After years of mourning Evison Matafale in word and sound, Malawiâ€™s reggae band, the Black Missionaries, have decided to celebrate their founder through a video release containing exclusive musings of the late Musamude Fumulani.
On Wednesday, Blacks leader Anjiru Fumulani spoke for the first time about the upcoming DVD in an interviewÂ ahead ofÂ Matafale memorial concert slated for Sunday afternoon at Singano Village near Chileka Airport in Blantyre. Apart from paying tribute to the Watsetseleka hitmaker, who died in police custody on November 21 2001, the free show also commemorates his successor Musamude and his Nkokongola Bwanji cousin Gift Fumulani.
The video project, shot by versatile Chipiliro Khonje and Chimwemwe Mazunda, is laced with encounters of band members, village head Singano, family elders, friends and neighbour Mario Gadaga to establish the childhood, timeline, loves and struggles of the reggae star who catapulted the Blacks to fame in 2001.
â€œThe video unknots the background of Matafale and what Chileka music is. It brings back interviews with Matafale and unreleased footages of Musamude and other commentators to tell our story,â€ said Anjiru.
The visual biography contains videos of Matafaleâ€™s hits Watsetseleka and Yangâ€™ana Nkhope as well as excerpts from the Blacks next album Kuimba 9. These include I am Not a Failure, Bwenzi Langa, Akungochimwirabe and Zonse Nchabe. Â Others include the oldies Mlomo, Dalo,Â Rastamanâ€™s Wife and Sinzagwada.
Matafale shot to instant fame with Kuimba 1, an albumÂ backed by the Wailing Brothersâ€”comprising Chokani brothers, vocalist Elias, drummer Paul andÂ guitarist Takudziwani.
In an interview, lead guitarist Taku, who plays with the Blacks, said Matafale joined the Wailing Brothers in 1994, a year before he migrated to Zimbabwe in search of greener pastures.
Â â€œKuimba 1 in 2000 was not the beginning, but the continuation of the journey we had started before he travelled out in 1995. Our cousin Matafale performed with Wailing Brothers during Reggae By Foot festivals and Kachamba memorial shows,â€ said Taku on Wednesday.
He hinted that they separated with Matafale because the late Elias Chokaniâ€”who encouraged the legend to return home after the Zimbabwe experience begot untold miseries as mirrored in hisÂ Olakwa Ndani hitâ€”refused to disband the Wailing Brothers and merge with the Blacks.
According to the Blacks leader, Matafale first talked about forming a band on his return from Zimbabwe in 2000.
â€œBeing eager to restart his music career, Matafale was stunned to see my brother Chizondi and me playing a keyboard. He left when we were too young to sing and he could not believe what he saw,â€ said Anjiru.
He said the audiovisual story of the singer will be released alongside Kuimba 9.