Good people, it appears Lucius Banda did not just end a show when he stopped the music having seen two men kissing and carressing.
The premature close of the controversial live performance at Zitherepano on Christmas eve actually opened floodgates of artists’ views on same-sex relationships.
The debate did not begin yesterday or at the second sound, light and smoke suddenly faded into darkness at the lakeshore venue in Mangochi.
Glaringly, nearly all artists who have opened their mouths on the raging topic sound no smarter than what you hear in taverns, public transport and other street encounters.
The creative sector is supposed to be an exclusivity of special and influential voices, yet the Malawian Artist seems to think the same way as the censors who banned Zambian Danny’s hit Yakumbuyo in 2006.
Actually, the most riveting perspective the top-notch artists are churning out is that homosexuality is evil and contrary to our culture. Reggae artists prefer calling it “Babylon” or “Western System”.
But none of this is new.
It all sounds a tad stale and monotonous–no different from l what Malawians heard the day Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) decided they were done with Danny.
So predictable is this chorus that it makes artists look like lifeless mirrors in a society they are meant to guide.
Mirrors are good; they reflect the good and the bad side of the beholder.
But this is not good enough.
Notwithstanding how they dare use their shiny side, the creative few are supposed to utilise their perceived and actual influence to challenge the psyche of the nation and boldly redirect the course of thorny dialogues.
Expecting special viewpoints from special people is not asking too much, is it?
Let there be no contempt of artists that have spoken of the evils of homosexuality according to their book. If there is anybody whose freedom of saying what they will should not be gagged, it is the artist.
However, saying what everyone is saying in terms that everyone is using is a wasted opportunity and abuse of the privileged standpoint.
As the debate hits a new crescendo, creative minds must unleash their free speech to add a fresh breath and new twists to the age-old and emerging perspectives on homosexuality.
When an influential poet ends at screaming “Mudzafa Imfa Yowawa”, it is not easy to blame politicians for propagating daylight murder, massacre and related crimes against humanity when they exclaim “homosexuals must be exterminated”.
When all a people’s band can do is liken the situation to the ancient scriptural days and ask Noah to take them on board an ark long gone as if this ‘crazy world’ or ‘evil world’ is all rotten, it is discernible why religious leaders keep judging lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders as mini-devils.
When a musician of influence thinks dropping out of a show is the best reaction to suspected l homosexual acts, it is tempting to ask: Why can’t the artists keep walking out to end the wild sights of heterosexual kissing, caressing, sex work, theft, fights and drug abuse that make live performances unpalatable family outings?
Artists must think outside the box to make the debate simple and enriching.
The artists’ attraction is sometimes overrated, it should not be underrated.
What they say is like a tot of rum–it may be small, but it is big enough to get the most big- headed king, queen and citizen drunken rogues.
Crowdpullers must be careful with what they say. n