Bubu was not lazy

Due to competing priorities, I had no time enough to drop this entry last Friday much to the dismay of my dear landlord Wabweka James Chavula. He could not help it, but lashed out at me when he got himself a copy of last week’s publication while in Mzuzu for World Press Freedom Day celebrations.

Despite renting me this space, he is one person who has maintained primary interest on what goes on in this plot. So he is constantly looking over, offering advice where due and patting my back where things sound good.

It was, therefore, a relief when on Wednesday, when I went to drop this entry on his desk. He still greeted me with his usual welcoming smile. The anger he showed in Mzuzu had probably been placated by the award he won during the Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi awards gala on Saturday night. I knew then we were square.

So, congratulations, not only to him, but to the whole Nation Publications Limited (NPL) family for once again being named the print media as well as electronic (online) media house of the year and to all those who won individual awards. We just did it again!

However, the entry today is about a creative genius which lived in Cliff Kaunda better known in the music circles as Bubu Lazy which we lost over a week ago in the United States where he was currently based.

I hope today is not a week too late for me to pay tribute to a man whose life was artistically well lived. From the humble townships of Mzuzu City in and around 1993 came to life a group of young boys calling themselves Boyz Lazzy.

The Boyz Lazzy, comprising Kaunda himself, Jeff Kayira, Dalitso Mumba, Wesley Thindwa and Yohane Chibaya, came on the scene with a totally knew sound altogether. Their dressing and hairstyles brought a real American feel which reflected on the rap/hip-hop/ragga music touch they did.

It was a group which saw life according to their tastes at the time and dared to tread in a path that no-one before hard trod on. During that time, it was easy for anyone who had music ambitions to go and try out the Balaka-influenced reggae vibes which were already popular in the country. 

But they had other ideas and they knew who their target audience was. They were young and to them it meant nothing to attempt to excite the interests of old timers who for goodness sake were to question their sense of dressing.

And they concentrated their performances in secondary schools. It was with little wonder that with the aid of their hits such as Macburry, they soon became an instant hit among the youth in the country.

Their reward was soon to come when Unicef engaged them on a year-long deal to help spread HIV and Aids related messages at the time. The youths, who mainly had been dismissed on face value, were called to a noble cause and artistically they were leaving their dream.

Fast-forward years later, the pressures which come with growing up forced the group to disintegrate as some of the members crossed the boarders in search of a better life. At some time, Kaunda teamed up with Kayira but it was never like the same old Boyz Lazzy feel and it did not last for long.

Still the passion was too much in Kaunda and he came again now on a solo tip to establish the Bubu Lazy brand. He dropped several albums which carried smash hits such as Goletsa Malawi and Banja Ndalephera, among others.

In one of my chats with veteran radio personality Patrick Kamkwatira immediately after news of his death had filtered in, he described Bubu’s passing as a major loss to the local artistic world.

“He was a futuristic artist because some of the trends making waves in local music were tried and tested by Bubu way back. Maybe the current crop can learn from him the importance of creating yourself a niche and sticking to it,” he said.

Bubu came, saw and conquered! While he is no longer here with us, but the gift of music which he shared with the world will be with us forever. The artistic prowess that lay in Bubu was never lazy! n

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