Platform is the most important gift that arts promoters can give emerging artists for them to show the world what they got. The world does not know the strength of the youth until they are given a platform like E-Wallet to prove their worth.”
This was said by 2015/16 E-Wallet winner, 20-year-old Kelvin Zalimba, in his reaction to winning the singing challenge.
Kelvin added that, if given the necessary support, arts can have a direct bearing on the social and economic development of the country.
“I did not dream to have a car at the age of 20. But because I have talent, look at me now, I am driving a Nissan Tiida which I have won in E-Wallet. My life and status is not the same. This just underscores the importance and power of arts which can turn around the social and economic tables of Malawians,” said the Chilomoni resident.
He attributes his triumph to hard work, eagerness to learn and fear of the Lord.
Kelvin said: “I learnt a lot through the competition. Everyone, including my parents and fans, played a role for my success. I owe it to them.”
However, he admitted that it was not an easy ride for him to win the E-Wallet, saying he faced a stiff competition from Eunice Mhango, Shanice Tandwe, Sigele Akimu and Jeremiah Chikhwaza.
Kelvin also praised the E-Wallet judges Marvin Hanke, Rudo Chakwera and Dumisani Mfune for their role throughout the competition.
He said their constructive advice on the technical aspect of music will go a long way to help him improve his music career.
“The skills and advice earned from the judges did not only help me to win but also set a solid foundation of my career. I will live with them,” he said.
E-Wallet repeated history this year for producing a youthful winner following 2014’s Adrian Kwelepeta. But who is Kelvin?
“I am an Afro R&B artist who enjoys making music. I started music in a church at St Kizito Roman Catholic Choir at St James Parish in Chilomoni,” he said.
In his childhood, he was also surrounded by people that love music, another factor which triggered his passion for music.
Though there is not much that he has accomplished on the music front, Kelvin said he has worked on a number of tracks that have upgraded his status.
He released Chisoni on malawimusic.com, Uzandimvesese which he collaborated Sir Patricks, Eddie and Candid, Ma Hope Ndi Holla which features Tech Dali.
Currently, he is working on an Extended Play (EP) which will be released in July this year. He said he will also drop a single next week. His complete album will be released next year.
However, he urged event organisers in the country to incorporate emerging talent in live performances to enable artist to perfect their art.
“One of the challenges that emerging artists face in the country is lack of exposure. They may have the talent but they are not given a platform to showcase it. Worse still, some take advantage of young people’s status to abuse their talent,” said Kelvin.
There is a close relationship between music and education because they complement each other. Asked how he balances the two, Kelvin says he is studying Business Management.
“I am doing diploma studies in Business Management at PACT College in Blantyre. I understand the role of education in life and I am committed to pursuing both education and music career,” he said.
Commenting on Kelvin’s triumph, E-Wallet chairperson Felix Njawala said he is satisfied that the competition is fulfilling young people’s development.
“As a brand, we are happy to help young people getting exposure and career opportunities. We trust that young people can make it if given necessary support especially when the corporate world can come in to support initiatives such as E-Wallet,” said Njawala.
He added that effective arts programmes can help to reduce young people’s vulnerability and unemployment.
“Government alone can’t eradicate the suffering of young people or prevent them from impending danger. But through our partnership and innovations,” said Njawala.
In an earlier interview, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) managing director Gospel Kazako said the country’s youth need to be empowered through initiatives that promote their self-reliance.
“When we help young people how to fish we are giving them necessary skills for their survival and independency,” said Kazako