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Poetry, music encounter

Wokoma-atani, Faith star

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Faith Mussa

Poetry and music chanced at HS Winehouse in Blantyre on Sunday when a star-studded line-up of legendary poet Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga and musician Faith Mussa offered artistry in a rare appearance.

This was the third affair for HS Winehouse, having opened up to arts activities three weeks ago as one way of giving a chance to artists to display their works.

Faith who has been to several international platforms selling the country to the world with his music travelled all the way from Lilongwe to share his music while Wokoma-atani made a short trip from Zomba.

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Making his second visit to Blantyre within a week, having also performed at the launch of dramatist Smith Likongwe’s Southern African Plays II book launch, Wokoma-atani came in well-equipped to entertain the audience with his verses and he did not disappoint.

His set saw him grace the stage three times and he offered both short and longer poems and love seemed to have dominated the proceedings.

On his line-up, the veteran poet and academician did not skip his anthem ‘Ndizakutengera Kunyanja Ligineti’ which had the impressive audience cheering him on as well as ‘Siananso Awa’ and ‘Komwe Alenga Chikondicho’.

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Having battled Covid, Wokoma-atani also recited a poem on the pandemic.

“It’s been great. I never expected such support but it seemed people were hungry for it. It’s even greater in that I was sharing the stage with one of the finest musicians who was our student at Chancellor College,” he said.

This was the first time for Wokoma-atani to perform at HS Winehouse.

He also described the performance as a warm-up as he gears to release his poetry anthology Ulaliki Wamoto later this month.

Faith, who starred without his Mdidi Band except his drummer Omex Chimpeni, had his share of musical exploits dating the stage twice, with the last showdown seeing him collaborating with pianist and producer Gresham Mokwena in track ‘Ogode’.

The singer and guitarist ended his performance on a high note when by public demand he offered ‘Desperate’ following up on the exploits of another hit ‘Mdidi’.

“I am happy to perform here, it’s been long and with the pandemic we have missed the stage. I just want to thank people for coming out to support this show and I am also happy to have shared the stage with Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga,” he said.

In between the acts of Wokoma-atani Malunga and Faith, the audience, that included some renowned names such as Alfred Msadala, Waliko Makhala and Wellington Kuntaja, host Tawonga Nkhonjera also brought in other acts including Annemarie Quinn.

Quinn, who is from the United Kingdom and has worked with a number of artists in the country, dished two songs from her Blue Sky Thinking album.

The others were Desire Manda and veteran bassist Felix Jere.

HS Winehouse publicist Emmanuel Maliro said they will continue offering the best of Sunday activities.

“We will continue following the precautionary measures and at the same time giving people surprise acts,” Maliro said.

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