Thank God, Christmas is gone and the New Year is almost here.
After the party moments, I am killing myself with laughter, thanks to the resolutions that never were. Maybe mine are just some of the resolutions that are unachievable by nature.
Just on Christmas, the news had it that reggae singer Limbani Banda is now Lambanie Dube because the politics of his surname may hamper his quest for an international breakthrough. This is laughable—everything not to do when battling for international recognition.
I am only happy to tell the truth to set Limbani or Lambanie free from himself and his slavish obsession with Peter Tosh and Lucky Dube.
It is not the names, but the quality of their production, which make artists international hits or flops. Therefore, Lambanie or Limbanie only needs to re-examine his rise and fall to rediscover where he lost the way.
Lest we forget, so talented was Limbani or Lambanie that the ‘Department of Praise and Worship’ was quick to christen him ‘Malawi’s Tosh’.
An admitted admirer of both Tosh and Dube, the Chisoni Kumatenda hitmaker seems to have allowed the moniker to kill his name that he mimics the Jamaican reggae pioneer on stage and on CD. He appears on stage in a Tosh-like robe. He christened his group after Tosh’s band, Word, Sound and Power. His single Kumanda is almost a Chichewa edition of Tosh’s Equal Rights.
This copycat jazz tells a story about Limbani or Lambanie and his fall. The rest is politics.
To beat globalisation, Malawian artists need to maintain their unique names. This is why Malian great Salif Keita never abandoned his surname often associated with his country’s greatest politician Sundiata Keita. This is why Zimbabwean Oliver Mtukudzi remains Oliver Mtukudzi, not Elton John. This is why Makasu did not become The Beatles even after storming the BBC with Sometimes I Wonder. This is why Evison Matafale named his band the Black Missionaries, not Morgan Heritage or the Slaves. This is why Lambanie Dube will never become Tosh or Lucky Dube.
An unexamined life is not worth living, said Socrates. Happy New Year!