Thirty-three years after bursting onto the local music scene, renowned musician Lucius Banda makes his maiden tour of the United States (US) next month.
Soldier, as he is popularly called on the music scene, is set to perform at three different venues in the US in September, a tour that comes a few days after he launches his Crimes album in South Africa.
He is scheduled to be at Mix, Randburg on August 31 and Tijuca Café, Bruma on 1 September before wrapping up his album launch with a gig the day after at Nyanyazi Pub in Pretoria.
“After South Africa, I will proceed to the USA where the first show will be on September 15 in South Bend, Indiana. The second show will be on September 22 in Texas, Dallas before wrapping up the tour with an appearance in Silver Spring, Maryland on September 29.
“First time ever in the US and I am raring to go.
“Of course, there have been about five attempts which resulted in my failing to travel at the eleventh hour. Like last year, I failed after doing everything but I got tied up with parliamentary business.
“This time they have targeted me at a time when Parliament is not sitting,” he said.
Having been in the music industry since 1985, Soldier is thrilled and enthusiastic with his first trip to the US.
“I am excited as I never knew that I am still up to that billing as I thought my prime time is run out. If people are still inviting me outside Malawi for shows, it means I am still counted as somebody doing something right. I am honoured and excited, looking forward to it.
I will try to use my free days to record a song or perhaps a video,” explained Solider.
According to the artists, a number of people have pulled resources together to have him and other musicians in the US.
“So far, he is travelling with Wendy Harawa and Sam Simakweli. We will have other people that side who will back us up. There are a number of Malawians we have worked with like Apatsa Kwilimbe, who had been with Zembani Band for some time.
“That is the beauty about Zembani. We have people in most of the key countries like South Africa, UK and US,” said the artist.
One of the people hosting Soldier in the US, Alex Chanthunya said in a separate interview that the shows are part of a launch aimed at promoting cultural values among Africans and Americans.
“Called the Inter American African Cultural Exchange, it was incorporated in the State of Maryland as a non-profit organisation with the exclusive purpose of education through cultural exchange programmes between the US and African countries.
“We have invited Lucius because of his involvement in educational music which affects, reflects and shapes Malawi culture. We have chosen these three states; Indiana, Dallas and Maryland because it’s where you find a number of Malawians,” said Chanthunya.n