Fallen local reggae icon Evison Matafale’s belief and artistic genius still lives on through his music 19 years after his death.
Now, through the creations of Roy View Designs, his fans across the country can still reconnect with him courtesy of designer T-shirts bearing his face.
The creations are also featuring other renowned names such as dancehall kingpin Vic Marley, the country’s founding president Kamuzu Banda, Patience Namadingo and Black Missionaries Band, locally.
On the international scene, Roy View Designs have made T-shirts bearing the faces of Martin Luther King, global reggae icon Bob Marley and rights activist Malcom X accompanied by the Black Lives Matter theme.
Some T-shirts are simply bearing the Malawi flag, while some are simply carrying the message ‘I Would Rather Be In Malawi’.
Brains behind the Roy View Designs clothing line, Roy View Banda, in an interview, said the idea behind the project is to celebrate the contribution of some of the outstanding figures in Malawi and to help safeguard and sustain their legacies.
He said: “The T-shirts have varied themes. So, it is about the things that people go through in their everyday lives through fashion.
“At the same time, I am also trying to honour the country’s legends, promote Malawi and its history through these T-shirts.”
Banda said he was particularly moved with the legacy of Matafale and felt duty-bound to make his contribution to tell the local reggae icon’s story from generation to generation. He said the Matafale family will be in charge of the products to benefit his immediate family.
“The other T-shirts are just about bringing out a positive image about Malawi in general. The other creations such as the black lives matter is one way of joining the global movement which is fighting for black people’s rights,” he said.
However, Black Missionaries leader Anjiru Fumulani, who is also Matafale’s cousin, said as a family they are yet to discuss how the whole arrangement will work to ensure fairness and openness.
He said: “It is true that he approached us with the idea. But as you know, such things are complicated and needs thorough agreements. I took the issue to our family. And since Roy made the approach, he is yet to come back to me so we can talk and finalise the agreement.”