Rapidly establishing itself as a centre for live performances, HS Winehouse in Blantyre’s Namiwawa residential estate hosted guitarist and singer, Muhanya, last Friday evening in a show that ended in the early hours of Saturday to the wee hours of the night.
Initially meant to perform as a full band, Muhanya had to improvise with a four-piece set as his lead guitarist excused himself due to personal unforeseen circumstances.
That, however, did not deter Muhanya as he interchangeably weaved around his acoustic guitar, using it as a lead, rhythm and jazz guitar as he began to churn out the tunes.
To whet the patrons’ appetite, Muhanya strummed out Kodi Dzuwa, a soul-shredding composition that opens with a soporific acoustic guitar, scaling through blues and jazz in a ten minute hypnotic trance. The song is a lament from one who has been in the dark for too long and queries when the sun will shine in their life, or at least the glow of the moon.
Stripping songs off his debut album, Nthano Zathu, Muhanya then stepped into the folk world of old Nkhamanga Kingdom, retelling the classic tale of the chief’s daughter who always deemed to shift blame to others for her wrongdoings in the song He! Helide. With a simple transposition of the guitar, Muhanya took the patrons down memory lane as he seamlessly melded Khozga Mwale’s popular hit, Amate.
As Muhanya belted another folktale from the ages, Magombo, some of the revellers took to the floor, nostalgic grins on their faces. Magombo is a song that glorifies yet another adage on Kalulu the Hare’s trickery with the elephant his most recent victim.
“This boy has a different touch,” remarked one patron.
In an interview, Muhanya, who predominantly sings in Chichewa and Chitumbuka, said he had disappeared from the performance scene because he was in the studio, recording his third album.
“I have been practising how to speak through my guitar. I am creating new music. The new album, Failure, is music straight from the pages of my life,” he said, exuding determination and dedication.
In a gracious show of oneness, before bowing out, Muhanya invited to the stage songstress Eunice Mhango of Mizu Band, solo artist Frank Kapesa of MBC TV and music producer Blessings Kachopwa.
Muhanya will be performing again on Saturday at Mibawa Multipurpose Hall which is located along the Limbe-Thyolo Road.