When it was announced that some former and current members of Joyous Celebration, the award-winning South African gospel music group were set to perform in the country some local fans had doubts about the show.
There were those who really wanted the whole celebrated group and not just a section, let alone former members.
However, the six members who turned up for a Mother’s Day gig at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) brought their A Game to the show.
At times, it was like the whole Joyous Celebration which is known for not disappointing audiences was present. This left Lilongwe gospel music lovers begging for more.
It was a flawless set on Sunday night, with Ayanda Shange, Xoli Mncwango, Sibusiso Mthembu, Hlengiwe Ntombela, Mkhululi Bhebhe and Takesure Zamar Ncube joined by Faith Mussa
setting the bar high.
Through the main group, they have travelled across the globe for shows but this was their first visit to Malawi.
With a good turn up, the fans ate out of the palms of the band’s hands, as they moved the appreciative crowd.
The night started with Mussa who once again proved why he is enjoying his current glory. His silk voice and words, woven with masterly, took the fans to the dance floor as he performed five songs
The artistry runs through the arrangements, the recording and mixing and the band backing him did justice to most of the songs.
After, Ntombela jumped on stage and wowed fans with her powerful and vibrant voice, before Mncwango, another female sensation took the stage.
Perhaps the highlight of the night was when Shange took the fans by surprise as he joined them in dance.
He took many by surprise when he said: “This day, it’s been 21 years living without a mother.” This was met by a deafening, ‘no” from the audience.
“I have turned to be this man who loves God without parents. Happy Mother’s Day,” he added before proceeding with his performance.
As he took a bow, guest of honour former official hostess Mama Cecelia Tamanda Kadzamira made an emotional speech.
With her strong and pleasant voice that defies her age, she said: “I keep wondering, why you chose me of all people. Thank you so much for the invitation. The group is making us joyful and I would wish them to come back. When next you plan to visit other countries, remember to visit Malawi, the smiling Malawi.”
Back to the performance, Ncube was next on stage and effortlessly continued from where his colleagues left off before Sibusiso Mthembu closed the first part of the gig.
After a break that left some fans calling it a day, the South African and Zimbabwean artists one by one got back on sage for another round of music, this time it was all calm as it was worship music.
Just like in the first session, the crowd sang along loudest to each song.n