If one didn’t know what was happening, one would be excused for mistaking the huge gathering of artists at Mthunzi Funeral Parlour in Blantyre on Tuesday for a music festival. This was rapper Martse’s send off to Lilongwe where his remains will be buried today.
Sombre faces and black attires were the order of the morning at Mthunzi Funeral Parlour as musicians, talent managers, media personalities, fans, family and friends gathered to see off the remains of the Mwano hitmaker Martse, real name Martin Nkhata.
Speaking on behalf of Nkolokosa residents councillor Leonard Chimbanga thanked the music industry for the love shown to Martse during his illness and death.
“The country is unified with his death and his fans are still in disbelief over the death. We all appreciate the talent that Martse had which he used to entertain the masses,” he said.
In random interviews, many artists who were present at the send off expressed sadness at the young artist’s death.
Said Eli Njuchi: “He is a legend. We weren’t the best of friends, but he was a star. We have lost an icon, a master in his craft and I am glad that I got to share the stage with him on so many occasions.”
On his part, Piksy described Martse as his young brother.
“We used to video call each other every now and then. I will miss him. The music industry won’t be the same without him,” he said.
Female musician Sangie was at loss for words: “Martse was everybody’s friend, full of life and very talented. The industry as a whole will surely miss him and it will be hard to fill the space he’s left.”
Concurring with Sangie, another female musician Hilco said Martse was a rare gem.
“He had his own style and he was good. He was talented and free-minded person. He also did not tolerate nonsense, he did not like pretending. He would speak his mind without fear. He believed in himself and would stick to it,” she said.
Musician Bucci, who maintained a close friendship with Martse throughout the years, said the fallen artist was simply amazing.
“He showed me love like a brother and I will remember him for his unstoppable spirit and his influence on people,” he said.
Mourning the rapper, dancehall artist King Chambiccoe said what pains most is how Martse died.
“We never saw this coming. He was a hip-hop king and he promoted urban music. Everyone in the industry knew that every song from him was a hit. He loved the ghetto and was never ashamed of his roots,” he said.
Martse died aged 28 at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital on Monday afternoon after suffering burns in a fire accident in Monkey Bay on Friday night.
He is best known for his hit songs such as Mwano, Adidas, Mwapindulanji and Zikomo.
He will be buried today at Area 18 Cemetery in Lilongwe. n