Jah people, competition is nothing without upholding rules of the game.
Two spectacles (or debacles) happened this week that affirm that disobeying the yardsticks we set is the sire of all patchiness, stagnation, deterioration and all that jazz.
On Monday, The Nation reported Mangochi’s debut run in Sunbird Search for a Star, formerly E-Wallet Talent Show, evaporated in scorching sun when all contestants were given a thumbs-down rating by the judges. The hotel chain’s publicist Akossa Mphepo says the aspirants were just about to meet the expectations of a panel charged to find nothing but the best talent there is.
It is arguable that Malawians have too many problems for one to be concerned with music minions.
Thanks Sunbird Tourism for sponsoring the singing contest and shuttling the search beyond major cities, but the flops from the palm-paved Mangochi, the home of such crowd-pullers as Mlaka Maliro, Dan Lufani and Francis ‘Dangoman’ Kadango, could be personifications of worsening music standards amid little or no investment in the arts at grassroots.
Most likely, those who got the boot last Friday were persuaded into music by sheer passion, TV viewing, encounter with Lake of Stars and Sand festivals, choir exploits or uncoordinated music periods in primary schools.
Make no mistake. Their mass exit replicates a verdict reversed in Liberia lately: University of Liberia found all candidates who sat entrance examinations below the billing.
With my country chronically citing “’equity’ to justify the filling of higher learning institutions based on students’ origins and other bigoted considerations, I’m truly surprised that no one passed. But being a fan of merit, I am impressed that gate-keepers refused to compromise on quality.
Calling a spade a spade, refusing to glorify mediocrity is a sublime calling of my kindred and Nation on Sundayeditor Ephraim Munthali prefers calling it “cutting the chaff”.
By the way, this is why no radio or TV station bagged the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa-Malawi) Best Electronic Media House Award this year.
Quality matters. Only in politics does a ballotful of mediocrity compel us to choose a better time-waster.