Zani Challe: Doing her music from South Africa, it was easy to conclude her as doing music simply because she can. There have been several others who are based outside, they try to do music for Malawi, but ended up being swept away by the tide. Malawi urban music is on the fast rise. Every day there is a song coming out which is pushing the boundaries further. For someone to be doing the music from outside, without a physical presence on the scene, it is easy to be left behind.
But that has been a different story for Zani Challe. Her presence on the scene is as huge as if she is always around. With an industry that is still to produce huge female names, Zani Challe seems to be throwing her name into the lot, declaring her intentions to be the next big thing. If one looks at her recent projects, she is indeed moving towards that direction. She is slowly queening the scene.
‘Ndiphunzitse’, a single she came up with last year, was the ground breaking song for her fast settling career. In the song she showed her voice prowess and the rare ability of making an urban song that appealed to the large populous. The song is about a woman who is telling her man to teach her everything he wants her to be. The woman goes on to say that she is ready to do anything the man asks, just to make sure she keeps him for herself.
The video for the song was also well shot and directed by Sukez. The artistry in her could be easily seen. She was comfortable before the camera and chose good outfits for the concept. And this adds on to her beauty. The male fans for Malawi urban music have for a time complained of the lack of beauty on the scene. In Zani Challe, they have finally found the fantasy performer they were looking for. Her long legs, pretty face and amazing body figure are just perfect for the industry.
Her latest move on the industry is ‘Single Tonight’, a song she collaborated with Patoranking and produced by E Kelly. If someone doubted how good she is, this song will easily dismiss the doubt and they will start looking at her as a serious artist. She has come again with a mature song which is enjoying massive airplay, club dance floors and online downloads.
As usual, she came perfect with her beautiful voice on the song. Her ability to change the pitch of the voice worked well and it saved the song from the monotonous sound some Malawian singers suffer from. The beat as well, perfected by the experienced E Kelly, added onto the great voice and the dancehall appearance of Patoranking, created something lasting about the song.
And maybe they are the song lyrics that also make it to be in a class of its own. Zani Challe, in the song, sells herself as a Malawian beauty. She is somewhere outside with a man and tells him that she is from Malawi. But for the man to know that she is from Malawi, it does not take her to say it. Her bouncing booty tells it all. Malawian girls have bouncing booties, she alludes.
Ndachokera kutali ku Malawi
Ndati kwathu ku Malawi.
You can tell by the way that my booty bounce.
You like the way that my booty bounce.
I know you like the way that my booty bounce,
Chiphadzuwa cha Malawi.
Some good marketing for our girls. Being a singer who is handling her career with vision and professionalism, it will be easy for her to make it into the international market. Again, she is someone who perfectly uses her body in the music. Everyone who will be viewing the video for the song will look at her as a picture of the Malawian beauty. Just by the bouncing of her booty, as she sings, summarizes what one should expect in all the Malawian girls.
The song is good. But just like most good songs that have recently come out of the Malawi urban scene, its impact and recognition will be betrayed by the lack of, among other things, awards. Such efforts of talent from people like Zani Challe need some competition and recognition. But all in all, Single Tonight is in the class of its own and establishes Zani Challe as the main lady on the scene. Hail the Queen!
*Wonderful Mkhutche is a speech writer, a political scientist and a manuscript editor and developer.