Patience Namadingo has apparently struck gold(or copper?) and is probably relocating to Zambia.
But the good talented Doc has a strange way of announcing his inevitable departure and bidding farewell to his local fans who stuck with him through thick and thin.
Instead of offering some diplomatic explanation laced with artistic motivation or even commercial incentives,Namadingo decided to bizarelly call out the motherland as being infested with haters hell bent on killing his thriving career.
Some of us have followed his career from its humble infancy when he burst on the music scene with the “Msati Mseke” hit that instantly catapulted Patience into national prominence.
Todate I play his CDs on nearly every long haul trip outside town especially YASYMON divided into 2 parts being “Strictly Gospel”and “Strictly (what’s labelled as) Conscious” (put simply,Strictly Secular).
Namadingo’s adulation for God is evident in “Mulipo” where he reaffirms his belief in the existence of the Almighty.
“Ali Dele” nkulinga utayenda naye subtly exploits a popular Chewa proverb figuratively linking it to his own journey with Christ.
Trekking up to the Northern States, a fluent date with Tumbuka in “Mnganileka Uli” reveals Namadingo’s bilingual nature.
Marriage being a recurring major theme for local music finds itself at the heart of “Wapeza Chabwino”
For me, it’s in “Kumkhudza” where Patience displays his mastery at story telling with an apt rendition of the biblical woman with haemorrhage who touched Jesus in a desperate bid for healing mercies.
“Bukuli” prefaces the New Testament.
And Namadingo’s appreciation of the synoptic gospels is brought to bear in “Kwazaka Zaka” in reference to Jesus’ healing of a paralytic man at Bethesda on Sabbath.Listening between the lines,here Patience almost advocates arrogant responsive approaches he’s now becoming infamous for.
So too in “Onani” where the miracle of walking on water is extrapolated into contemporary life in order to surmount pessimistic attitudes.
My daughter loves “My Man” incidentally because it’s the only song in Jazz and English.Her vernacular isn’t too great afterall.But Jesus is indeed THE MAN!
“Waima” Maria is my favourite for its vivid and dramatic portrayal of Christ’s unconventional birth.I bet Patience can as well eke out a living from acting.
Initially, I didn’t quite grasp what message “Walira” mwana ( the 11th and final song in the “strictly gospel” part) seeks to convey.(But it seems to suggest that if you want to eat in peace feed the hungry around you)
Suffice it to highlight that the common denominator of the teachings his songs dare to advocate relates to:
HOW YOU FINISH MATTERS MORE THAN HOW YOU BEGIN
Just listen carefully to the last stanza of each and every one of his songs should you require proof.
Having started small, Namadingo must never forget where he came from and must owe a huge chunk of his apparent success to the Malawian fans including Yours Truly lest he finishes his race badly.
Many are the Malawians who migrated to the diaspora for the right economic or other reasons but who never looked down upon the motherland generally despising her in scathing & dismissive language.
Whatever issues Namadingo is going through with local promoters,fellow artists, regulators etc he must at the very least show RESPECT for us fans.
Maybe Namadingo must pull down the insensitive post and apologise to the fans then I might just hazard an analysis of the “strictly conscious ” Side B of WASYMON
Otherwise some of us fans have been lost and have already seen his last show or bought his last CD.
**This post first appeared on David Kanyenda Facebook and views expressed are those of the author***