If the energies exuded by Giddes Chalamanda is anything to go by, the dreamer is more than ready to conquer America. –
Actually, the octogenarian has been always ready not simply because of the song he did: “Buffalo Soldier… If I had much money, I would go to America,” but on Saturday night, he showed why he deserves to go there and perform.
Visiting the US for a performance had been the acoustic icon’s childhood dream no wonder, he shared it artistically through the song in which he confesses of hearing that streets in America are made of stone.
At 86, Giddes is not just a musician and guitarist, but also a dancer.
Most musicians of his calibre and age are long gone. But the veteran musician is still strong and continues to entertain his legion of fans.
In a normal setup, he would have been performing alongside the likes of Michael Yekha, Allan Namoko, Daniel Kachamba, Stonard Lungu and Saleta Phiri, but they are all dead.
Having left the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind, patrons were looking for fun and so they walked into the elegant Capital Hotel Marquee where the atmosphere was relaxing.
Like any other octogenarian, Giddes slowly appeared on stage and all patrons sprang into action, dancing.
CheMeli was the song and the area reserved for dancing, right on the edge of the stage, was filled with patrons, screaming and cheering while others danced.
It was obvious that everybody was looking forward to that aGide moment. With his two long time collaborators Edgar ndi Davis, the artist was killing it on stage, dancing and singing. Conspicuously missing was his guitar, but his singing, though at times faint, and his well coordinated dance moves were enough to keep the fans on their feet.
He was the centre of attraction as the patrons shifted their focus from Edgar ndi Davis to Giddes the dancer, who was constantly jumping up and down.
Like a youth in his prime, he gyrated to the left then to the right before swivelling to the centre. When the duo changed tune, Gidess energetically followed suit much to the pleasure of the patronage as the ecstatic fans burst into cheers.
After about 40 minutes on stage performing hits such as Linny, the anthemic Napolo, Giddes retired backstage, but the fun continued as Edgar ndi Davis still had quite a lot to offer.
This was the second time during the fundraising show that the acoustic kings were on stage.
Earlier on, they had shown the audience why, 16 years after starting music, they are regarded as local acoustic icons.
From the word go, deep into the night, the duo had been at their best dishing out good music to revellers, many of whom danced along.
On the menu were hits such as Kalekale, Energy Saver popularly known as Ntchito Zina in which they brought in elements of ndombolo, soukus and rhumba.
But before wrapping up their gig, the pair brought Giddes on stage for a collaboration.
The song immortalises the legend as it mentions some of the hits done by Giddes, including CheMeli and Linny. It satirically pokes fun at some songs that were hits back then such as Ambuye Muwapatse Moyo, Tchekera Maluzi, Mundibwenzere Mavoti and Akamwire, but the brains behind them are nowhere to be seen in the industry while “aGide akuimbabe”.
With Noah Bulambo on congas, Mada Goba on drums, Davie Nthara on keyboards, Anko Layi on lead guitar and Chimwemwe Maloya on backing vocals, the band did not disappoint their fans and took the audience on a journey of acoustic vibes.
The patrons surely forgot the long wait they were subjected to earlier on as the show started almost two hours after the scheduled time.
The band just made things right for everybody.
Deep into Edgar ndi Davis’ second show, Giddes bounced back on stage.
“The energy in this man can make you disbelieve that he is in his 80 years,” one fan was heard saying.
The trio mad some manganjedance moves before jumping up and down under music.
By public demand, Giddes performed Linny once again.
However, seconds into the song, power cut to the stage, disrupted the song but unmoved, the audience sung it until electricity was restored.
Suddenly, the old man burst into the time-worn Simanjemanje dance of the 1980s before doing his signature hit Buffalo Soldier.
A super excited Giddes sung it with so much vigour, stressing every word of the lyrics while smiling from ear to ear.
“Buffalo Soldier… If I had much money, I would sing in America,” he sung to which some fans responded by saying: “Mupita a Gide”.
Giddes started playing music some 70 years ago, learning his skill on home-made banjos. Throughout his career he has rubbed shoulders with several iconic Malawian musicians.
With the man seemingly geared to perform in America in July and, if the pledges made during the show are anything to go by, Giddes is destined to live his dream of visiting the America, the place whose roads are made of stone, as he sang in Buffalo Soldier.
Blacks’ show ends prematurely
It was a highly anticipated free-for-all show in Mzuzu on Saturday
afternoon. Fans thronged Katoto Secondary School Ground to have a feel
of the renowned reggae outfit the Black Missionaries in performance.
Their anticipation, however, ended in frustrations as they never had
an opportunity to see the band’s lead vocalist Anjiru Fumulani in
action let alone Anthony Makondetsa finish the act after taking over
from two curtain raisers.
Rains interrupted the show for close to 20 minutes, and when the sky
cleared, the band never resumed the show which was organised by
Population Services International (PSI).
The patrons felt cheated that they waited in vain under trees and
nearby buildings, braving the heavy rains for a free performance that
some of them cannot manage to pay under normal circumstances.
Then, trouble erupted. The visibly disappointed and angry patrons
protested, showering insults while others begged for a few songs. But
the band stood their ground, dismantled the equipment and offloaded it
into the bus.
The patrons never allowed the band to leave the venue, until the
police intervened with security to stop the irate fans from causing
One of the patrons Joshuah Ngwira had no kind words for the country’s top band.
“It is an embarrassment that they came here to sing a few songs and
vanish. They have cheated people and organisers after pocketing huge
sums of money.
“They are lucky that people in the North are calm. Elsewhere they
would have been stoned,” he said.
Ngwira said organisers were also a letdown as they failed to plan for
the event perfectly.
“Organisers should have come up with a covered stage for any
eventuality during this rainy season,” he said.
In an interview, Makondetsa said they could not continue with the show
because the equipment had been affected with rain water.
He said the scenario is a lesson to organisers to plan accordingly
when holding shows on open spaces.
PSI Malawi communications manager Ricky Nyaleye said they will hold
another show in the near future to compensate for the failed one
dubbed Chishango Music Bash.
The show was organised with the aim of encouraging people, especially
the youth, to protect themselves from HIV and Aids by using PSI
branded Chishango condoms.