Jah people, the country has had enough jazz asking servants of the world to be honest with themselves.
This is why only exemplars of good conduct are saluted in our entertainment, arts and cultural talk.
However, this restraint snaps every time Calvary Family Church Television (CFCTv) credits to Bishop Joseph Manguluti a Chichewa song that strikingly resembles Dumelang by Botswana’s Makhirikhiri.
Yes, Dumelang. Good morning!
Named after faces of promiscuity, Shumba Ratshega and Makhirikhiri came, toured the country and conquered. Not once, but three times.
But it appears the Tswana dance troupe, famed for seductive leather garbs and hip wriggling, have left us with food for thought at a time we should be disengaging and growing Malawian music which is being defaced by needless imitations of foreign hits.
The airing of Manguluti’s Fanana on CFCTV leaves me wondering what happened to broadcasters’ role as gatekeepers separating the real deal from suspicious music.
With the influx of radio and TV stations, it appears gone are the days broadcasting houses used to insist on playing quality productions and condemning raw deals to the bin.
Just last year, the State-owned MBC and All For Jesus Tv were airing Chipiliro Mwancheka’s Ndibwera, that infamous mimic of Dumelang that saw the rookie being nicknamed Ndirande-based Makhirikhiri.
Malawians can do without another Makhirikhiri—a spiritual singer in a bishop’s mitre who ought to represent the virtue of honesty and originality just when the so-called Malawian gospel beat is being defiled by a tendency of peppering imitations of South Africa’s religious music with shoddy vernacular lyrics.
Bishop Manguluti may take the gospel to the ends of the world by redoing a popular secular hit, but this is vanity—intellectual theft. Without permission from the rightful copyright holder, Fanana is like preaching using a holy book procured by way of theft.
It can land one under fire. Ask Joseph Tembo who made Mbuje out of a little-known Botswana song!
When will we stop persuading Botswana artists to start treating us like Ghanaians are frothing at how P-Square hijacked their Azonto vibe to form Alingo?