Grace Chinga, one of Malawi’s finest gospel favourites, pleaded with God to defend her life from enemies in her 2013 hit Mundisungire Kolona. But little did she know that her death would be sudden.
Chinga died in the late hours of Wednesday at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre after a short illness.
According to gospel musician Thocco Katimba, Chinga will be laid to rest tomorrow at HHI Cemetery in Blantyre. And her funeral vigil is currently being held at the house of Chinga’s mother in Chilobwe Township, just after Malingamoyo stage
According to Katimba, Chinga’s body will be taken today from College of Medicine mortuary to Chilobwe Township. Then, tomorrow, at 8am, the body will be taken to Robin’s Park where a ceremony and viewing of the body will take place before taking it for burial at HHI cemetery.
Her sudden death has come at a time she just released a hit single called Ndidzaulula produced by her son Steve Spesho. She was also about to drop her new album.
Chinga’s death has not only shocked the music fraternity but many Malawians from all walks of life.
Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango described Chinga’s death as a shock and blow to the music industry.
“I still fail to come to terms with Chinga’s death. I mean when such a sudden thing happens, we are all at a loss and confused. Chinga’s death is a shock and great loss to us,” said Mhango.
He described the late Chinga, who is survived by three children, as one of the pillars of Malawi gospel music industry.
“She was a force to reckon with in Malawi music industry and we can simply say that we have lost a great pillar of gospel music,” said Mhango.
Gospel musician Steve Muliya said Chinga has gone at a time he was about to release a collabo with her.
“We had just agreed to record a song together for my next album titled Ndinu Wogometsa. Apart from ministering the word of God together, she was like a mother to me and she used to call me her son. It is hard for me to accept that she has gone forever. Mum, may your soul rest in eternal peace,” said Muliya.
MIJ FM radio personality Deus Sandram said he was saddened with the death of Chinga whom she met two weeks ago to strategise on the promotion of her upcoming album.
“She just joined us some two weeks ago as our new neighbour in Machinjiri. I never had a chance of welcoming the new neighbour. But we briefly met at Alimoso Studios in Chilobwe where she was polishing her yet to be released album. I insisted I should have the songs for radio play, and she said she would give them to me end March, only to be shocked in the early hours of Thursday that she is no more. What a painful death!” mourned Sandram.
Another gospel musician, Khama Khwiliro, said he will remember Chinga, through her latest single Ndidzaulula which received heavy criticism for being done in a different approach.
“Honestly, I love her new single. When others criticised it because the song ministers the word of God to my soul. I defended the production because God spoke to Chinga to take a different approach. But unfortunately, it’s hard for me to tell her in person that I love her new track because she is gone. How I wish death could flash warning signs,” said Khwiliro, adding that he was anticipating Chinga’s new album.
According to Chimwemwe Mizaya, Chinga was born over three decades ago and brought up in a pastoral home in which her late father was a Full Gospel Church of God minister. Her mother, Eliza Khembo, is still alive and stays in Chilobwe Township.
She said Chinga’s music career dates back to the time she was seven years old and a member of the United Choir. Later on, at the age of 10, she joined the Full Gospel Church choir. Uleke is the title of one of the tracks that Chinga helped the group to record.
In 2000, Chinga went solo and released Yenda followed by Thandizo Langa and Udzayimba Nyimbo, among other albums.