Dust has now settled on the June 23 fresh presidential election following the swearing-in of President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice-President Saulos Chilima on Sunday.
But developments surrounding the court-ordered election have left a lasting impact and inspired artists to come up with interesting creations.
The election has borne numerous creative works such as poems and songs all offering a poignant reflection of what was one of the most interesting political battles in the country’s history.
Musician Evance Meleka has composed a song titled Itsanana (It’s an honour), borrowing the widely perceived ‘slang’ version of ‘it’s an honour’ as expressed by Chakwera.
Local dancehall artist Anne Matumbi, who had flirtations with the dethroned Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has used a scathing poetic satire titled Mnjemummmmm to lash out at his former masters for messing up their chances of remaining in power.
Poet Robert Chiwamba has drawn much energy to the resolve displayed by Malawians during a period of sustained widespread demonstrations by weaving a poem called Anthu Amafika Potopa.
In an interview, Meleka said he decided to pay tribute to Chakwera for his victory. He said the victory is not down to his power but the will of God and, therefore, asked him not to misuse the grace.
Meleka said: “As artists, we are there to entertain, inform and to educate. I am sure Malawians have learnt a lot of things from these elections. As an artist, I have derived some wisdom to offer advice that the current leadership should avoid making mistakes that were made by their predecessors.”
On his part, Matumbi said whenever he wants to communicate the truth he engages a satirical gear to drive his message hit home.
He said as an artist it is important to assume the role of a mouthpiece in amplifying things that most people are afraid to say.
“Things have changed and Malawians have this tendency of saying that those who had associations with the previous regime already got their share of the cake. I want to make it clear that this was never the case with me,” he said.
Asked if he remains a DPP member, the artist said he cannot say whether he is still a member of the party or not but his intention is to support the government of the day.
Commenting on his poem Anthu Amafika Potopa, Chiwamba said: “The piece has been inspired by events happening both locally and around the world. Artists need to be watchdogs. Artists have many followers and they are influencers and they ought to influence positively.”