Mkandawire, who has been largely off-stage since his alleged sexual scandals emerged in the press three years ago, was expected to headline the show alongside Grace Chinga, Peter Uyu Mlangeni, Allan Chirwa and other regular performers.
However, the Nkhampenjanga star was nowhere to be seen throughout the show, forcing the organisers to phone him as about 1 300 people in attendance jived in style with Mlaka’s Dzanja Lalemba and Abraham.
In an interview, Great Angels music director Ephraim Zonda said they got in touch with Mkandawire after several efforts.
“In the morning, George told us he was in Ndirande, Blantyre. When we called him this afternoon, he told us he couldn’t make it because he was sick,” said Zonda about the self-styled artist who features on Thamanda in the choir’s new release.
The new Mlaka
The show, which showed the youth are taking over the gospel dancefloor while adults are retreating to the pew, was a spectacular tale of what Mlaka has in store for the godly side of the vibe.
The newly converted top-selling artist kept the youthful audience on its toes and the older generation was all eyes as he unpacked his soft-touch dance antics and vivid intonation that made his biblical allusions no mean hits in the past 15 years.
After his act, award-winning Chinga congratulated him for the promising start and jokingly proclaimed it was time long-timers worked harder.
“I am only here to sing for God, but I am happy that fans and fellow musicians have welcomed me. This is the happiest time of my career,” said Mlaka, who was faulted by critics for turning around at a time his offerings were no longer hot on the market.
He claimed there were no sales or fame attached to his music, saying: “I sing to preach the gospel. Even Michael Jackson had one top-selling album Thriller which made him a star and he did not have to wait for another hit album to make major decisions in his life.”
Mlaka has engaged Ralph Ching’amba and Collen Ali to record his first spiritual album.