Do you remember that date, March 21 1991, when Rasta Wazza shared the stage with the world’s reggae greats in Namibia? If not, here is the reminder.
It was an Independence Day Anniversary Celebrations that pulled together Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley, Burning Spear, Lucky Dube and South Africa’s Afro-pop star Brenda Fassie.
Sharing the stage with the celebrated Bob Marley’s wife and son, Rita and Ziggy, is not the only reason that makes Rasta Wazza a legend.
There is more to him than meets the eye.
“I am the man, the music and the word,” says Ras Wazza, who rebranded to Jah Wazza in 2004 after turning to God as a born again Christian.
He started his music at a tender age at Mandala in Blantyre.
He was sharpening up his vocal cords in a garage with friends to become one of the finest vocalists for various bands in the country.
He was doing the trainings with two Malawians and three Zambians.
After the trainings, he moved to Young Generation and, thereafter, to Hot Fingers which was based at Nyambadwe.
“My stints with these bands gave me enough experience to audition for MBC Band as a vocalist. By then, the band had no keyboardist and they could only hire me as such. But with time I ended up playing bass guitar and could do vocals as well,” he says.
Wazza recalls how MBC Band, formed by Kapote Mwakasungula, Mjura Mkandawire and Wyndham Chechamba in 1973, had become famous to the extent of touring various nations for music performances.
“We released a reggae hit Anthu ndi Ovuta, and in 1991 we were the best band on the land such that we started performing internationally,” he says.
Wazza also had stints with Makasu Band and Kaligo Melodies before going solo to release his first album Khwangwala wa Mantha. He went on to release other albums Mtima Wanji, Mbiri, Jealous and Unshackled before he got born-again in 2004 to release his first gospel album Turning Point.
Now based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wazza is back with his second gospel album, Jenah, after a 10-year break.
He says it is a 10-track album with reggae and jazz feel.
“I have finished recording the album after 10 years of silence. It will be on the market soon.
“The album calls on Christians to live a life of praise and worship, love and care for each other in the world we are living.
“There is a song Chitsime which has the character named Jenah. That is where the title of the album is coming from,” he says.
Apart from music, Wazza is a pastor who is currently studying for theology at Impact Bible College in the USA.
“I am not just a musician. I am also a pastor. The man, the music and the word! I combine sound and power for the glory of God.
“My fans should keep on hoping and working hard and believe in God,” he says.
Wazza ministers as a guest preacher in work places and churches. He, however, says he is planning of venturing into full time ministry.