The stage was set and everything was flawless for a rare night of Afrosoul at Crossroads Hotel where Malawi’s rising afro artist Lawi came face to face with South Africa’s Belita.
The hotel’s auditorium was filled to the brim with additional chairs brought in to accommodate those who were standing.
Belita was first on stage and reminded some music lovers of their adventure with another female star of the rainbow nation Zahara.
The Metro FM award winner’s music touch, which is mainly acoustic, is closer to Zahara’s repertoire. She kicked off the show Kwahlule Mama, Notyatyambo, before doing Revolution Song by Tracy Chapman and Oliver Mtukudzi’s Nellia, which perhaps was the pinnacle of her performance. She then performed her current hit Thandolwethu before wrapping up with Phakama Africa.
Lawi kicked off his performance with Asamala, Hallelujah, Whistling Song that left some people wondering if George Benson was performing and Life is Beautiful.
Lilongwe City, a dedication to Lilongwe which also hosted the show, serenaded the patrons. It was literally music to their ears to hear a piece dedicated to their Lilongwe. The Lilongwe residents sung along; Lilongwe, “I am a few hours away, Lilongwe, I am coming home to stay.”
As if to underline the point that patience is an important virtue, Lawi kept patrons waiting before dishing out his hit song, Amaona Kuchedwa, which was the toast of night.
The song has a serious message and it was delivered rather skillfully in a voice and style that falls in between Allan Namoko and Lawrence Mbenjere. It talks of people’s impatience with everything including traffic lights which they see taking forever.
Patrons could not help it as they went on a sing along of the chorus Amaona kuchedwa, mapeto ache ngozi punctuated with some good dance moves and jiving. But a show with Lawi from Malawi would not be complete without going back in time when Amati Andikawe once ruled the airwaves. The artist closed curtains with Zitsulo.
“I thank my fans for coming I did not know it would be like this.” said Lawi in an exclusive interview.
Belita, on the other hand was very excited to perform in Malawi, a country that knew nothing or little about her.
She is on a tour of Sadc and other countries.
While in the country, Belita is scheduled to record a song for her forthcoming album. She said: “The song is still in process and all I can say is that it will unite the whole of Africa. People should expect something Malawian in the song but right now I cannot speak more about it save for the fact that it will be produced by Lawi.”