Thirty Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) legends were celebrated on Friday night where the State-broadcaster recognised some of its employees who have excelled during its 50 years of service.
From sports, music and broadcasting, the legends shone as diamonds and the morning stars that they have always been.
Nanzikambe Artists Theatre started the night with a sketch depicting the MBC story in artistic form.
It was a story that depicted the radio station’s long journey.
The actors gave patrons a rundown of some of the long time programmes on MBC such as Tadzuka Sitidziwa Anzathu, Kalondolondo, Likaomba Otheratu and Zamchipatala, before a characterisation display of some of current presenters.
Linguistically talented poet Benedicto Okomaatani Malunga was next on the podium with a poem that also tackled MBC’s journey, which went on air on February 17 1964, as well as the lives of music legends such as Nangalembe, Daniel Kachamba and Lucky Stars.
His appearance marked the start of a night with legends as Snowden Ibu was next on stage with his 1978 hit Chibale.
In the next minutes, King Marshall Jetu was crowned legendary boxer, Rodwell Kamwendo as an athlete, Kinnah Phiri as footballer, Mary Waya as netballer with Tigresses as the best netball team and Big Bullets as team of choice. In music, Sir Paul Banda was recognised as gospel musician, Katawa Singers as the best band, Kutha Kwamoyo by Thomas Banda as the best gospel song, Daniel Kachamba as the best secular musician, MBC Band as best secular band and Chinafuna M’bale as the best secular song.
After president Peter Mutharika paid tribute to the legends, Gides Chalamanda was next on stage.
The 83-year-old acousitc legend sung, danced and strummed his guitar with an energy that defied his age, amid applause from the multitude that thronged the Grand Marquee of Kamuzu Palace.
Trumpet master, Wyndham Chechamba, was next and he blew the equipment and people away. Vice president Saulos Chilima then stole the show when, as choir master, he performed with the Malawi Police Brass Band before Maria Chidzanja Nkhoma stepped on stage and performed two songs, including Malaika.
The toast of night was yet to come and it was in the name of Verson Idi. Simple in demeanour, the man has a powerful flying voice that made him win the legendary presenter and news reader awards.
Idi made an impassioned speech of his journey, stressing how this was the best day of his life.
Other legends that won awards were Pearson Chunga as sports commentator, Elson Soko as best Chichewa dramatist and Viphya Harawa as English dramatist.
The nicely combed grey hairs were a marvel to watch as they attested to the many years the legends have witnessed. But it did not take away their talents. Even at 66, Davis Mussa’s voice was still pleasant, attractive and strong as that of a teenager. n