They were pushed off the cliff and eventually started flying.
Unlike others who nose dive shortly after being challenged to exercise their aviation abilities, Mitengeli flew by a while and took Malawi by storm.
With the song Ndalama the 35-member choir from Mtambira Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Tsabango in Lilongwe penetrated into the limelight successfully.
Of course they rode with one of the country’s celebrated artists, Patience Namadingo, but their exceptional touch and story also gave them enough energy to thrust for long in the air. It was the bird for all to adore.
It brought an irresistible message that rings bells in hearts of many. No wonder it went viral on social media and people fell in love with it at first play in additional to Namadingo’s huge following.
On February 7 2020, Namadingo under his record label Namartists released the gospel choir’s video through his Facebook page. The song that talks about how money has corrupted the minds of many has a standard traditional beat. It was produced by Moshu.
Reacting to the song, one of Namadingo’s fans Aaron Kondwelani rated it highly, writing: “True African in every aspect.”
Malawians should brace for more atmospheric and verve gospel songs from this choir at Mtambira Prayer House under Ngwenya Congregation of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia.
Though majority of the audience have heard enough of Jesus Christ’s deeds in the Holy Bible, Mitengeli’s creativity and elegiac presentations bring fresh waves from the scriptures that will strike chords.
Apart from proclaiming the gospel, they also reprimand people for their love of money while advising them to live their life in line with God’s word.
On The Arts reporter listened to three of the six songs that Mitengeli has recorded but is yet to release.
In an interview, Mitengeli choir master Alexander Chidzuipa Maluwa said they have come to entice souls to God’s kingdom.
“We regard music as a tool to excite and counsel people to come to Jesus Christ. We also do songs for every occasion to keep people in the mood according to the occasion. Our projects go with traditional beats because we celebrate Africa’s fragrance and colour,” he said.
Maluwa promised Malawians of earth shattering songs from them.
“Ndalama was just a piece of our pile. Lyrics do not just roll, we give mind’s eye on every project and God helps a lot,” he said.
The group started in 2014 under the name Salvation Singers and went into music hiatus in 2016. They regrouped in 2017 and called themselves The Gospel Agents.
Journey to limelight
In 2014, a father (Dr Humphreys Shumba) to their producer Moses Shumba alias Moshu spotted them when he was invited to attend a fundraising event at their church.
Moshu said: “My father was impressed with songs they performed during the event and linked us so that I record them. When they came to the studio, they had no confidence in me because I was very young in their eyes.”
The Mitengeli choir master said they expected Moshu to take them to a studio, not him recording.
“We thought he [the father] will give Moshu money to pay for our recording services at a certain uptown studio. By then, Moshu was young and we doubted his abilities,” he said.
Then Moshu recorded their eight songs.
“They used to sing like most known choirs. On their ninth song, they went local as the Ndalama feel. I deleted the eight and started mentoring them on original Malawian touch. I see their future to represent Malawi through real Malawian traditional gospel music to change their lives and of others,” explained Moshu.
When the producer joined the Namartists Record Label in 2020, he introduced the choir to Patience Namadingo who loved their music.
“I signed and branded them from Gospel Agents to Mitengeli. We worked on Ndalama which is a hit. I am committed to make them one of the leading choirs in the country. Currently, I am writing scripts for their next vid;eos. I want them to have concerts at Comesa Hall and Bingu International Conventional Centre (BICC),” said Namadingo.