For about 15 minutes, ‘Soldier’ Lucius Banda did not have to worry about deploying dancers for his Thank You album launch in Mzuzu on Friday night.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Mzimba West Harry Mkandawire was readily available to provide the much needed entertainment on a night persistent blackouts nearly ruined the show.
Mkandawire danced on stage to Lucius’ Mzimu wa Gadama much to the excitement of fans who thronged the stage to have a better view of the proceedings.
Soon, Mkandawire, a veteran politician, stole the attention as the patrons cheered: “Harry! Harry! Harry!” in reaction to his rare dance moves that left most of the audience in ecstasy.
Unperturbed by such a reception, Mkandawire grabbed the microphone only to say: “We love you Lucius. You are the icon of music in this country. Keep it up.”
Mkandawire was then joined by one of his friends Julius Mithi and two other colleagues in dancing.
In an interview, Mkandawire said his dance on stage was a gesture of solidarity.
“As a friend and a fellow MP, I decided to come and support his album launch,” said Mkandawire.
He said Lucius, who is also Balaka North MP, is an icon of liberation songs in the country whose legacy needs to be preserved.
“Lucius is an icon of this country. He is somebody that we will never forget. In my time, [American musician] Bob Dylan sung liberation songs. The same is with Lucius Banda. He is an icon of liberation songs,” he said.
In reaction, Lucius, who has been in the music industry for 30 years, said he felt honoured by Mkandawire’s gesture.
“It takes great people to recognise great people. As a great a politician himself, that is why he is able to appreciate the impact of my songs. I don’t take it for granted,” Lucius said.
If it was not for Mkandawire to turn up on stage, the story would have been different as Lucius braved blackouts to launch his 18th album.
The show started late around 10pm with a sizeable audience due to a blackout.
A generator on standby was not enough to power the equipment for the show scheduled to start at 8.30pm.
As a result, patrons were spotted leaving the venue for nearest drinking joints to pass time for the electricity to return.
Zembani Band’s Sam Simakweli curtain raised the show for Lucius who came on stage at midnight. Just after performing a single song, another blackout interrupted proceedings.
Although the electricity returned after 30 minutes, patrons’ mood for party was dampened only for Mkandawire to bring them back on their feet after his dance antics.
Lucius performed for about two hours. Musician of the moment Nepman and Lulu performed afterwards.