The last time she notably released a song was, ‘Chapatali’, six months ago. She featured Dan Lu in it, and to the surprise of many, it was Dan Lu who did the most part of it. The song had a fair response in terms of downloads and social media feedback. It was a good start for a name that was starting to make a mark on the urban music scene.
But contrary to expectations, it was not the song that drew people’s attention to her. Her cover art, of her in a black swim wear and a blue cotton coat did that. It did not go well with most people and they felt that she was on the scene to show off and not do music. In addition, she was called a lot of names. I did back her up in an article, calling on her, and all other female singers, never to be intimidated.
It seems the industry is not ready to forgive female singers or rappers for their expressions. The only justification can be that the Malawi urban culture is being built in a conservative country like Malawi. But the puzzle is that the culture has come for the youth, the progressive side of the society. The expectation is that they look at artists like Ritaa unreservedly.
But she had to suffer the insults. The inner feeling was that she was broken and we will not see any of her any time soon. But she has proved us otherwise: Amidst an audience that had called her ugly names, she has re-organized herself and came back even stronger. She has two latest singles, ‘Down Down’ and ‘One Time’.
She has improved a lot from her last single. At first, one could easily note that letting Dan Lu do much of the song was a way of trying to find her way in through him. This time she has risen above her former self and came up with two singles that have her showing the authority and the daring.
The instrumentals were well-produced by the two separate producers, Jay Emm and BFB and Janta. The songs are club oriented and her soft voice did add a great deal of flavor. Although her voice did not come out that powerful, the singer in her can easily be noticed. Everything has still come out perfect, and what a great way to hit back at her critics.
But let me admit, the quality of her songs matters less. My concentration is on the way she has once again expressed herself this time around. She has not backed off from last time. Specifically, in the ‘One Time’ cover art, she has once again exposed her legs. Just trying to throw a shade at the critics, Ritaa has fine legs that can be exposed. Why do you find problems with that?
Together with the likes of Zani Challe, who also faced criticisms after her ‘Single Tonight’ video, for exposing too much of her body and making seductive body movements; these girls are pioneers. If we can be fair enough, music is a form of art. And art is expression. Looking at the lyrics of Zani Challe’s hit song, what other expression did we expect from the video?
And she has been unapologetic for that. Ritaa too is treading in those paths and it tells us of something great: The girls are here to do it in their own way, and are ready to fight the boundaries of the society they are in. Fortunately, the social media response to her work this time is basing around the songs and most of the people commenting on her dressing have no problems with it.
She is making good music. If she continues doing that, in the next minute, she can dominate the scene. But she is not alone in that positive direction. Zani Challe has proved to be a valuable assert as well, especially with her chart topping and nominated ‘Single Tonight’. Let me predict: At the rate these two are rising, a ‘fight’ of who is queening the scene may ensue.
About the writer: Wonderful Mkhutche is a professional speech writer, a political scientist and a manuscript editor and developer.