Two weeks after musicians under the banner Concerned Active Musicians announced their intentions to resume live shows, reggae artist Ralph Kapanga has announced a show in Balaka on May 29.
Kapanga said the show, which will take place at Modern Park in Balaka, will be used to launch his album titled Rise Malawi.
The show will be supported by local music giant Skeffa Chimoto and his Real Sounds Band. It will also feature one-time people’s favourite Katelele Ching’oma, Leslie and Prince Makase, among other artists.
Kapanga confirmed about the show in an interview, saying the move follows a request from music fans who have been denied live performances for two months due to Covid-19 restrictions.
He said: “Initially I planned to launch the album in March but it coincided with this pandemic. By then I had already paid for the venue and the supporting artists but I had no choice but to shelve it.”
The artist said following recent developments, they have been left with no option but to follow suit by resuming live public performances. He said after the Balaka show, he plans to have another launch in Blantyre at 20 Four Seven Entertainment Centre.
“People have missed music and on the other hand, we as artists need to make ends meet. This inactivity has affected us badly,” he said.
In a separate interview, Chimoto said: “I am not sure if it’s going to take place because the ban is intact. But I have seen my client advertising the show. If it will take place, I am ready to take part because I don’t have any bookings elsewhere.”
On Sunday, the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) acting president Gloria Manong’a told the press in Blantyre that they have no control over individual artists who will decide to start holding live performances.
She said: “In the first place, it should be understood that it was not MUM that suspended live performances but government. It is, therefore, not our responsibility to order or prevent a resumption of the same.”
Manong’a however, said as a union they will make their final position known after the expiry of a two-week period they gave government to work on grievances they presented during their earlier engagement.
“We believe in dialogue and engagement. We don’t want to be seen as agents which are helping the further spread of the disease. But at the same time we also have the plight of the musicians to consider. This pandemic has affected their livelihoods so much,” she said.
Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Dr John Phuka was not available for comment yesterday, but Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango said government still insists on gatherings of less than 100 people.
“Nothing has changed. What we know is that public gatherings were stopped and enforcement of those restrictions was left in the hands of law enforcing agencies.”