Muli bwanji? That’s how Mafikizolo greeted each one of us. It was as if they had been given tips on how to greet the Malawian delegation: four journalists and consulate officials who were waiting for them.
But not. Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza, trading under Mafikizolo, had learned the greeting from their first visit to Malawi in 2004.
Ten years down the line, they still know the Malawian basic greeting which inspired their 2005 hit Zikomo Kwambiri off their third album Kwela as they brace to serenade patrons at the Lake of Stars Festival to be held in Mangochi in September.
Back at the press conference held at Café Rousse at Clear Water Mall in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, South Africa, Nhlanhla and Theo said they are excited to visit Malawi again.
“You know since our last visit a lot has changed including music so we are bringing in a different sound and touch, but still the same African music,” said Theo.
Mafikizolo’s front woman, Nhlanhla, called on Malawians to come in large numbers and enjoy the duo’s old and current hits.
“We will take people through the Mafikizolo journey, from the time we started to where we are now. We will perform songs from old albums as well as current ones. Again, we are also bringing our own band and dancers,” she confirmed.
Some of the hits that were popular in Malawi back then include Udakwa Njalo, Ndihambanawe, Kwela and Emhlanjeni.
“Unfortunately, it is only one show but we wish we could have reached out to people in the other cities as it is going to be electrifying since it will be something that they have never seen before from us,” added Nhlanhla.
“We are looking forward to doing collaborations with some Malawian artists. We try so much that everywhere we go, we show our appreciation of that country. This helps the growth of the music industry, so we are hoping that our trip will result in a collaboration,” mused Theo.
Other than that, the ever smiling duo is also looking forward to Malawi performances during their stay in Mangochi.
“We have not had a chance to sample music from Malawi. On top of that, we need to have information about the artists who will perform with us. But we are very excited and looking forward to working with Malaiwan artists. The visit is also for us to know and appreciate Malawi music better,” said Theo before Nhlanhla chipped in: “We are hoping to get to Malawi a day or two earlier so that we appreciate Malawi better. When I say Malawi I mean everything about the country.”
One of the goals of the Lake of Stars Festival, which co-sponsored the journalists’ trip alongside Malawian Airlines, is to promote music tourism.