Mtebeti Wambali Mkandawire says he does not organise shows regularly because of the “lukewarm reception” he gets in the country.
The pioneering Malawian jazz artist said this at a fundraising dinner concert in Mzuzu on Saturday where he was the main artist.
Wambali spared five minutes before his 30-minute performance to explain how the international world accepted his album Zani Muwone with awards yet it had a lukewarm reception in Malawi.
He said: “My album Zani Muwone was first launched in Mzuzu then in Blantyre, but the reception was lukewarm. Surprisingly, when I launched it in South Africa the reception was good. I was later on nominated for a Kola Award and won the Sama [South African Music Award].
“People accuse me of not performing in Mzuzu, but it is because of such reception. I want Mzuzu to be a place where if I perform there should be a good reception.”
In an interview later, the jazz maestro denied that this might have frustrated him.
Ironically, Wambali performed five songs to the disappointment of some fans.
He performed Awa Wakutamira Yehova (composed by Sangwani Munthali), Tiwonge Yehova, Chiphokwero, Ndi Njani and Nkhujipereka.
The first four songs were relatively new to the audience as they listened while seated around their dinner tables.
But when he started performing Nkhujipereka the audience that included High Court judge Dingiswayo Madise moved to the dancefloor.
Just when things were heating up, Wambali gave a bow. He declined to give out some more songs despite requests from the visibly unsatisfied patrons.
His performance came after Karonga-based Lusubilo Band entertained the audience during dinner. Tiwonge Hango performed at the end of the event.
The concert was organised by Wezi Medical Centre to raise funds for construction of a specialised medical clinic. The Northern Region does not have a clinic that
offers specialist treatment in non-communicable diseases such as