Musician Skeffa Chimoto and his Real Sound Band on one hand and Lucius Banda and Zembani Band on the other steered Blantyre fun lovers into this year’s Christmas Day Motel Paradise.
Not even technical hitches or uncharacteristic power failure could thwart the forceful performance put on by Lucius, which came after Skeffa had mesmerised the patrons with his power-packed exhibition.
The serious business started when Skeffa’s Real Sounds played several reggae covers from Jamaica that included some from the Morgan Heritage and Lucky Dube’s songs.
But before the Jamming Machine, as Skeffa is called, plunged into the thick of things, he ordered that the lights in the hall be switched off then he asked the patrons to switch on their mobile phone torches which they held up while everyone observed a minute of silence. This was in honour of two artists, producer and musician Joseph Tembo and guitarist Owen Hulera, who died last week.
“This month is a season of harvest for musicians, the same way farmers have their season when it is time to take their produce to the market. It is, therefore, very sad that at this very season of harvest we have been hit hard by the death of our two brothers,” Skeffa told the audience.
He played a hymn before getting down to business. For close to two hours, Skeffa ignited the dance floor with tracks from his different albums.
Towards the end of his performance, Skeffa explained his absence from performing across the country of late.
“I have at the moment gone back to the villages where I belong. I am working with nongovernmental organisations in performing different tasks in the villages,” said Skeffa amid cheers from the dance floor.
Immediately he left the stage, Zembani Band ascended to the spot and it was Sam Smack who took charge. He did not only play his well memorised tracks that patrons sang along as they did with Skeffa’s but he finished his set by playing the lead guitar in one of his songs.
Smack, only cleared the way for Soldier Lucius Banda who, around 02:30, went on stage performing Nthawi, a track that is slowly becoming his opening trademark.
Since it was morning, he followed Nthawi with several Christmas carols that he said signified the birth of Jesus. He announced to his fans that that they were on Christmas Day 2019.
Having done with the carols, Lucius started with the track Pang’ono Pang’ono Ayesu Akubwera which he said was also in honour of Tembo and Hulera. He said their passing was a huge loss to the music fraternity.
Mid-way his act, Lucius invited Jai Banda of the Entertainers Promotion, the organisers of the show, to the stage. He said he wanted to pay tribute for Jai’s endless sacrifices towards Malawi music.
“This year has bitten us hard, economically,” he said. “Right in this month things are still very bad. But this man Jai Banda is truly God sent for he has invested K5 million for this show to happen just like his Christmas gift to you all music lovers.”
Lucius said Malawi music owes Jai a lot for his selflessness in his contributions towards music.
In turn, Jai Banda thanked Lucius for his contribution to music. And when he asked the fans if they had enough, there was a deafening ‘nooo!’ as the patrons still wanted more from the ‘Soldier’.
At 04:15, Lucius left the stage, to one of his Zembani Band supporting acts, Nepman who played until the first light of dawn struck.