Written by SLYVESTER KUMWENDA
LILONGWE (MANA) -- Chances are, whenever one would hear of one Martse is to release a new song, it would not just be a brand new release but rather the song that would bring some classic and probably forgotten song back to life.
It started with the song that brought him onto the limelight; Go deeper. In the song, Martse real name Martin Nkhata cleverly sampled out the bass guitar from Culture’s classic song titled I Tried into his rap song.
This venture was something that is up to now not popular amongst urban music circles and to put it in a simple expression; a try and error venture.
“Honestly, I was updating my facebook statuses and tweets that I will release a song called Go deeper before I had even made that instrumental. I was really expecting the song to be a success but the level of success it attained even amazed me,” said Martse in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana).
However, the success the song attained led to yet another classic fusion that was experienced with his subsequent song Pin Ya Blackberry.
In the song, young talented Lilongwe based rapper took on board some instrumentation from another song from way back Home Boy which went on to be a hit darling amongst urban music fanatics.
This meant Martse now had two urban hits which both had a fusion of music from outside Malawi.
Home is best, as one would say. It was time to track down one popular hit from Malawi to be part of Martse’s newly found adventure.
Mwapindulanji by Billy Kaunda from way back was the Jackpot when he recently released another song based on the same strategy also titled Mwapindulanji through Freshmans Records recorded by Martse, Madela and AK.
In the track, Martse seemingly goes deeper into his own unique kind of music which might have captivated success from his previous successful mixed songs. His unique music has recently put Martse amongst artists to watch out in Malawi’s’ urban music industry and Martse disclosed to Mana of his motivation behind his music.
“Well it is the music I grew up listening to and I actually wish I did the songs with the guys but since I was not around by then, I had to make sure I try to do them again the Malawian way.”
The artist, who is also founder and audio producer at the Freshman records, however said there is only one humble secret to the success he is currently enjoying.
“Well I grew up in a Christian household and my mom told me to ask for everything in Jesus name so these "hits" you say are just answers from God. It is just something he gave me and I am thankful for that.
“I cannot promise you about the future but I know it will be better because I feel like my music is God’s plan that whatever new wisdom he graces me with, I will be on it. That is all I know,” said Martse who has equally other great tracks like Grace Chi, Wandilira and Ndalama.
However, the artist said he has high hopes of releasing an album: “But I need to blend this with my school schedule. But for now I had to drop Mwapindulanji so that people should have a picture of how my album which I hope will be done by November will be like. And by the way look out for Mwapindulanji video,” he said.
Written by STEPHANIE SANTANA -- AFRICAINWORDS
Today, more and more literary events happen online. Readers argue over the plotlines of serialized ‘Facebook fiction.’ Writers tweet entire novels. And a Google Hangout with an author will draw a larger crowd than a signing at a local bookstore.
In an environment that is speedily virtualizing, it’s increasingly difficult to find a space for literature that is off-line, where texts are discussed face-to-face. Malawian writer Shadreck Chikoti has succeeded in creating one such forum with the Story Club, launched in Lilongwe in December 2013. The Club’s eclectic format varies somewhat per session—so far, it has included live musical performances, a film screening, and talks by writers, filmmakers, and academics. Its staple feature, however, is the reading and discussion of a guest writer’s story. It is in this respect that the Story Club recalls the famed Malawi Writers Group, formed at Chancellor College in 1969 by Jack Mapanje, Lupenga Mphande, and James Ng’ombe amongst others.
Along with Stanley Kenani, who has been short-listed twice for the Caine Prize, Chikoti is one of Malawi’s best-known contemporary writers. He has won several local writing prizes and was recently selected by Africa39 as one ‘of the most promising 39 authors under the age of 40 from Sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora.’ Chikoti is also the Executive Director of Panafrica Publishers, which publishes ‘African literature for the African market.’
Chikoti’s diverse experiences have given him a broad perspective on Malawi’s writing and publishing industry, which faces a number of significant challenges. Book sales are low, printing is expensive, and publishers are often unwilling to take risks on fiction—focusing instead on textbooks, which have a ‘ready market’ in schools. ‘There are so many factors effecting the writing industry in Malawi,’ Chikoti says, emphasizing in particular the lack of professional editors, outlets for writers to publish their work, fora for creative exchange, and a book-buying public. The Story Club is Chikoti’s attempt to address this hydra-headed problem. ‘The Story Club is not just a forum for writers,’ Chikoti asserts. ‘Literature goes beyond the writer. If we want to improve the writing standards and the reading standards in Malawi, we need many players.’
In April, I had the pleasure of attending (and presenting a brief talk at) the Club’s ’4th congregation’ at Fantasia Korean Restaurant and Bar in Lilongwe’s Old Town. It was Easter Sunday, but still we had a crowd of about 25, including journalists, teachers, students, and several vendors from the craft market down the street. And although ‘off-line,’ the Story Club is by no means devoid of technology. The MC, Pius Nyondo, uses notes on his laptop to guide the proceedings. We listen to a pre-recorded reading of Muthi Nhlema’s short story ‘The Journey of Restoration,’ which Chikoti praises as ‘one of the best short stories by a Malawian.’ Afterwards, the discussion of the story begins with the reflections of three pre-designated readers, including Nyondo (currently the youngest Malawian to have published a book), veteran writer Lawrence Kadzitche, and Immulanie Makande, Chairperson of the Poetry Association of Malawi, Central Region chapter. As the story is read and discussed, many of the participants use their smartphones to scroll through Muthi’s story.
The space for the sustained discussion of literature is hard to come by these days. In some respects, writers are perhaps receiving more feedback, more quickly than even before. But there is, I think, a unique value to the critiques that we are willing to give a writer face-to-face, without the mediation of a screen, which so easily hides our own biases and weaknesses. Chikoti emphasizes that the Club encourages participants to debate the story’s ‘strength, weaknesses, beauty, and ugliness.’ The critiques of Muthi’s story were perceptive, fair, and surprisingly detailed. ‘You don’t need to say “sweltering hot,”‘ one of the commentators pointed out, ‘just one of these adjectives will do.’
In March, the Story Club launched a second chapter, helmed by Nyondo, in Mzuzu. It’s an admirable project and for Chikoti, a clear labor of love. More information on both chapters is available on the Club’s well-maintained Facebook page. Needless to say, this virtual encounter falls short of the real, face-to-face experience. If you find yourself in Lilongwe or Mzuzu, be sure to stop by. Whether it be for the music, the story, the socializing, or the debate.
Written by KIMPHO LOKA -- NYASASHOWBIZ
Renowned record producer, Percy “Pro-pee” Manyozo, has publicly attacked Afro rapper/singer, Piksy’s, latest music video Tsoka Liyenda.
The Blantyre-based producer expressed his aversion for the video Saturday morning, saying it was a waste of time and resources. He said this on Facebook.
“PIKSY TSOKA LIYENDA video is a waste of time and resorces TERRIBLE video Please Malawians a good video is not only Good picture or how u dress in the video it’s the story line and concept that matters in a video MALAWI PLEASE Wake up nthawi ya just good quality picture inadutsa,” posted Percy.
When nyasashowbiz.com spoke to Piksy for his reaction, he said he respected Pro-Pee’s opinion as he was entitled to his views.
“Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion so I respect that,” said the Blantyre-based award-winning musician, who is also known as CCNB.
Tsoka Liyenda is one of Piksy’s newest singles, produced by DJ Sley in Lilongwe. The video, which came out last week, was directed and produced by Eric Chandilanda aka Eric Chan.
“Even if he didn’t see the concept it doesn’t mean everyone didn’t see it. Eric is good at what he does and I believe in his work. And me and my team are not moved, things like those are not supposed to bring us down but to work even harder,” said Piksy.
Piksy: I respect his opinion
Piksy: I respect his opinion
He however lamented Percy’s channel of expressing his opinion, saying, “…to make it public like that, I don’t know what he was thinking. Still, I respect that and I don’t hold any grudges against him.”
Piksy added: “Lemme also take this opportunity to give him a shout out for the work he did on my first single Unamata, it’s still a hit till now”.
But in a telephone interview later on, Percy said he was not attacking Piksy but was just raising a concern to Malawian artists on video production.
“Piksy is my friend, I have worked with him for so long and there’s no beef whatsoever, I’m just raising a concern as an industry player,” said Percy.
“I did not attack him. I said ‘Piksy’s Tsoka Liyenda video’ not Piksy, but the whole crew behind the video. It also goes out to all the artists, including video scriptwriters, directors, producers and everyone involved,” he added.
Percy went on to observe that as an industry, Malawi was past the level of focusing on good picture, saying the country’s videographers and producers had already achieved that. “We need to start focusing on concepts now.”
On the observation that he used the wrong platform to put out his concern, Percy said: “If Piksy and everyone feel I used the wrong channel, then let me apologise, but my concern still stands.”
You can watch Tsoka Liyenda video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPIc7adt7ZY
Written by JOSEPH MTINGWI -- MANA
BLANTYRE (MANA) -- The future for the Malawian movie titled B’ella is looking bright as the cast and crew who travelled to Czech Republic have said the movie will have a prominent market once it hits the market in 2015.
This was revealed in an interview with the film’s Director Tawonga Nkhonjera who is currently in the Czech Republic after going there for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival with B’ella.
Nkhonjera who is also founder of Dikamawako Arts Group said in an interview that so far a lot of distributors have shown keen interest in the movie.
“There are lots of distributors interested. I've had seven meetings already,” explained Tawonga.
He also said he has met several producers who are interested to work with him in future projects and also talks on fundraising for the projects saying: “And I have already met three producers interested in fundraising for the next production. Meetings with more producers interested in discussing future projects are also underway.”
Meanwhile, Tawonga has hinted that the film will be premiered in Lilongwe before the end of this month.
“The film will be premiered in Lilongwe before July 25th when we are back and I can assure you of this because there is already a team there working on this,” said Nkhonjera.
The film was already premiered in Blantyre at the COMESA Hall where the guest of honour was veteran activist, Vera Chirwa.
The film shot in Chazunda in Blantyre City follows the story of an assertive, self assured and strong minded girl, B’ella. The story is a look at life in Malawi at its organic form and through the eyes of a Malawian.
The film’s cast includes Vinjeru Kamanga who stars as B’ella, Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba, Tony Khoza who is a renowned radio personality.
B’ella was shot in 2012 and finally finished in 2014 and its DVD is supposed to come out in 2015. The film was created by Dikamawako Arts and boNGO Worldwide.
Written by ROGERS BEKISA SIULA
Just at the tip of Malawi's attainment of 50 years of indepedence, a new chapter in the history of music videos was being written in bold at the Limbe Country Club in Blantyre on Saturday.