Mtebeti Wambali Mkandawire is arguably one of greatest musicians Malawi has ever produced and his performances are a must-watch, but so are the shows of sensational South African female singer Zahara who has recently made headlines with her album Loliwe.
It is no-wonder that their first ever joint concert at the Bingu Conference Centre in Lilongwe, on Saturday is a sale-out.
The Joy of Jazz show has been put together by Standard Bank acknowledge having received overwhelming response ahead of the show and that the show's tickets have sold out.
This one-of-a-kind show will be a special treat for music fans to listen to Wambali's hits like 'Nkhujipereka,' live with Zahara dishing songs like 'Loliwe,' the hit which has been dominating airplay in entertainment places and on local radio stations.
Head of Marketing Linda Kachingwe- Sisya says apart from selling the tickets to customers through bank's expansive branch network, Standard Bank has created customer experience events where tickets are also being sold.
She said Joy of Jazz aims to give Standard Bank customers a special treat as the bank celebrates with them 42 years of doing business in Malawi and 150 years of doing business in Africa.
Kachingwe-Sisya could not say how many tickets they have sold so far ahead of this Jazz concert.
Wambali said when Standard Bank was unveiling the news of the Jazz concert that the country has potential to progress with the Jazz genre but noted that there is need for Malawi to seriously introduce music lessons in schools.
Malawi has no music lessons in schools, a development which has led to musicians, some of which are making it big now to only use their inborn talent.
"In Malawi, musicians know how to make albums, how to make performances but they do not know how to make music. This is where we need music lessons in our schools to nurture talent because we have potential," he said.
Wambali in 2003 won the Sama Music Award for Best African Artiste and was nominated for a 2002 Kora Award, in the category for Best Artiste from Southern Africa. The artist stunned his followers when he announced that he had temporarily stopped stage performances.
Apart from Zahara and Wambali, the concert will bring on board performances from Malingaka and Mingoli.
Zahara, real name Bulelwa Mkutukana and born on November 9, 1987, is a South African singer, songwriter and poet whose album Loliwe was released last year but made great strides reaching double platinum just in 17 days after its release. This made her only thesecond South African artist to hit such a record after late Brenda Fassie selling over 100,000copies in South Africa.
With many institutions neglecting arts, Kachingwe-Sisya hinted that this Jazz concert could be the start of art development in the country courtesy of the bank.
"It's going to be an exciting experience for Malawians as you can see we have tried to bring the best of jazz artists from South Africa and Malawi. Zahara is an inspirational artist to the young ones and that's the whole idea to motivate the youth to start appreciating the contemporary music," she said.
She said the singer is expected to jet into the country today.
Poet Q Malewezi is leading in organising the event with support from the South African T-Music Man who have been behind the South Africa's Joy of Jazz events. Malewezi echoed Kachingwe's extolling of Zahara urging the people to take up a chance to watch the event.
"I think she has got an inspiring story. She is young and got successful in her music so quickly despite being a young girl born in a remote village," said Malewezi.
Professor of Music at African Bible College, Kelly Dehnert who is the founder of one of the country's jazz band's Mingoli said the event could up the efforts of making jazz popular in the country.
"I think the country lack such kind of events and I hope this could not be the first and the last we need more of that," said Dehnert.