Likeable veteran musician Paul Banda proved it on Sunday at St Pius Catholic Great Hall in Blantyre that he is an artist who does not struggle to put his fans on their toes.
Just like in the 1990s when he led Alleluya Band, the aging Paul did not disappoint. He belted out songs that left a mark such as Malilime, Mtendere, Chimwemwe, Zonse Nzabwino, Ndakhala Naye, Zikomo Ambuye to the amazement of youths that were not there to see his skill on the guitar.
The Balaka-based veteran, revered as a godfather to many local musicians, Billy Kaunda, McDonald Mlaka Maliro, and Joseph Tembo, who he helped produce their music at his Imbirani Yahweh Studios, received a thunderous ovation when he stepped onto the stage around 6 pm.
Paul, who returned to stage performances recently after a break, shared the stage with his brother, Malawi’s celebrated music great, Lucius, when Archdiocese of Blantyre events committee organised the show that started around 3 pm to fundraise for St Pius Catholic Church.
Norman Kalinga, 17, said in an interview during the show that Paul’s skill on the guitar, combined by good vocals, thrilled him and most of his friends.
“I have watched live performances of most of our local musicians, but what I have witnessed here from Sir Paul Banda, is unique.
“I have been listening to his music, but I have today watched him play them just exactly as I have listened to them,” said the over-joyous fan.
David Saladi, a fan who watched Paul play in 1990s and watched him again last Sunday, said he was excited the musician played the good old songs with much energy than before.
“He has proved to me his worthiness and why people, more than 20 years later, must come to his shows. He is a marvel to watch and his songs, which had a meaning those days, still appeals to this generation in as far as the message is concerned.
“Achimwene muzigona kunyumba, alamu akudandaula, kuweluka kuntchito wakumowa; he sang for the generation of that time in this song, it still appeals to this generation,” Saladi said, but advised the organisers to have done better promotion of the show as patronage was not impressive.
Then came the main act of the day, Lucius, aka Soldier. He set the St Pius Great Hall on fire as he started playing one of his songs from backstage, and walked onto the stage, dancing and singing, receiving a standing ovation.
Lucius mesmerised fans and changed the whole mood as he showed up on the stage with his dancing crew belting out popular songs such as Mukawatule, Mabala, Nabanda, Ali Ndi Njira Zawo, Adzalira, Kupupuluma and Nthawi.
Lucius, who took up the stage from Allan Ngumuya, who was among the stage warmers, said he is always happy to play at St Pius Parish Hall because it reminds him of Pope St John Paul II, who set his foot within the territory of St Pius Parish at Njamba in 1989. n