We have shortfalls but our songs are not low-class, says Anjiru
As discussions of Chileka-based reggae group Black Missionaries’ release of four promotional songs off their Kuimba 10 album continues, the group’s lead vocalist has come out to say that their songs are not low-class.
Black Missionaries have released four promotional songs namely ‘Sikwathu,’ ‘Tizingocheza,’ ‘ Muzaweluze,’ and ‘Sindingakwanitse,’ which have attracted mixed views with some completely writing off the songs and further saying that the group was now riding on the fame of late Evison Matafale and Musamude Fumulani.
But in an exclusive interview Anjiru, who has spearheaded all the four songs with his voice standing out, said they have always valued people’s comments which have shaped them, but hit at those who are saying their songs are ‘trash.’
“We have our shortfalls and that we accept but our songs are not low class as others are putting it. We took our time and we believe people will love the songs with time. Some people just criticise out of jealousy,” he said.
Anjiru, nicknamed the ‘Jewel of Chileka,’ for his sweet voice, said people should not judge their Kuimba 10 album with only four songs.
“Some people are not happy when they see us doing well. They will be happy when they see our downfall. The songs are not bad. For instance, ‘Tizingocheza, is doing well now and people have been requesting for it over and over during our two performances we held last weekend,” he said.
Anjiru maintained that they do not hate criticism and that to them they listen to concrete criticism that offers them solutions.
The singer also said that many people have just come out to criticise the group but they do not know anything about Black Missionaries and where they have come from.
“Some people who criticise Black Missionaries pretend to know us but they do not. Others have gone on to compare us with late Evison and Musamude but you cannot compare us with them. Evison was Evison; likewise Musamude and our Kuimba albums are different only that we have maintained our message of love, unity and spiritual,” he said.
Some people have even implied that Anjiru is not a good composer comparing him to Evison and Musamude but the singer said he started composing songs way back.
“I have not been composing or leading the songs after the death of Musamude. I started this way back and as Blacks we have always worked as a team. Musamude and Evison used to trust me and we shared roles, so people think I have only started composing songs now which is wrong,” he said.
He revealed that they have all played a part in their Kuimba albums.
“As a band we believe in sharing roles and we appreciate each other, it’s all the same now, this is why we say all the songs are composed by Blacks because we are a team,” said Anjiru.
Some quarters have had it that he needs not to play frontrunner in all the songs and that variety of voices is needed.
“I have no problems with Chizondi or Takudziwani or Peter or all the other members from playing a part in vocals. If Chizondi is comfortable he will lead in the songs and it’s just a matter of him coming out to do it and the same with others. For now the others concentrate on instruments,” he said.
Anjiru said they have come a long way and that they have struggled starting with the time of late Matafale when people were not patronising their shows and were even sleeping on the floor after concerts.
“Things have not been rosy but we thank God that the group is still going strong and we would like to thank people for their support,” he said.
The Blacks, who have produced their previous Kuimba albums with Ralph Ching’amba through his Ralph Records Studio, have this year worked with producer Amos Mlolowa through his Active A Studio in Blantyre.
Ching’amba is currently in South Africa where he also set up a studio.
And Mlolowa, who is also drummer starring with Mafilika Band has defended the group saying to him the Black Missionaries have done well in the songs and that they took their time.
One of the veteran promoters Jai Banda popularly known as Mr Entertainer also defended the group saying they have done their best in Kuimba 10.
“People just like to criticise for the sake of it, actually those who are criticising the songs are not even saying what is wrong with the songs. Is it the vocals? Is it the lead guitar? All what they are saying is the songs are not good, what is not good? The group is doing its own style and so you cannot rate them with the likes of late Evison Matafale, Musamude or Gift,” said Jai, who has worked with several artists including late Bright Livewire Nkhata.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues