Good people, Culture’s concerts in Blantyre and Lilongwe were a thrilling reggae experience.
It appears patrons got what they wanted.
Even those who wished the legendary Joseph Hill suddenly rose from the dead needed not look further than his son Kenyatta to know Culture lives.
Stop gazing in the distance for something that is already right in your midst. Do not yearn for unattainable things, learn to appreciate what meets the eye more and more.
In Kenyatta Hill his famous father lives on.
The doubted wonder of Jamaica’s reggae tradition is endowed with his dad’s voice, boundless talent, hoarse energy, limitless loyalty to fans, end-to-end jam and love for his family. True legend.
Bravo Lucius Banda and Impakt Events for yet another fulfilling outing.
While we are at it, Reggae songbird Queen Afrika did a good job linking the reggae-loving audience with the proceedings.
There was no moment to dose off.
She always and astutely ensured everyone was feeling irie?
From the start, when Chizondi Fumulani opened the show, I heard people (not excluding myself) murmuring: “What a darling, where did they dig her from?”
The director of ceremonies had the garbs, language, chants and mood perfectly befitting the occasion.
A match made in heaven it was.
If only rapper Blakjak did not ‘gatecrash’.
When the hip hop star appeared on stage to co-direct the reggae affair, it was worrying.
This is the Wadya Iwe hitmaker whose tongue easily veers towards moral minimalism to give you a sumptuous barrage of perceived obscenities.
As it were, he rapped a bit of Mbale Wanga Mavu, a whiff that did not make much sense to roots-loving pilgrims at Culture’s maiden show in the Warm Heart of Africa.
And the rap he played was obviously not good for total and bit-part Rastas. He sang alone. No one sang along.
He was not supposed to be doing his largely unknown things on the same space where an international reggae band of Culture’s stature would perform.
But the worst moment for the mis-deployed rapper came just when he realised what a waste of time he had become and decided to remind the audience (as if they had forgotten anyway) that they were in the house for Culture.
Good people, he rapped a bit more and roared to the people to sing aloud and make some noise for the band which sung “Christopher Colombooooo!!”
Yet the song he mimicked and chorused was not Culture’s Christopher Columbus.
Rather, it was a rendition of Burning Spear in which he chides Spanish explorer Columbus as “a damn blasted liar” for saying he was the one who discovered America.
And Blakjak was to Culture’s show what Skeffa Chimoto was to become when he was booked to curtain-raise a Dru Hill show in Lilongwe–a misfit, some oil in water.
Both Blakjak and Skeffa are undoubtedly talented.
But they were simply out of place.
The rapper’s goof evoked memories of one windswept day in July 2015 when Patricia Kaliati, then Minister of Gender, Disability, Social welfare and Children Affairs, welcomed world tennis star Roger Federer in Lilongwe and kept referring to him as “a well-known golf champion”.
She had in mind drunken golf ace Tiger Woods and she did not do her homework well in advance to avoid that embarrassing slip of the tongue.
So did I feel about Blakjak.
I heard someone ask: where did they dig him up?
And it was for all bad reasons.
Not everyone with a mouth and 32 teeth can direct your prized ceremony.
If only well-known people knew when to turn down unwarranted invitations as did Kenyatta when some drunks were pestering him to perform accappella at Blue Elephant last week Wednesday! n