As one way of connecting with rural masses, Lilongwe-based gospel musician Ronald Thamakela has embarked on rural shows ahead of his album launch.
Thamakela observed that most musicians in the country stick to the same venues when it comes to live shows, depriving local masses of the word of God as well as entertainment.
He described rural areas as a hub of massive support where fans want to interact with their favourite artists.
“The rural shows are a deliberate strategy to interact with my fans who have been supporting me since the onset on my career. Generally, there has also been demand of live shows from remote areas,” said Thamakela.
Most music shows in the country are staged in cities at popular venues such as ICA Marquee in Lilongwe, Mzuzu’s Boma Park and Robin’s Park and Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) in Blantyre.
Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc), Sunbird Capital Marquee, Ozone Entertainment in Machinjiri, Blantyre, Ngoms Park in Machinga and Joe’s Motel in Mchinji are other notable venues that host different events nationwide.
Thamakela attributed the development to lack of resources on the part of most artists to take their shows to rural areas.
His argument is supported by veteran gospel musician Lloyd Phiri, who added that rural evangelism demands commitment and sound resources, ranging from transportation to food and accommodation.
“It’s not easy to be in rural evangelism because you need to have resources to accomplish that. It also needs planning and massive recourse mobilisation,” said Phiri, who conducts rural shows through his One Hearth Ministry.
However, Thamakela, before launching his Mau Anu album on New Year’s Day next year at Sheaffer Marquee in Lilongwe, he will embark on rural evangelism starting from this month.
The cause kick-starts this wekend at Classic Lodge in Mchinji, on June 26 in Dowa at Lumbadzi Assmeblies of God, July 30 he will perform at Mulanje Secondary school before going to Phalombe Secondary School on July 31.
He will also take his launch to Dedza, Dowa, Balaka and Zomba.
Thamakela is an inspiration artist who has three albums under his belt Ulimwayi (2008), Wandichotsa Kutali (2013) and the new Mau Anu (2016).