They have taken the Malawi music scene by storm—wowing fans across the country with their captivating acts and fascinating lyrics.
And they have solidified their status as one of the best new revelations in the recent past.
This is the story of Katwell and Phwanya Phwanya Boys who are known in Lilongwe and surrounding districts such as Salima, Kasungu, Dowa and Mchinji for their songs that generally tackle infidelity.
“Akamacheza ndi mtsikana mbali mwa msewu pakadutsa galimoto amangoti ya achimwene/ Ife ndife ana akumpanda afana ofewa tikagwilila ntchito zolemetsa ndizokala mayunitsi eti kuti awalore eeeh/ Asisi sungani banja musatanganidwe ndi zibwenzi za mseri amadziwa mbalume anyamatawa. Banja mwathetsa iyenso watha…”
In an interview, the group’s frontman Katwell Ngondo said their music strives to give hope to struggling husbands who spend sleepless nights thinking about how they will take care of their families.
Additionally, he says most of their songs revolve around family challenges in rural areas, and tackle some topics that are deemed sensitive in condemning women and girls to the culture of silence and violence.
Two years ago, they debuted with Anyamata ndi Wonama album which gained remarkable airplay and positive reviews.
“As a nation, we should be excited because their music is purely traditional and each time I play their songs on radio, many greatly appreciate their rare talent,” remarked Zodiak Broadcasting Station radio personality Lucy Chimwaza who trades as Nachithidzi.
The female DJ said the artistry runs through the arrangement, the recording and mixing of their much deeper meaning sounds.
The quartet, coming from the tobacco growing district of Dowa, continues their mission of bringing entertainment to their fans in the country and worked ultimately on their lyrics.
And showing rare music genius and great skills in writing their songs, many can take great moments in appreciating their artistry, in Anyamata Ndi Wonama whose chorus goes: Anyamata ndi wonama asakunamize/ usawamvere anyamatawa/ Usapusitsike kungoti achimwene wa ndi wonama akubelekera chikwama ngati ogwira ntchito boma komanso phone kumayankha yosaitana
Born on January, 24, 1991 Ngondo embarked on a music career at the age of 15, drawing inspiration from Zimbabwe music outfit The Dendera Kings.
“I grew up in the village and I know all the challenges people face on a daily basis,” he says.
Among others, Ngondo says, innocent women continue to be subjected to cheating and beatings by husbands while tobacco farmers suffer in silence over prices of tobacco at markets.
“I believe it’s high time music tackled relevant issues that affect people in our society,” he said.
Five years ago, the group debuted with Anyamatawa Ndi Wonama an acoustic album that features a full string section, guitars, batcha, kalimba and hand-made drums, recorded at Chisomo Studios in Mponela that catapulted them to fame.
But, Ngondo says despite the success of songs, they have not benefited from their sweat and were grateful to meet journalist Mayamiko Kambewa who supported them to record new material.
“Of course it is not a secret that piracy has been a major drawback for many musicians in the country. And we are grateful that Mayamiko Kambewa saw the potential in us,” he explained.
However, he says it is disheartening that the music industry is not paying its players well due to rampant piracy and poor distribution systems.
Ngondo further said the first album was more of a foundation as they have grown up.
And in 2015, with the spirit of determination and passion, the group released an album Chitseka Pakamwa whose tracks enjoyed massive airplay. But again its returns were minimal due to piracy.
On his part, Kambewa said he is impressed with the reception of their songs despite being affected by piracy.
He says: “They are creative and their production is outstanding and despite being secular musicians they are invited to perform in churches which shows just how much their music is appreciated.”
The group is working on a new album whose release date is yet to be disclosed.
Some of their popular songs include Coupon, Chitseka Maso, Halo, Mulibe Manyazi, Banja Simankhwala, and Chipwilikiti Mdziko.
Other members of the group are Patrick Paul Zedeman, Moffat Kambalame, Samuel Kam’mawa and Sinjilo Maliri.