The audience, dominated by youths, looked almost celebratory even before Tay Grin arrived at Kamuzu Upper Stadium on an evening that was either cool or warm, contrary to recent weather in Blantyre where the weather has been cool.
Tay Grin arrived shortly after 4pm and, in the interval, upcoming artists danced to their own music played from CDs, some of them— notably J-Mo and Tony B and Red Trap— foaming at the mouth because of the exercise of following the fast pace of their beats with the movement of their own mouths to appear to be in sync with the music.
Some, notably Zomba-based Bouncy, waited for a turn that never came.
Tay Grin has been on a campaign to celebrate the awards he has bagged over the years and give youths their fair share in the spotlight-of-music, after he received applications, via WhatsApp, from upcoming artists who were interested in sharing the stage with him.
From the list of applicants, 44 were earmarked to perform in Lilongwe City, with a further 48 artists making the grade in Blantyre.
At the Upper Stadium on Saturday, Amos Chinangwa, AKA Riffle Dynamics, who also registered for the Lilongwe outing, performed before Blantyre youths, some of them were experiencing his stage antics for the first time, and never disappointed.
J-Mo and Tony B said they were happy to be given a chance to perform before an audience that could, one day, prove key to the sustenance of their music.
Even the Dunamiz Dancers, who let their hands and legs speak for them— as opposed to three quarters of the artists, who opted to impress with word of mouth— had positive remarks to make.
They said the show gave them the opportunity to reaffirm that dance and music are inseparable.
Speaking to reporters, Tay Grin said he was happy to give upcoming artists a chance and capping that up with his own performance.
In fact, one boy spiced up Tay Grin’s performance with dancing antics that were, on the evening, unmatched. And that boy went back home laden with K2,000 banknotes, some of which he can use to buy winter clothes for he only donned a T-shirt in making his appearance on stage.
“I wanted to give young artists the opportunity to show the world that they are ready to mesmerise people. I am happy that I have been able to give young people who would, otherwise, not get the opportunity to impress and embark on their own music journeys to achieve their own dreams.
“I am especially happy that the show is for free because I want to reach out to as many people as possible. Now, it is up to them to continue the work they have started after their impressive performances here. Malawi has talent but, as you know, opportunities for breakthroughs are rare for young artists,” Tay Grin said.
In coming to the venue of the free show, Tay Grin had boarded a vehicle with a partial open top, waving at the ecstatic audience. They were welcoming one of their own, a Tay Grin who was bred in Blantyre.
“Blantyre holds a special place in my heart. I have known this city for a long time and it is only fair to give back to the city that has given me so much,” Tay Grin said.
Maybe the partially open top is a symbol of what may become of the young, upcoming artists that graced the show. Not even the sky, which Tay Grin, in that vehicle with a partially open top, did not bother to look at — as his eyes were lost in the act of looking at the audience— is the limit.
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