Ndirande Anglican Voices, Kamuzu Barracks Singers and the Great Angels all shone as they clearly outshone soloists performing on Sunday at the ICA marquee in Lilongwe.
The gospel show, dubbed Lilongwe vs Blantyre, was one of the side events Multichoice Malawi organised to accompany the launch of their latest innovation, GOtv in the city.
Courtesy of what can be called an aggressive marketing strategy the organisers did ahead of the show, gospel enthusiasts thronged the venue. By 1.30pm, the marquee was jam-packed.
Thoko Katimba and Limbani Simenti, among others, both performed to their best ability but it was clear that fans were looking for something special; something to match the hype of the event.
The notion got clearer when the fans threatened to bar Lilongwe soloist Peter Mlangeni from performing on stage. They booed at the mention of his name until he left the stage five minutes later to pave way for the Great Angels.
The booing follows Mlangeni’s behaviour towards gospel fans during an Easter show in Lilongwe two weeks ago where he shouted back at fans when they complained of his delay in starting to perform.
But that was not before Ndirande Anglican Voices provided the spark an hour earlier to help re-ignite the show at a time it greatly needed one; it was slowly turning gloomy. Actually, the kids on the jumping castle stationed outside the marquee seemed to be enjoying themselves more than their parents and guardians who brought them to the event.
The Ndirande outfit read the situation well and they seemingly knew what the fans expected of them. Their big-stage experience helped them satisfy those expectations with both expertise and ease.
Inenso Ndiri Mommo, Ndasamba Manja, Wakutuma Ndani were some of the hits they dished out, throwing the audience into total ecstasy.
Group leader Dennis Kalimbe could not hide his excitement at the reception his group got from the audience: “I have always been saying that Lilongwe is our home away from home; we are humbled by the response. It clearly speaks volumes of how people appreciate what we do. This can only inspire us to do more.”
Ndirande was closely followed by the Kamuzu Barracks singers who were also outstanding. The soldiers rocked the fans with their reggae vibes and athletic performance.
With their Ndisiyeni Ine Ndiyende hit, among others; the Great Angels Choir managed to make fans ignore the darkness that slowly hovered over the city. Many only discovered how chilly the weather had become the time they left the marquee for their homes.