Gospel musician Sangwani Munthali’s name is still new to many people in the country but he showed over the weekend that he was not a small meat in music, when he offered ice cream performances in Lilongwe and Blantyre during the launch of his third album Ndipulumutseni and a DVD of his second album Themba.
His first performance was at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe on Friday night before invading Robins Park in Blantyre the following day.
Sangwani, who recorded his album in Namibia, was well armed as he assembled a perfect team of instrumentalists, who felt and did justice to his music and they included a Namibian drummer, guitarist Ernest Ikwanga, percussionist Daniel Thom alias Super DT, keyboardists JJ Munthali and last year’s Airtel Trace Music Star winner Sam Mjura Mkandawire.
There was also the brass section of three Karonga-based Lusubilo Band members, who blew people away with their skills on the saxophone and trumpet.
And then the band was made complete with the backing team which included Allan Jogi.
With the equipment provided by Mibawa, the whole set was driven by Sangwani’s Namibian producer Derik Vilas, who made sure the sound came out crystal clear.
The audience was not that impressive in the two shows in Lilongwe and Blantyre but this did not at all put off Sangwani, who shared the stage with legendary Mtebeti Wambali Mkandawire in Lilongwe before going it alone in Blantyre.
His music is rich fused with jazz and traditional dances and although this music has faced resistance in the country, Sangwani believes it is just a matter of time.
The gospel musician, who debuted with Mahomwa Ya Fumu which prompted some people to liken him to Wambali, belted out an omelette of performances in Lilongwe and Blantyre that left many in disbelief with his immense talent.
Wambali warmed up the stage in Lilongwe with his usual shimmering act before relegating himself to a part of the audience later where he could not resist some of Sangwani’s songs but take to the dance floor.
The veteran artist, who climaxed his Lilongwe performance with his masterpiece Nkhujipereka, said Sangwani used to stay in their backyard but his talent was hidden.
“Sangwani has taught me that I am a Jose Mourinho and not Alex Ferguson. I am not good at discovering talent but working with talent that has already blossomed and so I stretch it. Sangwani’s talent was hidden but once it came out I could not miss it,” he said.
He described Sangwani as a good composer and that he delivered great shows.
“The band was great, the music was excellent and the arrangement was just precise for live shows. They rehearsed well.
There is maturity in Sangwani and he is at that level where you can say he is professional and he clicked with his team,” said Wambali, who was also present during the Blantyre show but did not perform.
Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) President Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, who attended the Lilongwe launch, was impressed with Sangwani’s performance.
“The performance was super and faultless, this is what we need in Malawi and surely these are some of the artists that need support. I am just disappointed with the patronage.
Malawians its high time we supported art and begin to love our own otherwise Sangwani has shown potential,” said Mhango.
Sangwani, who takes the launch next to Mzuzu Boma Park on June 4, said he was impressed with the shows although he wished many people came.
“For me this is a good start. I ask people to buy the album and DVD because the songs have powerful messages of hope as well as encouraging them to rely on God in everything,” he said.
Apart from the title track Ndipulumutseni, some of the songs Sangwani dished out included Asamala, Waweme, Themba, Ndingaopa Ntchiche, Mzimu wa Yehova, Wamkundipenja, Ndilowala, Ufumu, and Wakusoleka.
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