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Thousands attend Evison Matafale memorial

Thousands of people from all walks of life on Sunday patronised the free annual late Evison Matafale memorial show at Mankhokwe ground in Blantyre.

This year there were fears that the memorial show would not take place and as of Friday, Black Missionaries lead vocalist Anjiru Fumulani had not been given feedback on the use of Mankhokwe ground by Chileka Airport authorities.

And come Sunday morning, the day of the memorial, some people were still skeptical of the memorial which also celebrates the talent and lives of other fallen Chileka artists including Musamude and Gift Fumulani.

Anjiru admitted that this year they struggled to be given access to the ground as the Chileka Airport authorities stuck their guns saying people destroy property after the memorial.

The Black Missionaries lead guitarist cited last year when people who were returning from the memorial among others, stoned vehicles and so they did not want to experience the same scenario this year.

But after further discussions according to Anjiru, they were finally given permission with a stern warning that, should people misbehave once again, there would be no more memorial at Mankhokwe ground.

Mankhokwe ground has proved to be convenient in terms of accommodating the gigantic audience compared to the ground which is near Chileka police which has hosted the memorial the past years.

The only setback for Mankhokwe ground is that it is closer to the road and gives motorists difficulties in terms of movement.

With Chileka Airport authorities giving them a warning, the organisers did not want to relax on Sunday and so apart from hiring police officers, who even mounted road blocks on the road, they made sure the memorial finished early.

The past has seen the memorial starting in the morning and going all the way to the night but this time it ended early disappointing some fans.

And when Black Missionaries was closing the chapter, Anjiru kept on telling the audience about how they struggled to access the venue hence called upon them to behave.

“We want this memorial to continue because it is the only platform for us to celebrate the lives of these fallen artists.

“But what happens is that after the show some people misbehave and destroy things tarnishing the image of the memorial,” he said.

Anjiru said they ended the memorial which started late due to power problem, because they wanted people to walk to their homes before it got dark.

The same call was also made by Anthony ‘Mr Cool’ Makondetsa for people to refrain from violence.

Coming to the memorial, people enjoyed the reggae vibes from the start to finish from Makondetsa, Black Missionaries and Young Generations among others.

As usual some people carried Rastafarian flags while others carried the Malawi flag.

Some painted their faces with Rastafarian colours of red, gold and green while others wore Rastafarian cloths and scarves.

Some wore T-shirts of late Matafale while others were in reggae maestro Bob Marley’s T-shirts.

People cashed in on the memorial show selling different things while others took advantage to sell Indian hemp which sold like hot cakes and so people were all over smoking.

Minibuses also cashed in during the memorial although some people decided to walk to their different destinations.

While some got drunk, others enjoyed the memorial, singing and dancing throughout.

Fans sweated as the place was packed, but unlike in the past years when people have been subjected to dust, it was not the case this time with rains falling on Saturday.

Random interviews with people indicated they were satisfied with the memorial with many praising the late Matafale.

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