It was a Black Missionaries show as usual, but when he took up the microphone to add colour to the Chileka group’s performance, keyboardist Chizondi Fumulani spat fire at critics of the band who have gone to town following the release of four singles off the band’s Kuimba 10 album.
The band released Sikwathu, Tidzingocheza, Mudzaweluze and Sindingakwanitse, produced by Amos Mlolowa at his Active A Studio, a departure from their traditional producer Ralph Ching’amba, who is now based in South Africa.
Following the release of songs last week, social media has been awash with comments contending that the songs are below par.
Some critics said the compositions cannot match the skill of founder Evison Matafale and Musamude Fumulani who took the mantle from the former.
But on Saturday night in a jive to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Premier Lodge, Chizondi took time off the Mwala Wokanidwa lyrics to speak his mind.
“You [critics] say the Blacks are no better than Evison and Musamude. Do you want Evison to resurrect? Do you want Musamude to rise from the dead? Do you want somebody else to die? Instead of appreciating the talent of those still alive, you always want to compare with those who are gone,” said Chizondi.
Apart from performing songs from their previous albums, the band also performed the new songs. It was, however, Tizingocheza that stole the night as it had to be performed four times by public demand.
Since the singles were released, there has been mixed reactions from Malawi music followers with some saying the Chileka group is headed for the trashcan with others saying they found the songs up to scratch.
On her Facebook page one avid follower noted: “Koma bandiyi yangotsala dzina lokha. Listening to their songs, there is nothing you get. The compositions are not up to our expectation of the band.”
Another follower described the music as ‘rubbish’ with another saying it was trash.
Yet, another Blantyre based follower simply put it: “Just got my hands on the two new Blacks songs. They are on repeat now. Kaya bwana andichotsa ntchito chifukwa chokomedwa ndi nyimbozi sindingadandaule.”
And another comment on Facebook simply went: “You can’t judge good music just by listening to it once. Take your time to listen to the music and appreciate it.”