Jah people, it’s a good habit to confer status on deserving achievers.
This is why folks salute Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander General Henry Odillo with the Commendable Act Medal for ensuring peaceful power transition after president Bingu wa Mutharika’s death last year.
If people should be honoured for doing what they are well-paid for, Odillo deserves his ‘Oscar’ more for displaying singular understanding of his job and decidedly detaching himself from what was not his battle—politics.
Like our elders are spoiled with long-service awards for enduring jobs they should have abandoned decades earlier, the youthful commander should be commended for defending constitutional order in tricky circumstances where the contrary could have profited him and few selfish conspirators more than most Malawians may ever get to understand.
Similar national honours by former late president Bingu wa Mutharika to gifted singer Phungu Joseph Nkasa vividly show why Odillo ‘knighthood’ makes more sense. Thanks to the pro-Mutharika praise and worship hit Mose Walero, Nkasa joined a league of grand national achievers, including musicians Wambali Mkandawire, Saleta Phiri, Allan Namoko, Ethel Kamwendo-Banda and Evison Matafale. Hail him!
Viva Alleluya Band
Despite last week’s take on Soldier Lucius Banda’s detour into politics, the man who has kept us entertained in the past 20 years is a legend. With 17 albums, the Zembani Band owner has changed beats and survived the fall of Balaka Music Empire he co-fashioned with his brother, Alleluya founder Paul.
It is the remnant figure that the Life hitmaker cut in the shadow of Sir Paul, Charles Sinetre, Pat Tung’ande, Foster Chimangafisi, Mattias Amjiba Kalima and other Alleluya ‘legends’ honoured at Alleluya’s 35th anniversary last week. Stagnation buried his contemporaries.
Talking about honours, only credible awards will ‘smoke out’ the messy Gospel Music Awards and other bogus businesses that overrate underachievers with the intention of cashing in on the arts.