Forgotten Malawian music artist Kidd Mkandawire was the toast of a fundraising gala in Indiana in the United States of America (USA)when he gave out a splendid performance with his First People Band.
Malawians living in USA, under the banner of Warm Hearted Connections (WHC), organised the event to raise funds for improving education standards by increasing access and the socio-economic environment.
The event, which took place at Holiday Inn Mishawaka, was also used as a platform for Malawians living in the US, especially those from Indiana State, to interact and network.
In music, it was the Lungu Vibes which first took to the stage. The band comprises of Lungu siblings Tawonga, Nkhondo Jnr, Malcomish and Malani who are children to Nkhondo Lungu Snr, a known musical figure from way back.
The youthful six-member band, which has 21-year old Tawonga as its leader, mesmerised everyone with its modern reggae beats.
But as the audience was about to recollect itself after the epic performance by the Lungus, came Kidd Mkandawire. He and his First People Band, all the way from Copenhagen, Denmark, needed no introduction.
Mkandawire showed that he still has so much left in his music tank. He gave out an impressive performance that left many wondering if indeed he was Malawian.
He was well complimented by Indiana-based talented trio of Kondwani Khonje, Apatsa Kwilimbe, and Shaggy on the keyboard, bass and drums, respectively, and Danish lead guitarist Tormod Bjarke Holm.
“Are you sure this guy has more than half a century in years or that’s just his gross years before taxes apply?” jokingly quizzed James Zalimba, a resident of Irish Hills in Indiana.
He took people down the memory lane with old favourites such as Napolo Wachabe and Namsewezga Yaye to the delight of the patrons who filled the arena.
At the end of his performance, Mkandawire paid tribute to the organisers of the event: “I would like to thank Don Nyirongo and the entire WHC team for inviting me and the band to assist in raising funds for the needy schools in sub-Saharan Africa, especifically Malawi.”
“Your presence here brings hope, hope to that orphan in sub-Saharan Africa, hope to that poverty-stricken and helpless child who deserves better educational standards, hope to that teacher who lacks educational resources to teach effectively.
“Hope to the overcrowded students who seat on the floor because there are not enough chairs and desks, hope to that child who goes to school hungry. You have brought hope,” said WHC founder and chief executive officer Don Nyirongo.
WHC is a non-profit making organisation established by like-minded Malawians based in USA, Malawi and across the globe with the aim of improving education standards especially in rural areas. n