Weird as the idea first sounded, musician Patience Namadingo yesterday rose as a statue as part of his fundraising drive in aid of fellow artist William Kachigamba.
Namadingo announced that he would pose as a statue from 10am at the site proposed for the disputed Mahatma Gandhi statue in Blantyre near Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital roundabout.
But by 10am, the artist was yet to get an authorisation letter from Blantyre City Council (BCC) for his fundraiser.
After a long wait, however, BCC granted the authorisation and a few minutes before 1pm Namadingo had taken his spot on top of the structure targetting to raise K3 million to enable Kachigamba seek medical attention in Zambia.
Moments before climbing up the structure he said: “Kachigamba is living with albinism and also suffering from cancer which affected his upper lip. He has hope that he will be well because he was told that there is a cancer centre in Zambia which deals with such issues.
“He needs K3 million which he doesn’t have at the moment. Despite being a musician, he is also a diehard fan of my music and when I saw his video clip appealing for help I was moved. Though I did not have the money, I thought I can create an idea to raise that money.”
The artist said he will not leave the place until the money is raised.
In a separate interview BCC spokesperson Anthony Kasunda said normally the council allocates a period of two weeks to attend to and decide on such type of requests.
He said given that they only received the request last Thursday, they have done reasonably well.
Namadingo was joined on site by his manager Peter Mazunda, members of the Namartists label and fellow players in the art sector, including event manager Wisdom Phanga who came to offer the artist moral support for the cause.
Phanga said: “If there is one thing that hinders progress in the art industry, it is support both from within and outside. Namadingo is using his influence as an artist and I am sure he is capable of raising that amount.”
By the time we went to press, close to K1.5 million had been raise, according to Mazunda.