined us until the emergence of mediocre musicians recently.

The reason that youthful musicians do not even have an ounce of creativity, their music would so often be loved for its obscenity rather than creativity. That speaks volumes of the complexity of music which requires an artist to create it to be appreciated for years but if music is created by imitators, we must not be surprised that they would opt for the easier route to earn fame.

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The common fetish of mediocre musicians is sexual activity or any other word associated with it. The reason is that the activity is often a nocturnal act but if music transforms it into daylight pastime, all we will have is the nakedness exposed for all to see.

Those artists who expose this act are exposing their foolishness and if the audience applauds that, they are accepting to be spoken of in the same breath as fools. They will buy that stupid music, they will patronise the shows each week and of course name their sons and daughters after such musicians.

I am a strong believer of art as a form of expression that promotes aspiration of the majority while righting those misconceptions about our societies. In some way, art should continue reflecting on our society by approving what should be celebrated and disapproving such traits in our societies that give us a bad name.

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I would not expect the artists of this age to be as talented as Namoko, Kachamba or Fumulani. I understand that art has revolved in most of Africa to accommodate the changes that have taken place but I wonder if 30 years from now people will scramble for music created today the way they have always done with the music of Namoko, Kachamba or Fumulani.

It is interesting to note that their message was not complicated but they realised that music goes beyond the lyrics, they realised that the other elements of music like instruments were equally important to distinguish imitators from the real deal they were.

For the lack of creativity, the youthful musicians have opted for obscene lyrics so they can be noticed quickly otherwise their music is trash. It is sad that the print and electronic media has popularised that trash.

These youthful musicians have deliberately chosen this route to achieve what their talent would not earn them. It is not surprising that this bubble-gum music ceases to exist even before it reaches the market. It would be played in bottlestores, listened to by drunks who would forget it immediately they leave the bottlestore. It would be enjoyed by drunks who would regard noise as music.

It must be accepted that the Western view of art is different from ours, while they see life in HD, our view of life is blurred and often distorted by poverty therefore what we create is influenced by the conditions we live in. We cannot pretend to be Americans living in Malawi.

In that case, obscenity will not come close to determine what we create to be our music otherwise we are Americanising African life which is full of pleasant stuff than the obscenity that the West would usually revere in and promote in their music and dance.

These youthful musicians would usually complain that their performances are shunned yet they are the ones who do great injustice to their careers by choosing easy route to fame disregarding the lifelong success their talents can earn them.

Few years ago, some youthful musicians responded to my criticism by composing a song. I understand that is how it is done in America. I am calling for the responsible youth to be aware of what is happening around them. That’s what can be preserved through music.

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