Jah People, Soldier Lucius Banda quotes Alexander the so-called Great to remind us that the only treasure on Earth is time.
“When we lose time, we can never reclaim time,” warns the title of his newest album, Time.
The self-styled soldier knows time is money—but not for the 17-track hit earning replays both on air and in the streets.
Lucius should be eyeing the international market now. Unfortunately, he seems to be heading for the exit.
Personifying Joe Gwaladi’s Ndangotchuka Ulele, he has warned that he may stop making music until piracy is finally and permanently tackled.
I sympathise with the performer who has gifted us 17 albums in the past 20 years. It is shocking that computer-aided criminals are charging about K30 for uploading a song into a phone or memory stick when artists used to get as much for a cassette.
But judging by his detour into partisan politics, the haunting pirates could be by-products of the time he lost championing the impeachment procedures that never were.
When he was in Parliament, Lucius had a broader constituency than carpenters, messengers, brick makers, transporters, shopkeepers, medics and other cartoons in the honourable house.
Actually, it was the duty of Lucius and his fellow artists in the legislature to influence others to amend outdated laws so as to impose stiffer penalties on pirates, accomplices and negligent enforcement agents.
Instead of doing the needful, the celebrated artist had impeachment politics to babysit at his own peril while artisans, career politicians and grey-haired opposition loudmouths looked on.
Lucius’ error in politics might be only paralleled by an uninvited Simon Vuwa Kaunda who took centre-stage at the purportedly treasonous meeting starring the Midnight Six, but it should remind artists in influential positions to put art matters top of their agenda.
It’s sobering how much time we have lost bemoaning illegal duplication and distribution of artworks. What happened to Musician Association of Malawi’s pet project to set up a record company? Will we ever win this battle? Time is ours to squander!