On Sunday, music lovers will once again converge at Civo ground at Singano village, Traditional Authority (TA) Kuntaja in Blantyre to celebrate the life of fallen reggae artist Evison Matafale.
Since his death on November 27 in 2002, artists, led by Black Missionaries, stage a free show in November every year in his honour.
In the early years of the memorial show, the event was associated with all sorts of bad behaviour contrary to its objectives.
The show also honours the memory of Matafale’s two cousins Musamude and Gift Fumulani.
Leader of the group Matafale founded Black Missionaries Band, Anjiru Fumulani, said in an interview that as organisers of the event, they will keep investing their energy to completely change the perception which is associated with the event.
“The issues of security are paramount in the set-up of the event. The success or failure of the show hinges on how tight the security is. We have hired 210 police officers who will be patrolling the ground for the duration of the show,” he said.
Fumulani said having been responsible for the memorial event for some time now, next year they want to introduce a number of changes, including opening a music and resource centre to be named after Matafale. The centre will be used by youths from Chileka and surrounding areas.
He said: “We have been planning to do this for a while now but resources have slowed us down. We have so far engaged consultants who have been helping with some research on our plan. We want to engage people with real expertise in the field because it is a long-term project.”
Matafale died after producing two highly-acclaimed albums, Kuimba 1 and 2. His powerful voice and insightful lyrical content managed to set him apart from any local reggae artist.
Former radio personality Patrick Kamwatira, who followed the artist’s rise during his stint with Power 101 FM, said Matafale was a unique person who was talented beyond his time.
“His voice, writing and compositions were extraordinary. He was an extra-ordinary person who was born in a wrong place at a wrong time. Malawi was too small for Matafale, especially at that time,” he said.