He was not on the original list of performers for the hit-makers show at Club 20 Four 7 at Kameza Roundabout in Blantyre. But artist Katelele Ching’oma, who was a last-minute addition on the list of performers, almost stole the limelight from the main players on the day.
Hosted by DJ Damex, the show on Saturday night kicked off at around 9pm with a performance from Real Nyasa Band who did a number of their own compositions as well as covers of various reggae artists. After their impressive opening, Jimmy Wii and The Lessons Offerings Band took over. They had a great time on stage playing their songs as well as famous tracks, mainly by Zambian artists.
By 11pm, the dance floor was almost full when The Disciples Band from Lilongwe took over. Led by Lenzo Mshanga, the band’s flawless set was proof that they rehearsed for the event.
“My name is Lenzo Mshanga, I am not new to music, having played with Skeffa Chimoto for eight years and one year with Wailing Brothers. Yeah man!” Mshanga said in his self introduction.
He went on to lead the band in entertaining the patrons during a 45-minute set.
Then at exactly 11.45pm, patrons were not prepared for what was about to come as Katelele Ching’oma jumped on stage.
Looking drunk, Ching’oma went straight to business, dishing out his popular songs much to the delight of patrons.
“You see, I love you Blantyre. I wish me and you could do this often. But I do not get enough chance. So, tonight I am all yours,” he said.
Ching’oma’s set was impressive. The back-up band supported the artist well, and its coordination with him was a marvel to watch. His dancing antics were a marvel though at times he appeared inebriated.
“Ngati akubhebhetsa ataledzela chonchi nanga atakhala bhobho zingatani? Uyuyu ndi shasha. [If he can impressively perform in this state, how about if he were sober. He is so good]?” shouted a patron.
He, among other songs, performed Kunoniwa, Ndili Nawo Mwayi, and Asowe.
Ching’oma’s set was coloured by a cappella versions of his songs as well as instrumental covers.
When he was done, patrons protested.
“I was just given the opportunity to perform. You know me, if this was my show, I would have gone on until the sun came up,” he signed off.
When it was time for the much-hyped Manzy Kambanje of Maloto Sang’amba fame, however, the stage proved to be too big for him.
Save for the support he was getting from his big brother Wales, Manzy was visibly overwhelmed. He, however, showed that he has more than Maloto Sang’amba when he performed other equally good songs such as Manyazi and Phuma.
“Phuma, osachita phuma ayi,
Angakhale kalongonda osapsa,” goes the Phuma lyrics in part.
When he performed the hit of the moment Maloto Sang’amba, there was little excitement among patrons as he was off key and struggled to engage the audience. He clearly needs a little more vocal training.
Stage kingpins Lulu and Mathumela Band arrived in the early hours, having performed in Kasungu, about 430 kilometres awat, earlier the previous day.
Lulu shut down the show with hits from his previous albums as well as songs from the new album Better In Your Arms.
Random interviews indicated that patrons were impressed, especially with most of the performances as well as the backing band The Disciples Band.
“These guys gave us solid performances. Their sound output was massive,” said a patron who identified herself as Merrimu.