Good people, President Peter Mutharika is not a musician.
His recent attempt at what musicians do best was somewhat miserable.
Local politics has mothered numerous hits ranging from those criticising failed regimes to praise and worship numbers commissioned by noteworthy political flops.
But Mutharika would not keep the microphone for a minute at Britain’s Pop Idols or our own E-Wallet.
The President was hugely off tune when he belted his favourite Lhomwe tune at a rally in Mulanje.
Disabuse yourself of the misconception that we are all musicians by birth.
Ordinarily, the President’s tune is nothing to write home about.
It wells like a crude idea that would have been turned into a song if he had the right vocals.
So we shall not call it a song because all we got was some scratchy din that brought to mind memories of extra-slow, abrasive sounds that radio receivers produce when batteries run dry.
Where we grew up, no amount of flat Sun and Berec batteries could salvage the sounds of power-starved Xericos.
But even the dim of the country’s on-off power was not the reason our TVs brought to our homes the groan and roar of a president trying too hard to churn out what was supposed to be his best childhood song.
When APM said he was going to sing a song, some hearers thought the moment had arrived when he was going to add his voice to a growing body of president’s songs.
On this playlist are Mbumba songs to which founding president Kamuzu Banda used to sing along. Remember Inde Inde Yaya Ngwazi and Tazamumwemwetera Pakuvilonga.
Remember old Kamuzu summoning his energy, descending the podium, waving his fly mystic whisk and singing aloud as he gyrated to the harmonious vocals and drumbeats of his women league.
The latest and most memorable musical act by a president was Bingu wa Mutharika’s Tiyende Pamodzi ndi Mtima Umodzi.
Those who were around when one Webster Thom was Bingu, not Daniel Phiri, will remember the song which went viral long before it got modernised and recorded by Sendeza Group, the women guild of his ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
To say the least, Tiyende Pamodzi was a hit. This is the song to which we danced and sang along every time we heard it being replayed by radio stations, club deejays, domestic CD-putters and drivers of all manner.
Given the performance that President Mutharika’s staged in Mulanje, it is not surprising that not even Malawi Broadcasting Corporation—which has willingly degenerated into Mutharika Broadcasting Corporation—has not replayed the President’s song as it does with most of his ‘grand’ offerings.
So far, what is certain is that this song will not make the charts and playlists of even the most politically biased music selectors.
But technology offers us the ease to grab our chances. The President may reconsider redoing that childhood song of his in a digital studio where a limitless number of retakes will allow him to get away with his mistakes just like that.
Just in case the principal occupant at State House does not know how to go about this, he will do himself some good by roping in Tay Grin whose touch keeps turning stale folk songs, Chipapa and Pamchenga, into dynamite.
We, who owe our appreciation of music to lunchtime classes we got at Ukwe, Chamama, Makande and Vinthukutu primary schools, find it utterly impolite to advise our great leader, Joseph Nkasa’s new Joshua, to retake his ‘do ti la sofa mi re do’ lessons which our friends in first-class academies got before they shed their milk teeth.n