Like in football, musicians’ work distinguishes stars from the rest. Even if Sonyenzo Kandoje, who is popularly known as Sonye, remains silent and a disco joker(DJ) goes ahead playing his Tsika hit, one would hardly need to inquire more than wondering whether that is Malawian talent. The hit is like a national anthem for fun lovers, and while some musicians come and go like wind, Sonye’s success in music is unquestionable and can well be described through a rising graph.
From 2010, when he released his first solo single Mr. Captain, the Namiwawa resident has never flawed. Press the refresher button and sing Tabwera, Kwacha, Konko and Katsabola also known as Piri-Piri singles, which somehow describe the kind of a person he is. Take an effort to meet him and you will appreciate what I saw when I interacted with him—he is friendly and treasures to see people in happy mood—a tone that also dominates in his productions.
Let us sample “Tsika, tsika msungwana tsika tsika msungwana tsika…,” then “Tsika msungwana itukule itukule itukule itukule…,” there is nothing more anyone can do in reacting to the vibe than shaking a muscle or two in delight. This is what Sonye, last born in a family of five would tell you as the purpose of his singing, thus to create fun and happy moments for music lovers.
Contrary to stories that have been making rounds that Sonye does music against his parent’s wish, he insists the opposite is true. He adds that he takes music serious because it clears his mind and makes him happy when the chips are down.
“My decision to go off the stage at a time my music was most popular was not influenced by anyone. I decided to get further education regarding to where I’m going and what I will be dealing with in future.
“My studio was still operating even when I was in school and I kept myself away from music even during holidays,” he says, stressing that he is passionate about music.
Born on June 4 1990 in Blantyre, Sonye, who holds an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Advanced Diploma in Business Accounting and now studying ACCA professional level, wears three faces—a musician, a producer and an entrepreneur. He runs an advertising firm that produces radio and TV adverts, graphic designing and branding of promotional materials, among others.
Sonye’s elder sister Ellen Kandoje-Katimba describes him as friendly and sociable.
“He is a good and humble person. Get me right on that one. I am not saying this because he is my brother. Sonye is smart and does things at the right time. We are proud of him because he knows what he is to the family,” explains Kandoje-Katimba.
During his free time, Sonye, a member of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) likes exploring new music, watching television and reading books. If you want to host him, give him any food, but remember that he is not a fan of nsima. He does not like being taken for granted. He also easily gets irritated by rumour mongers. As a person, he does not like talking about his success.
The former Elma High School student is still single, but in a relationship. He has more to achieve and says: “l see so much potential in me. Fifty years from now, I want to be remembered as one of the musicians that introduced Malawian music on the international stage. I plan to grow my company while I am still young. I am on track and I am praying to stay focused.”
Sonye comes from Sosola Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Nsamala in Balaka.