A note for Lulu

When guitar maestro Lulu started out on his music journey close to two decades ago flagging his Magwilagwila tune, one could easily dismiss him as just one of those wannabes.

His presentation in this song, which was dominantly R ‘n’ B swiftly threw him in the category of those pretenders who for lack of better things to do or powered by extra monetary resources they cannot put to better use, choose to go into the studio and imitate the likes of Usher Raymond.

Not many people thought that come today, Lulu would still be associated with the music art in Malawi. Many of his types come every day and they disappear from the scene as fast as they say Hello! No one had an idea that he was made of something different, that he was not just being powered by youthful ambitions, but he was a real gem which only required some polishing.

What was to follow since that maiden single, is a musical and artistic transformation which saw him drop the boy tag to become a man on his own. Those who have followed his career path will bear witness to the evolution he has undergone since. One which is still in the process.

Hits such as Mbambande, Tsogolo Ndilowala and Kumalembe followed. In the sequence, his productions have all shown the maturity and development he has gained. In the process, he has won over many hearts who initially could not dare a K10 bet for him.

He has shown the world that his artistic prowess is broader than what people thought of him. He can compose good songs, he is a known producer, blessed with exceptional vocal abilities and when it comes to live performances, he is one of the best in the country.

Away from winning the admiration of many music fans in the country, to underline his finesse, Lulu has also earned the respect of his peers in the trade. It is not every day that a seasoned artist in the name of Lucius Banda would trust anybody to produce their songs.

But Lulu has enjoyed such a privilege and their combination did not disappoint. There is no disputing that he has talent. If you can show it over and over again then you have it. If it is once off, then it is a fluke.

However, Lulu’s promising career is faced with a big doubt. Most individuals who have had the chance to work or interact with this guitar wizard have all come to appreciate and register their disappointment on the apparent disorganisation of his conduct.

They have all wondered what could have come out of him if he was better organised. With all his talent Malawi would have had a global music star to be spoken in the same breath with names such as the Davidos and Technos of this world. Yes, the lad has the potential to scale such heights.

What scares most people who love his music is if that element should eventually lead to an early end of his promising career like other artists before him. Artists who equally had potential but let it all spill under their feet because of lack of focus.

I will not talk about Thomas Chibade, Dunstain Kapitapita, George Mkandawire and others here today because this note is not about them. This space is about Lulu whom it would hate if his career were to replicate the fortunes of the afore-mentioned.

He still has it within his grasp. He needs to come to an acceptance that he lacks the ability to ably steer his career ship and get on board someone who will help him stay on the straight and narrow. He needs someone who will remind him of his massive potential every day and what he can achieve with it.

He needs someone who will put it honestly to him that if he will not get some things right, all his talent will go to waste. He needs a strong voice which will whip him in line every time he strays. Lulu needs to find a manager who will help save him from himself. n

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