Veteran acoustic music artistic had one wish which he made known to the world. He wanted to have money and travel and sing in the United States of America (USA).
In one of his famous compositions Buffalo Soldier he sung: When I was a young a boy, I dream to there in America. If I had much money, I go to see in America.
Luckily for the old man, his dream to travel to the USA made a reality in 2016, when through an opportunity made possible by his association with the duo of Edgar ndi David, travelled to the land of endless of opportunities where he had a number of performances.
Going to the USA is everyone’s dream. If you ask 10 people of their travelling dream wish, you are sure to get nine responses in the affirmative on their wish to step in the Big Apple. So, to have lived his dream, Giddess is a lucky man. Very few people attain their dreams in a lifetime.
The 90-year old’s music journey has been such a tale. Away from his dream visit to the USA, back home Giddess has had his fingerprint in both extremes. He has performed before classless crowds in shanty back-market drinking joints in his home district, Chiradzulu.
His same rhythms and compositions have also seen him rub shoulders with highly reputable figures of our society in venues where wine is served in sparkling while glasses. How swift he jumps back and forth between these two extremes provides such an exciting story. Or should we say a sad story?
If you can listen to his story, there must be moments where one is clouded in awe of the fullness that his talent has brought him and also moments where you can ask oneself if it is really worth it. Such has been the life of the legendary artist.
At the age of 90, his life has realistically run its productive compass. The man may pitch in with one or two performances here and there yes, but passion aside, the real drive now is to make something to bring him food on the table.
Cognisant of his frail state, it came as refreshing news when it was revealed that FDH Bank, through their brand ambassador recording artist Patience Namadingo, they had thrashed out a retirement package for the ageing artist.
After engaging Giddess to find out what he would like to get as his retirement starter pack, the composer preferred to have a shop built for him to enable him earn a living through the sales from the shop. The bank subsequently made a commitment to give him his wish.
With this knowledge, music fans who have followed his art and life were assured that all is now well for the old man. It is very rare for one to earn your retirement in your retirement. But such is the luck that has once again befallen on the music legend.
Therefore it came as a surprise to many when Giddess was heard through some local media outlets pleading for financial assistance to get himself going. Many were left wondering as to what became of FDH package.
As the debate on his exact status wound on, I got in touch with Namadingo, who at the time of going to press was also at a loss of what might triggered Giddess’s SOS media parade. But he assured me that everything about their arrangement is intact. The FDH brand ambassador suspects some people took advantage of the old man and made him parade on the radio sounding all destitute.
Namadingo said at the time he was in the company of an engineer on their way to Giddess’s home village responsible for the construction of the grocery. The artist was also expected to sign a contract with the bank spelling out all the details.
As part of that contract, Giddess will be getting a monthly upkeep of K50 000 until the shop is completed and functioning. That sounds like a fair deal in all senses. It is with little wonder that Namadingo himself was left wondering as to what the intentions of the people who got him on radio were.
If at all their intentions don’t mean well then it is bad. If the old man was made to say something which doesn’t reflect his current status then it’s sad. His life has been littered with financial struggles and the FDH deal sounds like a perfect take away package for him.
If someone were to come in and botch it all up then it will be sad. Should we ask as to where they have been all this time when the man was struggling? Is it a sin that Giddess doesn’t have much money? I smell some opportunistic manipulation.