By: Wonderful Mkhutche
The best thing about being an artist is that when you die, you leave footprints through your work. As good as Grace Chinga was, and dying as she was about to release new music, people should anticipate for the biggest scramble for songs as far as Malawi gospel music is concerned.
The moment the songs will be out they will be the talk of the town. The CDs and the online uploads will be hunted down by people who would love to have a feel of their fallen gospel songbird. The songs were being recorded and produced by Khathwa Aligiza of Alimoso Studios.
This man has been in music production for years. It is no wonder that Grace Chinga trusted him to have a touch on her album after a six year absence. Khathwa right now is one of the most privileged people in Malawi. He is one of the very few who have had a full idea of the new songs.
But for those who are losing heart over their wait for the songs, do not worry. Here is a clue to the new songs. In the trending tribute to Grace Chinga, the ‘Ndulu’ remix, which was sung by a host of gospel artists, there is a path that somehow leads you into what to expect from the upcoming songs.
In the song, the beat was originally done for her song to be found in the albums she announced before her death. The opening female voice is that of Grace Chinga. From the few lyrics that Khathwa allowed to be part of the tribute song, Grace Chinga is telling a story of a person going through bitter experiences; a woman who is being ridiculed because she is not married and childless.
Other married women are not allowing her to be near them for fear of her snatching their husbands. They are looking at her as cursed. And the whole experience of not being loved is bitter for her, as it can feel if one bites the Pancreas (Ndulu). It will definitely be bitter.
The guess can be that in the following verses, Grace Chinga talked of other issues, all relating to someone feeling the bitterness of life.‘Ndulu’: The choice of the word was perfect as far as the situation being sung about is concerned. That was what Grace Chinga was good at: She always came up with new kind of expressions, not common in other gospel songs. Aside the message, the beat itself was done well. It is soulful, and it went on well with the message in it.
No wonder it was the choice for the tribute song. Grace Chinga was an expert at expressing the daily experiences people go through. Three years ago,
I overhead one woman telling another that what Grace Chinga sung in her ‘Thandizo Langa’ song happened to her: Being falsely arrested by the Police.
Then in turn the same Police escorting her home using their car after finding her innocent.
In ‘Ndulu’, the experience will be the same for certain unmarried and childless young ladies. Despite being absent with new songs for six years, she still had it.
The song tells that story. She was still the best at what she was known for. As the songs will be coming out, we should expect one of the difficult-to- handle demands for music.
With her last single ‘N’dzaulura’ breaking the Malawi music download records with now close to one hundred and thirty thousand, it has just set the pace for what is about to happen soon.
About the writer: Wonderful Mkhutche is an author, a political scientist and manuscript editor and developer.