When we talk about reggae music in Malawi, the name which quickly rings a bell is the Black Missionaries Band.
And certainly, some will mention Anthony Makondetsa, Limbani Banda alias Lambanie Dube, and others.
Perhaps, a majority of people will mention male artists only because the genre is dominated by them. Additionally, it is male reggae artists who hold live performances mostly.
But while some think that reggae is all about male artists, there is a rise of female artists who are defying the odds and breaking the male-dominated industry and make an enviable impression.
Apart from releasing mesmeric reggae vibes, the female artists have also a track record of commanding respect on big stages, delivering robust live performances in the process.
Sangie, Queen Fyah, Tamanyawaka and a new entrant Seniorita are some of the women reggae artists who are committing themselves to the genre.
Other female reggae artists who have made a name for themselves include Slyvia Chabwera aka Sylc and reggae dancehall Queen Bianca who has performed at many live concerts including Sand Music Festival.
Producer Sispense hailed female reggae artists for their great zeal for the genre.
“They are doing amazing work. And their songs are powerful,” he said.
Sangie who is popular for singles like ‘Ndangozizidwa’, ‘I do It For Love’ and ‘Mayi Wangwiro’ said this year marks her 10th year doing reggae.
She described reggae as an interesting genre which she feels comfortable to express herself in.
“Ever since I started my music career, which has clocked 10 years this year. I didn’t like it in the first place. I just got to love it along the way.
“But it is an interesting genre which I have fallen in love with because I can express myself well on it,” said Sangie.
She described reggae as both challenging and therapeutic at the same time.
“One thing I like about reggae is that it gets one thinking outside the box. At the same time, it feels great to challenge the genre which is dominated by male artists. After all, women can do and achieve anything just like their male counterparts,” said Sangie.
Queen Fyah is another talented reggae female musician in Malawi who has embraced the genre for over 10 years again.
Fondly called the Queen of Reggae, Queen Fyah has performed at big stages as well, including the Lilongwe Music Festival (LiFEST) held last year at Lilongwe Golf Club. She shared the stage with one of her favourite reggae artists, Chris Martin from Jamaica.
“This was one of my greatest moments because I had shared the stage with Chris Martin,” said Queen Fyah.
Apart from releasing vibrant reggae tunes like Munthu and Never Lose My Way, Queen Fyah was recently featured on an international riddim titled Rasta Riddim Vol. 1 by Yutman Records.
Tonderai Jai Banda, who is events organizer and director of Entertainers Promotions described female reggae artists as rare performers who light up the industry.
“First and foremost, female reggae artists should be parted on the shoulders for braving the male-dominated genre and bringing a difference to the taste of reggae. They are a yummy spice to reggae music, including live performances,” said Tonderai.