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Three Blantyre shows get mixed reception

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Three shows on Sunday—one a poetry gathering and two gospel concerts— took place in the vicinity in the commercial city of Blantyre, with mixed results.

A poetry feast at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) featuring poets such as Robert Chiwamba stood out as it received the biggest audience seconded by a gospel concert at St Michael and All Angels Multipurpose Hall with singer Pachalo Jere Mpokosa’s launch of her CD and DVD album Ndikupita at Robin’s Park getting a low turnout.

Despite the poor turnout, Jere Mpokosa, who first launched the double in Lilongwe before invading Blantyre, said he was happy that he had managed to launch her CD and DVD.

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“I just want to thank all those who came to support me and I don’t take it for granted. I know there were a number of shows in Blantyre but I am happy I have managed to reach out to the few and next time it will not be the same,” she said.

Apart from Mpokosa as the main headliner, the other acts who performed include Favoured Martha and Ethel Kamwendo Banda, who closed the chapter.

‘Mdidi’ star Faith Mussa was also billed to perform but he pulled out at the eleventh hour.

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“I didn’t make it to the show. We tried to but she (Jere Mpokosa) didn’t want us to come. I performed in Lilongwe but when approached on the second show she was not forthcoming,” Mussa said.

According to Mussa, Mpokosa misinformed them that she had deposited money and yet she did not and that Mussa had to use his own money to pay his band, among others.

Mussa’s manager Samuel Chiwaka said the singer claimed to have paid money into his account and yet she did not.

“To be honest with you she wanted to use Faith Mussa’s name to pull the crowd and yet she failed to honour the agreement and this is why we pulled out,” Chiwaka said.

But Mpokosa yesterday said she did not want to comment much on the issue.

“I don’t want to say much and would rather leave things as they are. This is God’s ministry,” she said.

The show at St Michael and All Angels Multipurpose Hall in Blantyre, organised by women’s ministry, was expected to bring on stage Ndirande Anglican Voices and The Great Angels Choir alongside Marching Soldiers and Limbani Simenti, among others.

But Ndirande Anglican Voices were absent and instead they performed at an afternoon praise event in the same city organised by Word of Faith Temple International.

Ndirande Anglican Voices’ lead vocalist Dennis Kalimbe said they did not make it to the gospel show because they did not train with the band which was used.

“Before we perform at every show we need to rehearse and, in this case there was not even a day of rehearsing and I asked the organisers about this and they kept on directing us to other people,” Kalimbe said.

Kalimbe said, with such a situation, they thought it wise not to go to avoid disappointing people.

“I wish the organisers linked up with those who are conversant with organising shows,” he said.

Vice Chairperson of the women’s ministry, Milika Chilapondwa, said Ndirande Anglican Voices disappointed them despite being given a deposit.

“They got the deposit and the whole day they switched off the phone. On the band they don’t have an issue because the others used the same band,” Chilapondwa said.

Sound, however, haunted the show.

At BCC, poets did their best entertaining the huge audience although there was power shortage which forced them to use a generator.

Some of the poets who performed include Joseph Madzedze, Kenneth Khondiwa, Wamtali Savala Gogoda, Michael Benjala and Robert Chiwamba.

Chiwamba admitted that poetry standards are going down compared to the past years as poets are offering nothing new hence they needed to pull up their socks.

“Again veteran poets are no longer bringing new stuff for us to learn from and young poets are also struggling so we need to do more,” Chiwamba said.

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