In a land where opportunities are disguised as hard work, 25 year old James “Shats” Mashati is keeping his hands busy, literally, as he ventures in the Disk Jockey segment of the music business.

Shats, who till 2015 was solely known as a Blantyre based music producer and beat maker said he had always been a DJ but never got the recognition.

“Recently I have been connecting with people that are pushing me to put out my DJ skills but I started producing and DJing right around the same time just out of passion,” Mashati said.

As a producer, Shats is credited for producing records for the likes of Nepman, Kalawe, Young LT, Viceroy just to mention but a few. He, however, downplayed the arguments that shifting to DJing is a buzzkill for his repertoire as a Music Producer.

“Well, DJing is really a profitable art, it is easy to impress people in a short period of time and if all is working for you it pays more than production but I can never ditch music production. It is in my blood I have just reduced my presence on the production scene that’s all,” Mashati said.

Mashati, who is in his final year at University of Malawi, The Polytechnic studying for his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology said currently he is working on his two EP’s which he plans on releasing this year before he rebrands his production line next year.

Shats has brushed shoulders on set with the likes of DJ Nathan Tunes, DJ Flame and DJ Wayne. He exalts the November 2017 Urban Music Party Festival where he was the headlining DJ in Blantyre.


Let’s Talk Poetry

I think it’s safe to say I have a problem. I over analyze things, I create problems where they are none. This is exactly what I am about to do with the Poetry aspect of Entertainment in Malawi. At the end of this article, they will be two options, either you agree with my stand or you agree that I just created a problem where there was none. Poetry is “literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.” My concern in this article is the poems aspect and not the genre of literature. Poems have graduated into one aspect known as spoken poetry. I’m not so sure if it was there before but as far as I know spoken poetry or spoken word stems from poems. In poetry, there is that aspect of expressing one’s feelings using a unique style and rhythm, and that expression is intense.

Let me just make it clear before I proceed, poetry is not for everyone. As much as you might say art is subjective but it has to have some standards. Poetry can fall in several dimensions in the music industry, hip hop artists employ poetry when composing lyrics (well some artists). Singers employ poetry as well to some extent. My concern in this article is spoken word. Well, with spoken word, artists record their poems. They speak their poems. There are countless spoken word poets that are doing fine with their art.

However, there is this growing tendency of nerds or introverts turning to spoken word. According to my observation, there are those that are naturally born talented and there are those that learn and then nurture their skill. Those that learn the skill equally fall in two categories, those that learn and then master that skill and there those that are just doing a terrible job at it. Here is where you find these nerds and introverts. Most of the spoken word I’m hearing is a reap off of some made spoken word artist. I am tempted to conclude that these nerds and introverts are fans who want to become spoken word artists. They however, don’t take into consideration as to what it takes to be a spoken word artist. Everyone can express their feelings but there are those that can express same feelings artistically.

What I hear most times is not artistic, it’s just words being forced together, there is no rhythm and no style at all. It’s not exciting. You sit there listening and it just doesn’t move you. Art should be able to move you, it should be able to touch your soul. The thing with poetry is, if you are artistic enough you can embed a message within a message so much that how you understand a poem today will be different with how you will understand it 2 weeks later. Most spoken word works lack that aspect. The poems are just too plain. There is nothing that provokes or entices the brain. Good spoken word should be like a treasure hunt, when you listen to a poem, it should be able to elevate you into a certain state.

You see I am just too broke, I didn’t buy Q’s album but I listened to some of his work and that guys’ work touches your soul. The word play, the rhythm and the style, they all work together, so coherent they form a bridge and touch your soul. That aspect is what is missing in most of these spoken words I’m hearing lately.

Just because you are socially different doesn’t mean you can do spoken word or because you are a nerd then you are a spoken word artist. Spoken word is poetry and poetry is art. Art is not for every Jim and Jack.

Most of you should just stick to being fans, humble yourselves

like me.

The Sensational Che Wikise Baba

The Music Industry has all sorts of acts. Ranging from rappers, poets, singers to dancehall artists. Then they are those that are generally just entertainers. They don’t exactly fall in any category. You cannot confidently say that they are rappers or singers. One of such acts is the sensational Che Wikise Baba. If you are a fan of Malawian music chances are you have heard of this guy. This year, Che Wikise Baba, real name Frank Chawinga, has been hopping from one media house to the other, premiering his songs and for interviews, trying to stamp his mark.

To call Wikise a rookie, to me, will be an understatement. This guy has been around for years working his way up. For those of us who have been following his career since its infant stages, his earlier videos carried this catch phrase “hardwork siyinama” and indeed he is now reaping the fruits of his labor. From Cha Wikise to Wikise and now Che Wikise Baba, the guy has gone through a tremendous transformation trying to find his niche.

Satirically speaking, Wikise is bipolar. There is Wikise, who is a very good singer with songs like “Yamkatikati” and “Deliverance” credited to him. Then there is the sensational Che Wikise Baba, the comedian, the Ghetto Entertainer. This article is not about Wikise, this is about Che Wikise Baba. Che Wikise Baba made a breakthrough with his record, Shabarakatali. Carefully listening to that song you will find that I and this guy share the same thoughts on the dubbish’ artists flooding the music industry. Shabakaratali marked the birth of Che Wikise Baba. Che Wikise took the mantle of this pastor mimicking the now so common pastors around town. Most of Che Wikise Baba’s records address pressing issues in the society. For instance Shabarakatali addresses a chain of issues, ranging from unfaithful husbands, promiscuous girls who don’t want people to know about their endeavors to issues of groupies love. Now all of these issues are to some extent things that are happening in our societies. There are mirrored in this song. The artist took these issues and made a satirical song out of them.

Another example is the latest “Uli nzingati”. The song talks about how people are money hungry or to say monetary driven. It is hard to find someone who works just for the fun of it. The issue is, you have to be paid for every work done. Here again he makes a satire of this whole issue. As expected, the song starts out with one woman seeking the help from her pastor who in turn asks “uli nzingati” (how much do you have). He then goes on to talk about the buying of votes by politicians in a joking manner and several other issues. His ability to turn serious issues into jokes is what is setting Che Wikise apart from other acts in the industry.

Wikise borrows a leaf from trap music and twists it, takes a serious issue and makes it a joke and then records a satirical song. Wikise is what I would call a complete entertainment package. He sings, he entertains, and he cracks jokes. He is off the leash. He then has these small video clips that are circulating on social media where he puts up a show, he performs an excerpt from his songs and then a crazy dance that at some point looks like dubbing. I am not sure what kind of dance it is but it is a good marketing strategy. It allows him to reach an audience he wouldn’t normally reach if he just employed the radio or Television station. Simply put, he is everywhere.

Artists like Wikise are unique and are spicing the music industry in Malawi.
At a certain point we had Blantyre’s Chavula who critics had it that he is not a rapper rather just an entertainer. However when you compare Chavula to Che Wikise Baba, the latter is way entertaining. I will personally not be surprised if Malawi music industry witnesses two or three Wikise’s copy cats trying to mimic his style.

As much as there is a possibility that we might have different views as regards Wikise’s status, the question is,

Is Wikise, the Ghetto Entertainer, the future of entertainment in Malawi?

KeiM’s Bad Crown: A Wakeup Call or Call for War

Hip Hop is a game of beef. It is one of the traits that best describes Hip Hop. Now, this kind of beef is not the edible kind. Hip Hop is a game of ego and beef is a way artists get to show you just how much pride runs in their veins. In the early 90’s there was the legendary beef between Tupac “2 pac” Shakur and Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace (Notorious B.I.G.). This beef was the focal point of the East Coast and West Coast Hip Hop Rivalry. For those that follow Hip Hop what happened in between and how the story ended.

This article is about the Malawian Hip Hop beef. Malawi’s Hip Hop has had its own share of beef but I think, still, there is not enough battle from the booth. Back in the days we had Phyzix beefing with Fredokiss and Jolly Bro. We heard and enjoyed several diss songs between the two camps. This beef marked the preamble of the Lilongwe versus Blantyre Hip Hop rivalry. Then came the Daredevils feud with Tay Grin. Here I’m not sure if it was Daredevils beefing with Tay Grin or just Marcus beefing Tay Grin. Then there was the Big Brother Africa famed Lomwe, who took it to the booth and aimed shots at the Nyau King (Tay Grin). It is however sad to note that Tay did not fire back to all the diss songs despite trading under the banner of Hip Hop. Not so long ago, there was Lilongwe’s Pitie Boiz feud with Blantyre’s Basement. Then came “Pini ya Blackberry” famed Marste, who got in a standoff with Zomba’s Avocado, who brutally put out diss songs savaging Marste. The Lilongwe artist played it all modest and dissed back subtly. Lilongwe’s Krazie G subtly fired shots at Blantyre’s Chavura of the Trap Squad. I can go on and on how artists engage themselves in this ego flexing exercise in Hip Hop.

Lately, the Hip Hop scene has gone mild. Artists are no longer throwing jabs at each other. Are the Hip Hop artists going soft? Well, before you answer that, KeiM of the Classmates has just proven that Hip Hop is not going to stay long in this mild phase. I recently came across his record, Bad Crown, where he took shots at several artists among them being Home Grown’s Classik, Hyphen (formerly known as Young Kay), Lilongwe’s Tsar Leo and the Miracle Money Camp.

Excerpts from KeiM’s verse;

“F*** miracle money that ni**a is on illusions// No disrespect to my homie but that is not for me// Do what you do but make sure you are doing your sh** honestly…”

“… Young Kay your First Impression Album had you looking promising but you let a ni**a down with your empty promises// Damn, my ni**a you almost had the crown now I only look up to the ni**as that hold me down…//

“When I walk the talk I got your eyes on my cool Jays when I’m in Lls// Even when I’m in my city, f*** the other side … my side stay winning// we killing everything and you know it…”

“Would you hate me if I tell you this is the making of the greatest rapper Malawi has ever seen? Would that piss you off? Would you hate me if I tell you that Classik ain’t classic enough? Would you hate me if I tell you none of these rappers are keeping up? Everybody is entitled to his opinion…”

My first reaction when I heard the song was “Hip Hop is about to get exciting again”. KeiM for whatever reason, has voiced out his concerns, disappointments and observations in his verse.

The question I have for all of you readers is; “Is KeiM’s verse a rallying call for war or a wakeup call?” I personally think the game was on a sleeping mode and things are about to get exciting with this wakeup call. KeiM is igniting a rap battle. We all know Young Kay took a break and made a comeback as Hyphen. Young Kay has been described as one of the greats in Malawi’s Music circles. You can’t talk about Hip Hop in Malawi without mentioning Hyphen. Now, with that kind of status you just can’t sit around and take shots without firing back. As for Classik, well the Home Grown African boys at a certain point were the talk of the town. It is said that they are lyricists and I don’t expect a lyricists to sit around and take such kind of shots and brush it off. For Miracle Money and Tsar Leo, I can’t say much I’m just waiting to hear what their reaction will be.

With these new school artists there has been a tendency of taking it to social media when they have a feud. A sort of social media beef. They would rather take their grievances to social media than settle it in the booth. I don’t think that is the way to go. I personally expect these artists that have been called out by KeiM to respond using the very medium KeiM has employed.

It is not wrong to tweet about it or post a Facebook post about it but when you are called out you need to show up. Hip Hop is game of ego and beef and as per expectation, Hip Hop artists need to now and then flex their ego muscles by indulging in a non-violent feud. Beef keeps Hip Hop alive. KeiM is just flexing his ego muscles. Who will come out and face him? He is more like an undefeated champ that is daring any challenger to come forward. Who will respond first to the call out? I would be interested to know who else is joining this feud.
I am not in any way saying these artists should take it to the street and exchange blows, all I am advocating here is healthy Hip Hop and beef makes Hip Hop healthy. A little beef has never hurt anybody. Beef is a contest that shows the fans who is the better artist.

When that next beef song comes out share me that downloadable link, I would love to be the first to get my hands on that record.

Fredo! We need another free show

“Fredokiss” real name Penjani Kalua, the self proclaimed “Ghetto Kingkong,” lived up to his billing as a monster monkey when multitudes thronged the three venue’s of his free shows last year. During those free shows his fan base was treated to a close up act of the “Ndikatseka maso” star.
Fredo and his ghetto minions had what I would call a “show and feel”. Fredokiss started in Blantyre, Ndirande, then went to Lilongwe, Masintha ground and wrapped it all up in Mzuzu, upper stadium. Hosting free shows. It was in between these shows that we heard that the Ghetto King Kong landed an ambassadorial deal with New Building Society (NBS) Bank. These shows were a great deal to Fredo’s fans because Fredo put out an invitation to up and coming artists that felt they had what it takes to share a stage with him. He gave a platform to that hidden talent that was sweating all day long to get a platform to showcase their talent.

I’m not so sure of how the fans took it but I think these shows elevated Fredo’s status in the Ghetto. In a way these shows also brought clarity as to who is the Ghetto’s champ between Fredokiss and Phyzix. Although Malawians generally like free things these shows (1) showed that Fredo cares for his ghetto fan base and (2) the turn up at these shows showed that the ghetto recognizes Fredo as one of their own.

Fredo has been known to make music that appeals to the Ghetto. However, critics arose that the artist does not represent what he claims to be. He’s not from the Ghetto, rather ndi “mfana wa ding dong,”- he is from the urban areas. He has however downplayed such critics in a modest manner. He talked about it in Martse’s Zikomo. There after I don’t know. His national free shows in a way further solidified his stand that he is from the ghetto because the majority of the youth that patronised these shows were from the ghetto.

However, what is of paramount concern in this article is the value of these shows. Firstly, I acknowledge that they might have been other factors that led to his landing of the NBS deal but the fact that it happened in between the shows, I think it is safe to say those shows played a vital role in Fredokiss going corporate. It cannot be overlooked that that deal brought more money to Fredo’s coffers.

Secondly, as much as we can try to overlook this point but it is worthy mentioning, the free shows are a fertile ground for the introduction of tours and concerts in Malawi. Honestly speaking, most of the shows that are happening lately lack value. There are more like Variety shows(V-Shows); the ones we used to have back in secondary schools. When one watches a music show from other countries and compares to those here at home, well there’s a tremendous gap. Our local shows are lagging behind. I don’t know if it’s the lack of proper venues for shows or the organization of shows but what is evident is we still need to pull up our socks when it comes to shows. The stage set up for Fredokiss’s wasn’t that disappointing. Similarly the Urban Music Party stages are not that embarrassing. Although the said shows have set their own standard, there are still pathetic stages artists are using for their performances.

The free shows in a way are where promoters can learn what the people like. So when they’re planning these shows they know who or what will make people come out in large numbers. Free Shows can act as a test ground for how people will respond to tours and concerts for these Hip Hop artists. When I say tours and concerts, I’m referring to Hip Hop tours and concerts. There was Third Eye then Gwamba who tried to employ the concert idea but aside that I don’t know which other artists has tried holding a concert. So my point is if we can have more of these free shows by the time the artists performing at these shows decide to host a concert or go on tour, the patrons are likely to come out in large numbers because they are already familiar with the artists performances.

Thirdly, those free shows gave an opportunity for youngsters to perform with the Malawi’s greats. I can bet my blog that those artists that shared a stage with Fredokiss still brag about it today. If there were more of these free shows we might have witnessed the blossoming of an artist from the shows. The young, up and coming artists need these platforms if they are to make it in the mainstream.

Lastly, these free shows are a way of giving back to the fans. If companies have a corporate social responsibility, then these free shows are fan base responsibility, they give them the chance to interact and give back to the fan base -which turns out to be the community. Besides we need these free shows so broke fans like myself that can’t afford to pay for a show can get to see Fredokiss perform.

With all this said this year, we have seen Tay Grin following Fredokiss’ footsteps in holding free shows. He started in Lilongwe now he is coming to Blantyre. Critics have it that he is eyeing an award with his free shows but as I earlier said we love free things so we don’t care. This year we should also see Third Eye bringing out his goons, the Kananji’s, Dark Virtue to a national free show. I heard the Daredevils are now with Ghetto Ghutter Entertainment. Fredokiss should bring out these guys to another free show. Make the free shows an annual event.

We need that.

Trap Music, “Dubbing” The sensation

An old dog can never be taught new tricks, there is also a saying in the local language that “ntengo umawuwongola ukadali waung’ono”. I suppose that’s the reason I fail to join the bandwagon onto the trap music rollercoaster. I for one started following Malawian music when Geoffrey “Mr. Splash” Kapusa was still relevant in the music circles. Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) was the only medium we could watch and listen to music from. When I got introduced to Malawian Hip Hop Music, Fredokiss’ “basi” was a must listen. The likes of Young Kay, Barry One, Daredevils, Tay Grin (NB: the old Tay Grin) were the head honchos in the music biz. There was Nyasa Gurus, recently I heard the boys are regrouping. I hope they still got the juice to keep up with the current pace. Likoma Island and all sorts of artists by then, to me, were making good music. The reason I’m typing all of this is to give you a hint of the type of music I grew up listening to. Most of the music those days carried a particular message. Artists didn’t just record songs for the sake of it, the songs used to have a vivid message one could get whilst enjoying the song.

As time went by things started to change and what we have now perhaps is as a result of numerous influences this article is falling short in addressing them all. As much as change is inevitable and we all have to embrace it when it is comes our way, what is mind boggling is the levels of change that Malawian Hip Hop Music has gone through. The transition from “2 by 2” to “lubwalubwa” is so perplexing beyond my comprehension. The music industry is awash with gibberish and nonsensical music. The current status of Malawian hip hop music is what i would refer to as a dubbing sensation. We have all been made stupid and now we dubbing to every song. We no longer care for what kind of content is in the song, we just want to dub. As long as the song has a catchy beat, that’s suffices to make it a hit and then lets dub. The entire Hip Hop Industry has been brought to a stand still with Trap Music. Hip Hop artists would rather make a trap record than a raw hip hop track.

I personally miss the days when hip hop songs were characterized with bars on bars. The basis of scrutiny was rhymes, style of delivery and the content in that song. On the contrary these days we are weighing a song on the basis of how “dubbable” it is. Aside all this dubbing sensation there are still a few artists who have remained loyal to the “cause”. Surprisingly these few who have remained loyal are those that paved way for the now young and dubb’ish’ generation. So should we say the young have not learnt a thing from the elders or the elders are just not good teachers?

What’s so embarrassing is that, a few of these pioneers of Malawian Hip Hop Music have lost their touch. They are completely lost. I have no doubt that they even don’t know who they are or what kind of status hip hop followers, like me, attach to them. The likes of Phyzix, I used to be a huge fan of “gamba waku 25.” I’m not an “L-city” resident but I’ve been to area 25 through Phyzix’s songs. Cholapitsa was the “it” word on the street. If someone was being referred to as cholapitsa you knew he was the “guy”. I religiously followed Phyzix’s beef with Blantyre’s Fredokiss and Jolly Bro. I for one was shocked with the news that Phyzix “Cholapitsa” had rebranded to Captain Bae and the type of music he was making completely changed. It went from raw hip hop to whatever it is he’s making now.

Coming to Tay Grin, well that’s a whole embarrassing story again. If he stopped his rebranding at the stage where he was making “kanda” “chipapapa” kind of music I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have once been a huge fan. His latest records like “lubwalubwa” are some of the reasons I’m losing interest in Malawian Hip Hop Music. His Extended Play (EP) “festive vibes” was a blend of the old Tay and the rebranded Grin. Well, it wasn’t half baked, we still enjoyed those records even though still embarrassed with his rebranding move.

However, as I write this, I fully understand I’m not a recording artist and will never comprehend some of the reasons behind the rebranding of the two aforementioned artists.

Keeping all this in mind, what then lies in store for Malawian Hip Hop Music? Is it safe to say Hip Hop music is dying? We had Keim, Viceroy, Hayze Engola, Classik, Episodz, T1, who others thought were the future of hip hop music. It’s sad to note that these figures are now nowhere to be heard. Instead what we have are Trap’ish’, dub’ish’ sensation artists whose only concern is to make a record to dub to.

I can confidently say I still have Daredevils’ mixtape on my laptop, I still have Hyphen’s First Impression, Fredo’s f to the mwaaa, Real Elements, Third Eye and Aimor. 10 years from now will these trap records still be vibrant? Are we still going to dub after 10 years?

I grew up knowing Malawian Hip Hop Music to be full of content and stories you could listen to. This trap music which sadly appears to be the most recorded and listened to, does it have the same value as the old hip hop music? Is trap music hip hop? Is trap music the future?

BFB Addresses WhatsApp Burning Issues in His Latest Single

Many a song are being released of recent. However not all songs are as realistic and attention grabbing as Blaq Falcon Bird (BFB)’s recently released song.

Artwork for BFB's WhatsApp

“Iwe WhatsApp… ine undithesela banja” reads an excerpt of BFB’s chorus of his latest single titled “WhatsApp”. In a song which BFB describes as a fusion of M’ganda and Mang’anje with a Tchopa groove, narrates various issues that have risen due to the extensive use of the application, whatsapp. Actually BFB has tackled mostly the negative issues concerning the application.

Inspired by personal experience with the application and the experience of the people surrounding him, BFB talks of how one gets reluctant to open a whatsapp message in fear of its contents. Is it a message from that mahope you proposed turning you down or is it “angongole akufuna zawo”? Well most of the issues in the song are undeniably concerning most if not all whatsapp users. From playboys, serious business people to an average user.

… nkwangoti vwi vwi vwi phone vibration yo ayii mwina ndatulukaso pa list ya mahule ijayo ayii…” basing on the fact that the song is inspired by personal experience and observation, one would tend to wonder where the above excerpt of BFB’s lyrics fall. Is it personal or an observation? Well that is the fun part I am not going to address. I will leave that to the readers to research and find out.

A song that took 4 months to finalize, surely consists of all burning issues Mr. BFB wanted to address. Stressing on the long duration to finish the project, BFB argues that there was a debate on which words to use to properly put across the message.

Anticipation on the impact the song WhatsApp will have

The Blaq Falcon Bird anticipates that his latest release will shed light on how good inventions are used to quench bad motives. Citing an example of bad motives, BFB points out cheating. Well it seems cheaters now have another song added to their list. Probably those heartbroken fans that feel whatsapp is the cause to their current state, will actually put this song on repeat in their playlists.

“Whatsapp was meant for communication not for cheating” says BFB.

BFB in his work space

Let Us look at who BFB is

BFB is a producer/artist whose real name is Jeremy Timothy Matewere. He has worked with numerous musicians. Both international and national. BFB has worked with the likes of Blasto, Krazie G, Classick of the Home Grown African, South Africa’s Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) just to mention but a few.

Started as an artist in 2007 and then later ventured into the production business. This, according to BFB, was as a result of the dissatisfaction he had with producers who failed to produce his work to meet his desires. Basically BFB does any kind of genre he feels like doing, he raps and he sings when he feels like it. A definition of what a musical artist should be. It seems the artist might just be the epicenter of all genres in Malawi.

Motivated by both international acts such as the late 2Pac, Dr. Dre and local artists such as Allan Namoko, one can see where BFB derives his musical prowess.

“ikangoti ntulu ntulu ntulu ntulu tutuuu phone iyo ine nkhawa bii”

Download BFB”s WhatsApp @ http:// m.malawi-music.c

Lawi: Mr “Forbes”


Lets take a break from all the heart-aching drama of politics, economy and fee hikes and focus on Malawian Art. Malawian Art is breaking boundaries. If you did not notice allow me to offer you the insights.
We all know how the “Nyau king” Tay Grin swooped a Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts (Beffta)award for his song The Beach.

The Nyau King, Tay Grin

How Piksy became the third Malawian to be nominated for KORA awards after Mteweti Wambali Mkandawire and Thoko Katimba. Recently we have witnessed international collaborations in the music scene. Especially the Malawi and Nigeria collaborations.
Years back Tay Grin was featured on a Zimbwabwe’s Buffalo Souljah song titled “my type of guy” with Nigeria’s DJ Waxxy  and Namibia’s Gal Level. Grin has maintained the international connections now he featured 2Baba and Orezi on two different songs. Malawi’s Zani Challe also had Patoranking on “single for tonight”.
And now the amenyere hitmaker Lawi just got featured in Forbes Africa Magazine. Art has been catapulted with his talent. Lawi is known for many things. A producer, vocalist and brilliant artist. He has many good songs in his name such as Amawona kuchedwa, Lilongwe, whistling song just to mention a few. He has worked with several artist in Malawi such as David and KBG.
Forbes Africa Magazine is an influential business magazine. It covers Southern Africa, Western Africa and Eastern Africa.
Forbes Africa has featured Lawi in an article that outlines his story. His initial struggles and eventual success.

Lawi featured in Forbes Africa Magazine

See the full story on The Nation’s news website

Bracelet Making: A Goldmine

The Beatta Bangle

You will bear with me that whenever you see a bracelet or armlet that is handmade, the first thought is a Rasta made it.
And most Rastas usually are hands on workers. Not many of them are actually doing work that requires a degree. Do not get me wrong i am not saying Rastas are illiterate. Because if that was the case we ought to put question marks on Dr. Mwiza Nkhata.
Bracelet or armlet making is a beautiful thing. It helps to promote home made industry and promote culture.
In year 2011, Sarah Ward of the Malawi Orphan Care Project mobilised women to start making bracelets and exporting them to USA.

One of Ward's Bracelets

The bracelets were being sold at $7 or $8 depending on the design. The women had the 3 designs by the year 2013. I guess the government should consider investing in the bracelet business.
Whenever i am travelling from Mzuzu to Blantyre via Lakeshore i am tempted to stop and unboard the bus so i can atleast purchase one bracelet from the Rastas at Chintheche turn off. However the major problem is the pricing of the bracelets. They charge me like i’m a foreigner stacked with foreign currency. I’m just a college student who depends on his parents for his upkeep. Who the government is trying to render illiterate by making him drop out of school by hiking fees in an absurd manner.
Well thats about enough detour. The issue is bracelet making. Ignore the Sarah Ward pricings, how much do you think a rasta makes out of his bracelet business?! Is it enough to keep the rasta going for a month?! I dont know about the Rasta but i know one Allan Namate Chowe ,a third year student at the University of Malawi, The Polytechnic, who actually manages to take care of himself for a semester out of his bracelet making business.

Chowe's Bracelets

His business, Achobe Arts, generates him on average MK5, 000.00 a day that means roughly he pockets MK150, 000.00 a month.
I think the bracelet business should be taken seriously. It needs to be properly incorporated under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. It is an art than can be profitable. If Ward managed to convice women to start exporting them and Namate manages to sustain himself for a semester then its field worthy exploiting.
Rastas should have a showcase where they get to display their skills in art.

Check out the Sarah Ward Story http://

Visit Allan Namate Chowe’s facebook page

“Heaven” 2 Songs In 1

Early this year we heard Gwamba the punchline wiz is now a born again. A dwindle in the number of followers was anticipated but that was not the case. Another assumption was Gwamba will now be hanging with the likes of Faith “Desperate” Mussa, Patience “Msati Mseke” Namadingo and many other gospel gurus. On the contrary Gwamba’s Instagram account shows that he has maintained his company of friends. “A jew amongst Gentiles”. Thats worthy a thumbs up.image

Gwamba went on to release a few gospel songs. Firstly it was the Exclusive produced “Better” followed by the “Halleluyah” all in colaboration with Emm Q.
Looking at Better, Gwamba did a good job with the number. A good instrumental properly complimented by Emm Q’s voice and well cemented with Gwamba’s Punchlines. However critics rose that “better” was a chichewa version of Kendrick Lamar’s Alright.
Lamar’s song
“If God got us then we going be alrght”.
Gwamba’s song
Ngati Mbuyeyo alinafe… uzingoziwa zizakhala better“.
Well despite the critics better’s value did not topsy-turvy. Comparing Hallelujah and Better, Hallelujah failed to beat Better. Some described it as an imitation of Better.
Well enough about Gwamba’s earlier songs.
Recently Gwamba has graced his gospel fans with a new song titled Heaven. The song features Emm Q and the Home Grown African member Classick. We all know the Home Grown boys as brilliant lyricists. The song is produced by the DareDevils and BFB.

Heaven sounds like two songs fused in one instrumental. Gwamba the gospel artist with his gospel rhymes and Classick a secular artist trying to do gospel.
The song feels like Gwamba was doing a “praise the lord ngwa moyo” type of verse whereas Classick was doing “i know im a sinner don’t judge me” type of verse.
Gwamba’s heaven saw Classick failing to fully unleash his lyricism. He had to go along with the concept. The assumption is Classick just went ahead with the collaboration because he wanted the recognition that he did a song with Gwamba “the punchline wiz” or maybe he did it because they are friends, who knows?! All in all the rappers were both rapping about the gospel but with two different concepts. Making the song sound like “2 songs in 1”.
However the switching of the two emcees in one verse was very catchy. Classick brought the rawness out in Gwamba. Its quite clear in the delivery of Gwamba’s verses.
Get to listen and watch “Heaven” by Gwamba, Emm Q and Classick