It is exactly 10:30 am at Andrew Matrauza’s parents’ home in Naperi, Blantyre.
Sombre expressions wearing on their faces, the musician’s parents, brothers, sisters and relatives are locked in a discussion on the way forward on the funeral programme of their departed beloved son and brother.
Matrauza, the musician behind the number one song Musadabwe, breathed his last in the wee hours on Thursday at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre after a long illness.
Looking disturbed, his aged father Joseph Matrauza, walked around the compound of his house to welcome mourners arriving for his son’s funeral vigil.
With a pleasant personality, he goes on to provide a full programme of the funeral.
“We will ferry the remains of Andrew to Ndawawa Village, T/A Chikowi in Zomba this afternoon where his body will be laid to rest tomorrow [today]. What a big loss!” says Matrauza senior.
Born on May 30 1978, Andrew is survived by a wife and two children. His first born son is in Form Four while the younger one is in Standard Six.
His father described his late son as a ‘smart boy’ who was always friendly and in touch with people, including his parents.
“He was my smart boy in the sense that he was loving and caring. He loved talking to people. And that’s how I raised my children. They should love people and interact with them because this is a global village where we rely on one another,” he said.
He said some years ago, his late son relocated to Durban, South Africa, where he was working, only to return this year in bad health. He was staying at his matrimonial home in Bangwe.
“When he notified us about his sickness, we suggested that he comes home so that we monitor him. While here, he was admitted to Chiradzulu District Hospital for a month. But it was last Sunday when he was admitted again at QECH and we lost him today [Thursday],” said Matrauza senior.
He said Andrew’s death is a big blow to the family.
Meanwhile musicians have paid tribute to Matrauza, who was fond of singing celebratory songs. The musician rocked the local music industry in early 2000.
His videos were among the earliest to be beamed on Television Malawi soon after its inception in 1999.
Joseph Tembo was Matrauza’s closest friend and said he was at loss of words.
“This is one of those deaths you hardly believe considering that it is a best friend who has gone. It is hard to believe and I just don’t know what to say,” said Tembo.
Artistically, Tembo said the music fraternity will miss Matrauza because of his specialised touch of music.
“If you have noticed, Matrauza had own style of music which was appealing to a specific audience, especially to do with weddings. He was creative in such a way that he built a fan base of his specific music,” said Tembo.
Producer Elvis Ching’oma said Matrauza will be missed both as musician and friend.