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Young Chilaga, Dazika no more

The creative industry has been dealt a big blow following the death of veteran musician Young Chilaga.

Chilaga passed on in the early hours of Wednesday at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe due to high blood pressure and diabetes.

Until his death, Chilaga was the Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) Treasurer General and had roles at the Arts Sacco.

His son Thoko, who followed in his father’s footsteps and performs with Mbanaye Band, which in February represented Malawi at this year’s Sauti za Busara Festival in Tanzania, said he was shocked by his father’s death.

“I am sad, only God knows why it has happened. I am what I am today because of my father. Music is what he planted in me. I will miss him greatly and I will not forget him,” Thoko, who plays the guitar, said.

Thoko and Mbanaye Band were expected to hold a show at Grittah’s Camp in Lilongwe on Saturday but the concert has been cancelled.

“We have cancelled the show. I will organise a memorial show for him instead of the cancelled show,” Thoko said.

Chilaga led The Black Survivors Band which was formed in 1996.

Chilaga and his band held several shows including stints at Lake of Stars Festival.

He released several songs, including ‘Blood and Fire’.

Chilaga told The Daily Times two years ago that the idea behind the formation of Black Survivors was to promote the country’s culture.

“Black Survivors is there to promote and preserve Malawi’s culture that is why we fuse our music with traditional dances and our dressing is also traditional,” Chilaga said.

Music Crossroads Malawi Director, Mathews Mfune, said the country has lost a great son in the music industry.

“He had his own unique approach to music and he loved traditional music and pushed it through his Black Survivors Band. He was a dedicated member of the Musicians Union of Malawi, who wanted the best for musicians in the country,” Mfune said.

Mum Central Chapter Chairperson, Farai Chazima Soko, said a dark crowd has befallen the music fraternity.

“I am shocked. He was a hard-working man and he inspired a lot of musicians. He was always willing to assist. His death has left a very big gap which will be difficult to fill,” Chazima Soko said.

Several artists posted on social media yesterday that they were shocked with Chilaga’s death.

Coordinator of the Integrated Arts Development Project, Rosario Kamanga, said he was saddened with Chilaga’s death.

“He was devoted on issues to do with music and arts in general. He was a board member and chaired the credit committee of the Arts Sacco which is a component of the Integrated Arts Development Project,” Kamanga said.

He also said that because of his hard work, Chilaga had so many roles apart from being an individual member of Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).

Mum vice president, Favoured Martha, said as a union they have lost a man who was dedicated to his work.

“We are failing to come to terms with Young Chilaga’s death. He was very dedicated to his work as a Treasurer General and most of all, he worked with everyone. He was passionate about music and music was in his blood,” Favoured Martha said.

Chilaga was born on November 8 1970. He hailed from Katsekaminga Village, Traditional Authority Kamenyagwaza in Dedza.

He is survived by a wife and five children.

The veteran musician is expected to be laid to rest today in Dedza.

In another development, the music industry has also lost Dazika Michongwe, who was better known as Uncle Dazika.

Ethno-musician Waliko Makhala said yesterday that Uncle Dazika died in the early hours of Tuesday.

He was laid to rest yesterday at Domasi in Zomba.

“Uncle Dazika featured in the late Stonald Lungu’s Mukanene album. He played the second guitar. He trained as a musician in Bulgaria and started a band in Sofia, Bulgaria,” Makhala said.

Makhala said Uncle Dazika was 61 and used to perform regularly at Grittah’s Camp in Lilongwe.

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