There is mist on the reported initiative to help raise funds for the construction of a house for veteran musician Giddes Chalamanda.
The Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) has stepped in after reports emerged that part of the money well-wishers contributed for the cause mysteriously went missing.
Chalamanda is on record having said he only got K30 000 from the contributions estimated to have exceeded K100 000.
Meanwhile, social media reports indicate the person behind the initiative, Charles Nkhanga, was arrested on Saturday. But when contacted Blantyre Police deputy spokesperson Kelvin Nyirenda could neither deny nor confirm about the arrest.
He said: “There is nothing that we can give out now since we have not concluded our investigations. The moment we have the information ready, we will inform the public.”
On Sunday, MUM members visited the ageing artist at his home in Chiradzulu as part of a fact-finding mission and also to explore ways how they can help the musician.
MUM president Gloria Manong’a said they will not allow their members to be exploited in any way.
She said what happened to Chalamanda offered them insights on what they should be doing to ensure that their vulnerable members are protected.
“We need to put in place procedures that will promote the welfare of artists such as Giddess who have become vulnerable in one way or the other.
“We also caution musicians to be careful when they are approached by strangers to do something.
“Whenever people engage them to do something or invite them to say something, let them consult to avoid being exploited,” said Manong’a.
Also present during the visit on Sunday were Ethel Kamwendo-Banda, Tony Chitimatima, Patience Namadingo and Carol Kadzuwa. The group also donated assorted household items to the veteran artist.
MUM said they are appalled by Chalamanda’s living conditions. Manong’a thanked FDH Bank for their effort in helping the artist after it offered him a K2 million relief package.
She said: “We cannot do this on our own. We need assistance from partners such as FDH Bank. We wish if we had more of such partners.”
Chalamanda hogged the limelight last week when he featured on MIJ FM radion where he appealed for help from well-wishers.
“People should help me now when I am still alive,” he said during the interview.
The interview followed the announcement of FDH Bank’s support. The bank is currently giving Chalamanda a monthly K50 000 upkeep allowance in addition to constructing and stocking up a grocery shop for him.