Faith Mussa is one of the people who are living their destinies. From a young age, together with his parents and two brothers, they have been involved in music.
Most of us recall the Mussa Family music group which was popular in the 1990s.
From then Faith has been involved in music and his brightest moment as a member of the family music group was in 2002 when he led the vocals for their hit song, ‘Pokumbukira Mtanda’.
After that pinnacle moment, the group and Faith himself went missing from the scene. Perhaps, the children had grown old and were engaged in other undertakings. It was easy to get organized as a group when they were always around.
Eleven years later, he came back onto the scene as a solo artist. But it is not that he was doing everything on his own. In one of his shows, nearly years ago, at the Chancellor College, Great Hall, he brought his whole family. It proved that despite pursuing other dreams, the family was still intact and supporting each other as they have always been.
Faith has a new role now. The parents are no longer active in music as they have always been. His brothers do get involved in producing songs for him. But he is the face of the Mussa Family music group now. And on that, he has done very well. He is working hard for himself and keeping alive the ‘Mussa Family’ name.
He has arisen as an artist in a special period of Malawi music. Malawi urban music is popular, and despite it being dominated by secular artists, gospel ones like Patience Namadingo and Faith himself are blending in and giving Malawi gospel music a new shape and face. His ‘Desperate’ song won an award two years ago in the inaugural Music Association of Malawi awards.
The song was indeed popular and up to this day, Faith is yet to rise from the shadow of its popularity. Since it he has not come up with new songs that have eclipsed its stature and has often been forced to re-do it in different version since it is the current backbone of his career. Being a wonderful guitar player, he has done that exceptionally well and keeps the song relevant.
But aside all that, Faith needs to realize the time he is in and see that music nowadays is not just about how good one is on the audio, but also in how one looks. Artists today are investing resources to create, maintain and sell their image. They are putting on new and good clothes and keeping their hair and body in shape.
Music in Malawi has ceased to be an innocent game. People are looking at the artist as a whole and if one is reckless in one part of his career, they can easily lose the favor and the love of the mostly youthful audience.
But Faith is not that kind of an artist, and that puts his whole career at risk. Just like Patience Namadingo, he has the style of keeping his hair. There is nothing wrong with that. He feels comfortable and that is what matters most. But when one looks at his hair, it always looks not being well-taken care of like that of Patience Namadingo, for example. He needs to improve on that. Besides it, he is also currently keeping his beard and the style he has with it makes him look years older than he is.
In other words, the style he has is not the image of an artist who belongs to the current urban music generation. As already said, the success of a song or an artist these days go beyond how good the song is. It needs an artist who embraces all the parts that matters most.
About the author: Wonderful Mkhutche is a speech writer, a political scientist and a manuscript editor and developer.