Out of a teary fortnight


We are just coming out of a sorry fortnight in which death hovered over our heads like an uncompromising cloud, descending on our unsuspecting society and from there making away with lives we cherished.

In this fortnight, about six people in Salawe, Rumphi drowned on their return trip from Easter celebrations.

Yes, it was a ripping fortnight that folded with veteran statesman Robson Chirwa in its wings.

As if that was not enough, to these souls was added that of Abusa Helen Singh, an ambitious woman who contested for presidency in 2014.

And then there was the demise of Kennedy Nkombezi, the Radio DJ that I had known with my heart and soul.He was a young man full of life.

Working for radio stations across his decorated sojourn, he stretched his sinews endlessly, giving artists a strong pedestal from which to explore growth and its associated returns.

I remember Kennedy as a spirited worker who toiled hard for the love of his trade, helping budding musicians find their step in this dog-eat-dog world.

Of the many musicians I know to have had a selfless push from Nkombezi is Dyson Billiat of the MchikumbeWalira fame.

MchikumbeWalira was a farmer’s cry at low market prices for his farm produce. The song had been released amid a loud cry by tobacco farmers at the plummeting prices of the leaf at the country’s auction floors.

Billiat had come as a voice of the voiceless in a society where the tobacco farmer had nowhere to run to.

Billiat was then below 15 but his reasoning was above many heads countless years older.

I was then with Nation Publications Limited, swallowed by mounds of work at the entertainment desk on a busy morning when Nkombezi called.

‘Achimwene pali kajuvenile kenakake kakuswa sound. Kakumenya nyimbo zanzeru. Kameneka kafunika support ndithu.’

[There is a young and brilliant guy playing good music with mature content. He needs help]

We conversed in our usual chatty grind and at the end of it all I had been convinced Nkombezi had a point.

In the next hour, Nkombezi had arranged that I meet Dyson. I interviewed the lad and did a story on his music trajectory.

Soon Dyson was a star. His music and its content appealed to many until the Kaphukas [of Kaphuka Private Secondary School] saw academic potential in the lad.

The Kaphukas fished Dyson from the music stage and led him to class. From here Dyson made it to Chancellor College.

In short, I remember Nkombezi as a cool guy who had an unwavering passion for the people he served.

The biggest befitting wreath we can lay on his grave is to forever remember him as a man who approached his trade with undivided passion.

So, today, I am making time out to relieve the good old days that Nkombezi made with both his voice behind the decks in his DJ tasks or the steps he took with his heart in promoting artists whose road would never have been made with Nkombezi’s push.

Rest well, Kenny. May this world give us another Nkombezi to cherish and look up to.n


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