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Saleta Phiri memorial raises over K1.3 million

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Lucius performs

The memorial show of legendary musician Saleta Phiri, better known as Akuka, raised K1,349,400 at Club 24/7 in Blantyre, with K840,400 donated to the family after other expenses.

The Friday concert, which spilled over to the wee hours of Saturday, attracted performances from, among others, Soldier Lucius Banda and Zembani Band, Nzika Band, Agorosso, Master Tongole and AB Sounds, a band that used to star with Saleta.

The remaining funds after the expenses were handed over to the family on Saturday afternoon.

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“We are thankful to the team that put together this memorial show. We do not take it for granted,” Saleta’s widow said during handover.

Club 24/7 director MacDonald Soko said resources permitting, they intend to be holding the memorial show every year with the support of the family.

“This is the first and, so, we had some hiccups but, going forward, we will ensure that we plan well and also involve many players and artists. It was nice working with late Saleta Phiri’s family. I would like to thank Soldier Lucius Banda and all the artists involved as well as Elson Chikoko,” Soko said.

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Lucius, who at one time performed Saleta’s ‘Oraruwa’, said during his performance that he learnt a lot from Saleta, hence sacrificing to be part of the memorial and perform for free.

“We are where we are today because of artists like Saleta and I am sure there are a lot of artists who got inspired by him,” he said.

The artist, who took over from Sam Smack having collaborated in his track ‘Ndakudikila’ and later a mash-up, clarified during the memorial that he was not quitting music but rather he will channel more of his time to other things and family.

Lucius will launch his 20th album titled Love and Hate, probably his last, on December 3 2022 and he briefly gave the audience a taste of one of the singles off the album titled ‘Bisa’ which was expected to drop yesterday.

Although the sound was not perfect, AB Sounds, featuring Ken Soko on bass guitar, Takondwa Mbambayekha on lead guitar, Ali Disi on drums and Gift Nkoma on second guitar, reminded people of Saleta’s exploits, dishing out songs such as ‘Oraruwa’ ‘Munyaradzi’ and ‘Radio Galamu’.

The memorial concert of Saleta, who died on December 31 2004, came barely two weeks after Mudi Music Festival which took place in Ndirande, Blantyre, also recognised him with a silver medal alongside artists such as Dennis Kalimbe of Ndirande Anglican Voices, Diwa Khwiliro and Fuggie Kasipa.

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