It has been a music tale that has lasted 20 years and on Friday Black Missionaries unveiled a 12th package in their Kuimba series.
Since its formation by founder the late Evison Matafale in 2001, the reggae band hardly needs any introduction. Their performances attract massive patronage and their music has enjoyed good followership.
But during the latest album launch at Robin’s Park in Blantyre on Friday night, the Chileka-based group did not enjoy the love that they have been accustomed to. The picture was a stark contrast from what it was three years ago when they launched Kuimba 11.
As the evening set in, indications were clear that it was going to be a slow night. Around the venue, life was in patches as people slowly trickled in small pockets.
All the same, the business of the night proceeded and the sizeable patronage was anxious to have a feel of what is on offer in the new album.
One could hardly find fault in the manner in which Ma Blacks introduced their new album to the world. The delivery of their sound was near perfect and the group proved that they are masters when it comes to live stage performances.
The group’s front man Anjiru Fumulani had the honour of ushering in the new album and the introduction was courtesy of songs such as Sadziwa, Wachikondi, The Righteous, Ndikanapanda and others.
Despite the fact the songs were being played for the first time, the patrons easily warmed up to them.
The composition and delivery of Kuimba 12 the traditional Black Missionaries reggae beat and even the themes are strewn along the lines of love, social ills and the Rastafari teachings. It is something that their fans have heard of before.
Producer of the album Amos Mulolowa was among those in the audience and he said he was convinced that people will enjoy the latest offering from Chileka.
“We did a thorough job. This album is an upgrade of the previous one. No doubt about that one,” he said.
Starring lead guitarist Marko Kamba, bassist Peter Amidu, Chizondi Fumulani on the keyboard and backing vocalist Yanjanani Chumbu, the group had patrons on the dance floor for almost three hours and their performance was punctuated by auctioning of their first CDs.
The appearance by Black Missionaries was sandwiched by performances from support acts such as Piksy and his Langwani Movement Band, Lambani Dube, Anthony Makondetsa, Chumbu and Khonzie Masimbe.
After the launch in Blantyre, the group unveiled Kuimba 12 before their Lilongwe fans at Glalle Gardens in Area 49 on Saturday evening. In the capital city, the situation was a direct opposite of the Blantyre outcome.
Every space of the Glalle Gardens arena was filled as people crammed to have the first experience of the new album. To spice it up, guest of honour at the event Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda bought the CD at K700 000.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo bought her copy at K500 000 while Minister of Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo, who was also in attendance, bought his at K400 000.
The Lilongwe launch was supported by Lucius Banda and his Zembani Band and guitar ace Lulu.