On a day like this 14 years ago, Malawi music industry was dealt a heavy blow following the sudden death of dancehall musician Vic Marley in a tragic road accident in Blantyre.
Born Victor Kunje, the artist rose to fame with his out-of-the-box lyrical presentation, his unique dancehall touch and freestyle. His smash hits Ndikadzamwalira and Traffic Police earned him a status in the eyes of many, who admired his artistic prowess during a career which spanned a shorter period than many would have wished.
His music covered various topics from nationalism in Idah to religion in Malilime and Ndidzaimbira wa Mwambamwamba. Beats such as Chidikhodikho, in which he features Annie Matumbi, are some of his great projects.
Some artists have come on the scene, tried to copy his style, but the results of their misplaced efforts have been disastrous, to say the least. Now, the world can only look back at the talent that was prematurely plucked away from the music lovers.
Yamikani Buliyani, one of the artist’s closest friend and vocalist recounts the events that pushed Vic Marley to stardom.
“He went into the studio without any prepared script, but you would always be taken aback with how the sense flowed in his lyrics. He was simply amazing,” he said.
Musically, Vic Marley was famed for his potent collaborations with artistic close ally Anne Matumbi. Their combination in Chidikhodikho is one of the greatest music collaborations.
Matumbi reserves nothing, but utter respect for the fallen star.
“His hard work and dedication was beyond match. He knew when it was time to work and time to relax. That is why, during his career that lasted a very short period, he left a mark.”
Vic Marley’s sister Catherine Kunje said they hold prayers every year to remember the fallen artist.
“We know the country celebrates his life since he was a public figure and we are humbled by that,” she said.
Vic Marley was born on October 5 1980. He is survived by a wife and son Vic Kunje Jnr.
Meanwhile, Matumbi and Star Marley are mobilising resources to hold a Vic Marley memorial show in Lilongwe next month. n