Mandevu Farm Band has started its ride on the traditional music roadway with the launch of its first album, Weekend Volume 1.
On Saturday, the resident band at The Village @ Mandevu Farmâ€”a model integrated farming and eco-tourism centre at Malosa along theÂ Zomba-Liwonde Roadâ€”unveiled the 12-track album to entertainment reporters at a function which saw the legendary Maurice Maulidi dishing out of the contents.
“This is the climax of the journey that started with the formation of the band last year. If we stay together and never cease to insist on local tracks, nobody will stop us from becoming a force to reckon with,” said Maulidi, who has contributed a redone version of the 1980s hit Sakina to the CD.
And The Village @ Mandevu Farm director Dr Leonard Kalindekafe said the band was formed to propagate the country’s underrated cultural values, tourism, environmental conservation, safe motherhood, child labour and disability issues to a wider audience than ofÂ patrons at the farmhouse.
“Through the songs, we are spreading messages aimed at protecting the environment and promoting social empowerment. All band members are locals being led by Maulidi, one of the country’s most talented musicians who are almost forgotten,” said Kalindekafe.
Promotion of culture
He said the album is a result of a study of local cultures which took them through the breadth and length of the Yao speaking districts of Mangochi and Machinga.
Kalindekafe said the cultural encounters will include other areas between Nsanje and Chitipa, because the rise of imported genres, especially reggae and rhumba, has muted traditional beats.
He explained: “We are determined to bridge the gap that exists in the music sector. We have many bands that play good reggae music, but not much is being done to harness traditional music. We cannot beat the Black Missionaries when it comes to reggae, but we can do something to promote local beats.”
“We conducted research before coming up with the album and realised that we need to give the people a variety of cultural music fused with locally assembled equipment. People out there will be the best judges and our future depends on how the album is received,” he said.
Apart from Sakina, other probable hit tracks in the new releaseÂ include Londo Londo, Mwala, Abiti Boilo, Mai and Mulungu Wanga.