Just two days ago I wrote an article expressing my excitement that Grace Chinga, Malawi’s Queen of Gospel music, will be coming back with new songs after a six year break. I was not the only one celebrating the announcement she made on her Facebook post. A lot of people were looking forward to the double album release, as she announced. Although she had been away for six years, I said that she never lost her presence on the scene. She was as popular as she has always been, and it was because of her previous songs which were in a class of their own.
And then, came March 16, 2016, as time was coming close to midnight, Social Media was awash with posts that the gospel queen is no more. At first it was hard for me to believe because Social Media has ‘killed’ living people before. But in a matter of minutes, the news about the death kept on coming and I had to be man enough and accept that it is true.
What more can I say? I am as shocked as anyone. This was not what we expected when we woke up last morning. Yes, we live with the knowledge that this world is full of evil, and that anything bad can happen. But Grace’s death was never one of the evils we thought was about to happen.
For now, the shock is too much. My hands are literally shaking. But I have pushed myself to write, to heal myself from the pain I am going through. Grace, as everyone is saying, May Your Soul Rest in Eternal Peace. We loved you as a person and as an artist. You had a wonderful life story. Your music moved all of us and we loved you being part of the gospel industry in Malawi. Personally, I would like to say thank you for your 2010 album, ‘Udzayimba Nyimbo’, a conceptual and a moving album, full of hope. It raised you from the lowest point of your life to the summit you were till your death. Just as it did with you, it also acts as a beacon of hope whenever I am down. Dying at a young age of thirty seven is even more heart breaking for us, and more, when we think of your beauty and talent.