One of the cancerous spots that have held the progression of local artists and local musicians for ages is lack of sound sponsorship and the absence of committed management of the artists.
One can literally count using fingers the number of local artists who enjoy good management and sponsorship worth the name. The rest still operate according to the dictates of the demand of the day upon them and the next.
It is little wonder that the art of music is still regarded as a mere pass time by many. The productions from many artists clearly lack in many aspects. Not that the artists themselves don’t have potential, no! But they miss the required professional advice when it matters most.
And careers of so many artists have plunged into premature deaths not because of conduct off the mic but because of lack of guidance. So many have lost themselves to lifestyles that have eventually proved detrimental to their promising careers. There are out there, we meet and see them daily.
Unfortunately, the opportunity to have a manager as an artist lat alone securing a sponsorship is hard to come by here in Malawi. It is not like many would turn down the opportunity to be managed properly but it has never fallen on their lap.
It, therefore, came as a shock inside the week when the music world learnt of the news that music stable CoolPro Entertainment have parted ways with reggae group Wailing Brothers. Exactly eight months after the two parties announced the start of their working relationship, now the pact is no longer in force.
As is always the case when things get to this level, both sides is not courageous enough to come out in public to spell in detailing what led to the breakup. Everything is coated in the diplomatically short and carefully delivered statements that leave everyone with more questions than answers.
The situation this time was not too different from what we have grown used to up. The public has, therefore, no choice but swallow and survive on what they have been fed. While it is clear in between the short statements that there must have been some serious issues between them.
The local music industry needed the CoolPro/Wailing Brothers marriage more than the players involved ever realised probably. The brothers from Chilobwe Township have seen few sunny days artistically since one of the founders of the group Evison Matafale ditched the group to form his own.
Despite their immerse potential their progression has clearly stalled. Other artists have emerged and surpassed them in their wake. All because they have been lacking some little pieces to complete their puzzle.
The coming of Duffy Chikakuda with his CoolPro stable signaled a fresh start for a band that was nearly forgotten. I remember talking to the group’s leader Takudziwani Chokani then, lost in full praise for what he said was an opportunity to fulfil their mission.
Indeed it was a big break for them. A lot of things about the band appeared to be changing in a short time. Additional members were brought in the group, their general outlook was transformed markedly and not to mention their visibility.
Having professionally interacted with Chikakuda on a number of times, he is a man whose passion for local music, especially reggae, I can fault. He has a huge conviction which wants to get things done once he sets his eyes on it.
That things got to this end in a short space of time, there must have been something which went terribly wrong between them. I doubt if the world will ever know what ever happened between the secret walls where they used to converge as a family.
But here we are placing our final epitaph on a marriage which promised to bore more fruits during its life. The ambitions and objectives it was founded on have all gone with it. But Malawi’s music industry is the biggest loser.