Malawi is endowed with lawyers with talents, including music and writing. Topping the list of the lawyers with artistic talent are Edgar Kachere and Davis Njobvu who trade as the acoustic duo of Edgar ndi Davis.
But, besides the duo, there are a number of other lawyers in the country doing music.
What makes the duo stand out is the fact that they have taken their music exploits to a commercial level while a number of other legal minds are into music for fun.
One such lawyer is Trouble Kalua.
The 41-year-old is arguably the epitome of art as he is a multi-talented personality with various interests. Other than music, he has recently ventured into acting. He is also into football; both administration and playing.
On Sunday evenings mostly, Kalua popularly known as Thira, enjoys performing at Acres Bar at Gateway Mall. Often clad in tight pants and body suits that accentuate his upper frame, especially the biceps, he is arguably the moving music library of mostly reggae, classics and Old School tunes. From UB40, Greggory Isaacs and Lionel Richie, among others.
Meet him on Monday morning, Kalua is wearing a black suit and neck tie, oftentimes with a robe and wig.
His office is filled with law books and files of cases the Legal Aid Bureau is pursuing on behalf of those who cannot afford a lawyer.
But what drives Thira as he is fondly called?
“I am a firm believer in living a happy life. The arts make me happy, just as much as football does.
“It’s the passion that drives me. As for being a lawyer, well I have no choice there. That’s what I trained in,” says the Lilongwe-based Legal Aid Bureau deputy director.
He did not find himself in art by mistake as his family has always been artistic.
“It’s in the genes. My two elder brothers [one deceased] were always accomplished artists, music, drawing, performing, among others.
“I love music. My brother, Steve Kalua, has always been a constant source of inspiration,” said Kalua.
He said as a young boy, following in the footsteps of his brothers, they had a boy band.
“I was playing rhythm guitar and background vocals. Joseph Tembo was our lead guitarist and singer, Henry Msiska played bass and Brighton Matuta played drums. That was between 1993 and 1995,” he recalls.
Kalua says the band was called The Burning Souls Band.
“We played predominantly at The Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Naperi,” he says
From 2017, he eased back onto the music scene.
Said Kalua: “I got back into music when my brother started performing in Lilongwe. It was really all about helping him at his gigs and having fun.”
Asked why he has not taken music seriously by going into the studio, for example, Kalua says he is still polishing himself.
“I am not at a stage where I can get into the studio yet. I still have a long way to go,” he says.
But in due course he says he will probably record a few tracks. He says his aim is to re-do the music that his dceased brother, Misheck, was doing.
Meanwhile, Kalua says he is happy with the satisfaction music brings in his life.
“I love the performances. The aim is to have fun and so I am satisfied,” he concludes.
Now, Kalua is growing his feet through acting in a television soapie; Spouses and Workmates on Times television.
He is Paulo, a town monger down on his luck. He impregnated a girl decades ago and never took responsibility.
“I’ve just started experimenting with TV acting and I absolutely love it. My close friends were all stage actors. So, I grew up grasping the basics in art,” he says.
In football, Kalua has been there almost continuously for close to 20 years in various roles.
He has served as a member of Tigers FC executive committee, chairperson of the Southern Region Football League, interim vice-general secretary of the Super League of Malawi. He sits on the Sulom disciplinary committee and he is captain of Nyasa United in the Premier Division.
One of Kalua’s fans, Charles Phiri, cannot wait to enjoy the musician’s album.
“Much as I enjoy his performances through cover versions, I would love to have him work on an album so that we can have something originally by Thira,” said Phiri. n