Dying for love

In the song Sindilola, little known artist Chikumbutso Nansanganya expresses love to a girl. He talks of that ‘till death do us part’ cliché. And, sadly, the artist on Sunday October 7, purportedly died for the love of his life and persona in the song: Lonely Manda.

Chikumbutso, according to Blantyre Police deputy spokesperson Dorrah Chathyoka, was pronounced dead at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital after an angry mob at Gayesi in Blantyre hacked him with the panga he used to hack Lonely.

Chikumbutso and Lonely in their happier times

“The two were in a relationship. And apparently, Lonely terminated the relationship since her parents did not approve it,” she said.

According to Chathyoka, the 32-year-old musician went to Lonely’s house on the fateful Sunday, armed with a panga and a toy gun. When he started hacking her, she screamed for help.

Added the police officer: “A mob rushed to the scene and overpowered him. Some mistook the toy gun for a real pistol. They used his very panga and hacked him. He died upon arrival at the hospital. Lonely was equally in a critical condition and had to be put on life support.”

She said a post-mortem is yet to be released.

A note found in Chikumbutso’s pockets, which we have seen, reads in part:

Love is a beautiful thing when you are together

‘Sindilola’ is the last song I will sing on earth. Now I am gone but the song will live forever. I have done this because she promised never to leave me alone.

And in Sindilola, the artist sings: Mkaziyo, musamkakamize kumukonda/Yemwe iye sanamkonde/Iyeyo anakonda ineyo/Lonely, Lonely, iweyoooo/Iwe ndi ine mpaka kumanda/Sindilolaaaaa!/Chondigwera chindigwere

(Don’t force her to love someone she doesn’t love. She loves me. Lonely, till death do us part. I won’t relent, come what may.)

Ironically, a line in the song, which was recorded at White Horse Records, goes: Lonely, udzakhala lonely.

According to Chikumbutso’s uncle, Donnex Chisale, he was buried at Wasi Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabuka’s area in Mulanje and his death surprised the family.

“He was my sister’s son and this really came as a surprise. He recorded so many songs. His death was just too sudden for us to understand,” he said.

One of Malawi’s top musicians, Lucius Banda was once in love with a girl. But her parents did not approve of it because he was poor.

Right there, Lucius composed a song: Son of a Poor Man. Five years later, the song was on Lucius’ first album, Mabala.

“It was hard to come to terms with the situation but I was mature enough to control myself. I knew my poverty was temporary.

“Today, I see the girl’s mother by the wayside, selling malambe juice. The point is, going to extremes, not only for musicians but everyone else does not help,” says Lucius.

While saying parents sometimes try to protect their children from getting married to criminals, he adds that issues of love are not for parents to dig their noses deeply.

Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango said the death is shocking, but described it as an eye-opener for society to scrutinise artists’ lyrics.

“It is sad. Musicians mostly bring out what is really happening around them. It is up to us to really check what musicians are singing. This happens all over the world,” he said.

According to Mhango, artists need to have therapy to heal their innermost pains.

“The death is regrettable. Young people, including musicians are going through a lot of strains psychologically. We need to be talking to them. We need more clinical psychologists to avoid things like these,” he said.

Efforts to talk to Lonely’s uncle proved futile as his phone was beyond reach but a source said after releasing Sindilola, Chikumbutso spread it around Mbayani. “For that, the parents reported to police. They disproved of the marriage because he broke up with his wife,” said the source.

Chikumbutso hailed from Wasi Village, while Lonely, 23, hails from Chamawoya Village, T/A Kabunduli in Nkhata Bay.

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