Malawian Band Lifts Southern Africa Music Crossroads Trophy
By Malawi Voice Reporter
Lilongwe based Konkalaz Banda has put Malawi on the map after emerging winners during this year’s Southern Africa Music Crossroads which was held in Maputo, Mozambique over the weekend.
The event held from February 15-20, was exciting and brougt together over 100 young musicians from the African continent and Europe.
As their first prize, Konkalaz will tour six European countries for a period of eight weeks from May-June.
The group, Konkalazi was representing Malawi after emerging winners at the national finals held in Lilongwe. To book themselves tickets to the national international festival, the group outclassed other music outfits from all the regions of the country.
The Malawian group whose individual music backgrounds and personalities have developed into an eclectic mix of R & B, Reggae, Funk and Jazz which they call “Afro-Funk-Infusion will wrestle it out with other groups from the Southern African nations of Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Winning youthful groups from Spain, Holland, Belgium and German also performed at the event as guest bands.
Before leaving for Maputo, the group’s band leader Edson Msendera, promised to come back with gold.
“We are ready to put previous year’s frustrations in the shade and put Malawi back on the limelight. With the preparations we had, we are very optimistic that we will bring the trophy home. We know it will be a stiff competition but we are confident to come back home with something,” said Msendera, whose band started in 2008 and invited to perform at Malawi Music Project by United States Peace Corps few years later.
Apart from Msendera, some members of the Lilongwe based band are Kingsley Tembenu-lead guitar, Rosha Volle-bass guitar, Wilfred Laston – keyboard, Danny Kalima – lead vocals, Hope Mambo – backing vocals and Maxwell Chizonde -keyboard.
Konkalazi’s win is the fourth for Malawi. The first was in 2002, when Mzuzu based Tikhu Vibrations became the first local band to lift the trophy after inter-national finals held in Tanzania, which saw them touring Sweden and other eight European countries as their first prize.
Malawi won again in 2006 when Conga Vibes of Lilongwe won in Mozambique before Mzuzu based Body, Mind and Soul claimed their place in the history book when they emerged champions in Harare, Zimbabwe.
And the latest achievement was accomplished by another Music Crossroads graduate Mafilika of Lilongwe who did Malawi pride by winning Global Video Music Contest, after outclassing other 40 groups from across the world to win this year’s Fair Play Anti-Corruption Youth Voices competition.
For winning the competition, Mafilika participated in the Global Youth Forum organised by the World Bank Institute and its partners recently in Brussels, Belgium.
Music Crossroads is a project that is supported by the Norwegian Aid for Development (Norad), Unesco, Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and Jeunessess Musicales International (JMI) aimed at unearthing music talent among the youths in the Southern Africa countries and promote the sharing of information and skills in the fight against HIV and Aids through music workshops.