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Over 30 artists to star at Matafale Memorial

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STAR CELEBRATION—Blacks performing

The 21st edition of the Evison Matafale memorial will be held on Sunday at Civil Ground, Gadaga in Chileka.

Led by reggae group Black Missionaries which was founded by Matafale, the group’s lead vocalist Anjiru Fumulani said Thursday that for the first time in the history of the memorial, they will have more artists performing.

“We have over 30 artists who will be performing this year and this figure is big compared to the acts that we have had since we started the memorial. We thank God for this,” Anjiru said.

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Some of the artists set to perform include Queen Fyah, Mitchie, Waliko Makhala, Young Generations and Positive Yut.

Anjiru said through the memorial they celebrate the life of the Black Missionaries’ founder and other Chileka fallen artists such as Gift and Musamude Fumulani.

“We are thankful to God for taking control of this memorial and also people for their support. This memorial is there to remind us of Matafale, Musamude and Gift Fumulani and others,” he said.

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He said Matafale, Musamude and Gift did a lot for the country and that most of their songs continue to speak to the people today.

“We celebrate their life, talent and works. They preached love, peace, unity and hard work. Their songs were prophesies of what is happening today, songs like ‘Olakwa Ndani’ talk about today’s life. So, this tells it all that it is a mission,” Anjiru said.

The reggae group continues to enjoy support from the people and has gone on to release Kuimba albums up to Kuimba 12.

“Bands have started but many have died a natural death but we are still here and we continue with the mission that Matafale started. This mission will continue even when we are not there, the main purpose is to continue preaching God’s word and guide people,” Anjiru said.

However, throughout their mission, the group has also received criticism from people with some saying their compositions were not rich compared to those stitched by Matafale and Musamude.

But others have defended and commended them for braving the tides and continue to release Kuimba albums.

“We value and welcome constructive criticism and we know this is important especially in growing this mission,” he said.

The group remains one of the crowd pullers in the country and they have been on the move with live performances alongside Anthony Mr Cool Makondetsa, Khozie Masimbe, Yanjanani Chumbu and Moda Fumulani.

Matafale will always be part of the country’s history and one cannot talk of reggae music in Malawi without mentioning his name.

He was a Rastafarian who used music to speak for the oppressed.

His death on November 27 2001 shocked the country and a lot of people had fears that this would be the end of Black Missionaries.

But 21 years down the line, Black Missionaries popularly known as Blacks is still active and enjoying the limelight, continuing the mission that Matafale started.

Ahead of the memorial, the reggae group will tonight perform at Moneymen Club in Blantyre alongside Anthony Makondetsa, Yanjanani Chumbu, Khozie Masimbe and Moda Fumulani and then Saturday they will perform at Edgar’s Lodge in Mulanje.

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