Stalking the birth of a city life

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a musical whirlwind brewing in the Capital City and promising to spring strong onto the platform of live band performances.

From Lilongwe’s CCDC residential area, a six-member band is born, answering to the name ‘City Life.’

I had heard about this phenomenon for about two months and news was the outfit holds practice sessions a stonethrow away from where I call home.

It then dutifully followed that Tuesday night this week I wore the cover of darkness and slithered to where the boys meet.

The end of my rope took me to a quiet colony of buildings with a deserted carpark. It took me a minute of sniffing to locate the exact door from which a thread of melody escaped into the cold air of the night.

I pressed my ear against the cold iron door and I was suddenly swept by a stream of lyrical happenings inside. I pressed my ear a little harder for a better grasp of the instruments and vocals.

Oh boy, I should have known! It was at this point the door could no longer take my weight—it flung open inwards and I stumble inside following it.

The music was louder in there than I could have imagined. But my presence brought it to a sudden stop.

Under the dim light of the room, I found an excuse in occupying myself with the music inspired letterings and drawings on the walls.

For a while I was smiling at a group of people who never smiled back. My one step backwards signalled my pressing intention to leave, but the ‘escape’ would not be that easy.

Tikuthandizeni akulu[how may we help you?]’ implored a tall guy seated on a sound-box.

Self-introduction of my love for live music from my other life in a newsroom set up talking terms.

It was when one of the guys recognised me and softened to a greeting. It was vocalist John ‘JJ’ Kutsokwe, the man I knew from my newsroom assignments covering his former outfit, Mibawa Band.

When business resumed under the intense air of skill, and my presence now welcome, I was introduced to band head and lead guitarist Ndawa Nyanda, a network technician with Internet service provider, Skyband.

Anderson Chikwatu, a fresh diploma graduate in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) was marshalling matters on keyboards alongside Goddish Chikoti, a businessperson.

Franklin Makwangwala, a music producer, was on bass and Luciano Phikiso, an entrepreneur, on drums.

Justin their second month together, the band has entertained Cockpit Lounge twice and made a maiden appearance at Chameleon.

With a long road before them, they sing into the quiet night, perfecting their step into people’s hearts.

They play rendition after rendition, across genres and languages. It includes big time reggae cuts, Malawian golden oldies, Nigerian chat toppers, ending with slow jams to cool off from a boiling practice session.

Band Manager, Isaac Dingaliro, says the band is here is to add spice to city life, hence the name.

And for me, I now have an open invitation to see them play the next time they storm a venue!

I cannot wait! n


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