Mucic icon Lucius Banda on Saturday diverted from the set in his thanksgiving music concert at Ozone Refreshment Centre in Machinjiri, Blantyre, to address suicide.
The country has seen rising numbers of suicide, a thing Lucius said he can not be quiet about. He did it at the joint, on the second leg of the concerts after he rocked a similar show at Mangochi’s Zitherepano.
The moment was apt as patrons were put in the proper mood when Lucius opened his set, as usual, with the timeless Nthawi hit. That was after his Zembani Band had introduced the performance with renditions of UB40’s Kingston Town, Alpha Blondie’s Jerusalem and the revolutionary Guantanamera. This, as it were, could only be described as an extension of the sound-check.
The heats mounted further when up-and-coming Don Tarz and Sam Smack performed. But all these were submerged when Lucius was introduced on the stage, with that signature tune where he presents time as a teacher. His entry was met with ecstatic ululations, as he was returning to that stage after a prolonged break due to ill health.
“But let me give you something that is just paining me so much these days. Suicide. It is so sad to hear that so many people are finding suicide as a solution. Some of us could not be here if we ever thought of suicide. I am just coming from the sickbed, but suicide has never been on my mind, because I know the God who saw me through poverty and even imprisonment is always with me,” he said.
The repertoire included the songs that have made Lucius one of Malawian musicians of all time. These included Pharaoh, Esther and so much more. His set is never complete without Mabala, and he reserved it for the end.
His son Johnny and the Philadefia proponent, Nepman added ice to the cake.
A patron, Harry Nakoma, said he was impressed with the comeback show. “At the moment, some of us are interested to see Lucius Banda in performance,” he said.