Forget about the stories that were in the limelight recently indicating that musician Giddes Chalamanda was in need of support and struggling to make ends meet as today the legend is a proud owner of a K2 million shop.
Named Pa Gidde, taken from his first name Giddes, the 90-year-old musician, who has entertained the world with his vibes for years and continues to do so, was all smiles on Friday when the shop situated at his home in Chiradzulu was handed over to him.
“I am short of words and all I can say is thank you Patience Namadingo and thank you FDH Bank for giving me this shop. I am happy that, in the community, I am one of the shop owners,” he said.
And just to show his happiness in having his own shop, the musician, who wore a black suit, cut a ribbon to officially launch the shop before taking time to sell some items such as sweets to some customers who came to witness the launch.
Being his day, Giddes could also not skip giving people a dosage of his sound.
Armed with his banjo and backed by his children, one of which has been starring with him in most of the performances, he dished out two songs.
His wife Abiti Alafuledi was also delighted with the shop.
“It is like a dream. But, as a family, we are happy and we will make sure that we manage the shop well,” she said.
While some quarters would have loved well-wishers to build a house for the musician and not a shop which they feel would be difficult for the 90-year-old to manage, the musician is of a different view that he can manage with the help of his family.
“There is a family member who has been well trained to assist me in the operation of the shop and so I don’t think there is any problem,” Giddes said.
FDH Bank Marketing Manager Ronald Chimchere said they were happy that the project of Giddes’ shop is now a reality.
“Through our Ambassador Patience Namadingo, we are happy that this project is now done. As a Malawian bank, a homegrown bank, we decided to honour the legend. We hope this shop will make a difference not only to Giddes but the community,” Chimchere said.
He said the K2 million was to do with the building and stocking of the shop.
Apart from being the owner of the shop, Giddes is also an FDH Bank agent for Banki Pakhomo.
“We are in business of banking and one of the things we deal with is agency banking which we branded Banki Pakhomo. We have agents all over the country and we have more than 1,000 agents that do transactions on behalf of the bank,” Chimchere said.
He added: “Fundamentally, these agents do take deposits and Giddes as an agent will benefit from commission and also the community will benefit from FDH Bank services. The agenda is to drive financial inclusion.”
Namadingo who continues to trend because of his several initiatives aimed at assisting the needy is the brains behind the idea of building a grocery shop for the legend.
As a brand ambassador of FDH Bank, Namadingo announced of the project through a reggae mash up that he collaborated with Giddes.
The mash-up with Giddes followed several other mash-ups that Namadingo has done with other acts including Soldier Lucius Banda, Billy Kaunda and Black Missionaries.
Surprisingly, the Namadingo and Giddes mash-up has turned out to be among people’s favourites and it continues to enjoy airplay in local radio stations and other entertainment outfits.
The mash-up has a package of Giddes’ songs such as ‘Buffalo Soldier’ and ‘Liny’.
Namadingo, who last week in partnership with K Motors also donated a motorcycle to a health surveillance assistance at Chendo Health Post in Chitipa District to ease his transportation, could not hold saying mission accomplished.
He said the idea to have a shop came a few months ago after observing that the musician’s finances were not solid.
“I am happy that the shop has come into fruition. Giddes Chalamanda is a legend and he is still practising music. But, at his age, I thought he need not be travelling long distances to hold performances and that’s when I thought of a shop,” he said.
The musician, who recently also broke a record with his ‘Mapulani’ music video attracting one million views on YouTube in five months, said the legendary musician will now be spending his time in the shop.
“As it has been said, he will be assisted in the shop by a relative who has been trained. He should not be travelling long distances for performances. This shop is a source of income and at the same time the shop will help people in the community not to travel long distances to access services,” Namadingo said.
The ‘Msati Mseke’ star said he was also happy that his mash-up with Giddes has received an overwhelming response.
“It is a great mash-up and I enjoyed working with Giddes. We hope to have a live mash-up with him once the situation normalises as now we have Covid-19 pandemic amidst us which has affected several sectors including arts. We have no live performances at the moment,” he said.
Namadingo, who postponed mash-up concerts in March this year due to the pandemic further, said people should look forward to more mash-ups.
Running with his tagline ‘The Currency is Love’, Namadingo recently also fundraised for Lilongwe-based musician William Kachigamba, who was diagnosed with cancer.
Kachigamba, who is a fan of Namadingo, appealed for K3 million to travel to Zambia to get medical attention through a video.
Namadingo went on to pose as a statue at the Mahatma Gandhi proposed site near Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre and managed to raise K4.7 million in the fundraiser.
The fundraising drive also received K2 million from President Lazarus Chakwera.
Kachigamba has since left for Zambia.
The musician last Friday also took a woman who delivered twins in Salima District to Nthambi Private Clinic in Lilongwe for proper care.