Lucius Banda and his love of dinosaurs


I must have been living under a huge rock in a parallel universe such that I did not witness that faded Congolese singer and dancer Awilo Longomba become a legend.

Awilo Longomba who came to prominence in the early 90s and maintained a standard following through the opening years of the 2000s was certainly a bigger African brand.

Awilo Longomba coming to Malawi.

Now, he lives in the shadow of his old self such that not two of a hundred Malawians can say with utmost precision that he is still in the business of music and name his latest releases.

Little wonder then that when Lucius Banda announced that for the Sand Festival they are bringing Awilo Longomba, the Malawian Facebook almost erupted into a laughter of mockery.

There have been other voices of course including of Banda himself who believe that in 2017, the best international act that can come after Busy Signal and Diamond in the previous years is Awilo Longomba. What a beautiful irony!

Unless this Sand Music festival is themed old school, the choice of Awilo Longomba is as lame. It must have been driven by dire economic conditions plaguing the entertainment sector.

In 2017, who would be busy gyrating on the sands of Livingstonia to songs that got released long before Lucius himself discovered he has the brains to be a Member of Parliament? According to Lucius, it is the older persons of Malawi. Like him. Those who have money to play with.

As a frequent patron of the Sand festival and the Lake of Stars, I really find the reasoning there flawed and based on a small reality applicable to Banda himself and his inner circle.

And there purchasing power. It is not empirically valid.

In the years I have been to those places, I have seen mostly youngsters, whom Banda has spat upon by his choice of a musician whose music is as old as Mabala, dance the nights away to music they associate with.

Lucius Banda
Banda believes in Awilo Longomba.

Yes, old guards patronise those events but mostly they are men lured by their younger MG2s or the prospect of chancing upon some younger girl the size of their child. It is not as if they go there for the performances as Lucius would have us believe.

If it was for the performances they went for then they would demand Lucius call Hugh Masekela or Mahotela Queens or Platform or Les Wanyika or Tabu Ley and even Holy Cross Choir for them.

Indeed, even in numerical value, young people outnumber the old in such events and it beats all logical sense why the organisers would settle for Awilo Longomba.

I should set the record straight: Awilo Longomba is not a bad artist.

But for a festival that has celebrated trendy artists in its previous years, settling for Awilo Longomba sounds more like inviting Paul Mtoliro of the Abiti Malembe fame to headline the Urban Music Party festival.

The logic of such a decision would still be wanting even if we would prefer to call Mtoliro a legend.

In a way, it is what Lucius Banda has done by inviting Awilo Longomba to be a main international act at his festival.

It is good to appreciate the old but a choice of Awilo Longomba at a time that Zimbabwe’s Jah Prayzah has taken over the sound spaces of the country sounds more of excellent failure at event management and organisation than it is a strategic appeal to a particular clientele.

As a rough veering off the point rejoinder: isn’t it funny that Lucius who was once credited with unearthing talent is now a certified archaeologist busy excavating and carbon dating dinosaurs such that he proudly labels them legends?

Not long ago, Lucius brought the Reggae spent force Limbani Banda (sometimes Lambanie Dube or something like that) back on stage as part of his Zembani force.

Now, he brings Awilo Longomba under a label of a legend. Whom next will he excavate, tag a legend, and dismiss us as broke youngsters when we question his choice?

People might still find themselves at this festival, but it will hardly be because of Awilo Longomba. It will just be to escape our sad reality.

Even if he had invited Kijitonyama Lutheran Church Choir (of the Hakuna Mungu kama wewe fame) or Mr. Nice (of the Kikulacho fame) or even Ja Rule we would have gone.

We have nothing to do, nowhere to smoke so openly and nowhere to get photos for our Instagram and Facebook.



  1. Anthu amene tikumudziwa Awiro Longomba sungayelekeza ndi Jah Prazza inu ndi ana oyimba akuluakulu oyimba nyimbo zokoma ukunyozawe supitanso ma show kkkkkkkkk za ndale apa ife ayi plz

  2. The festival was abit messed up. We need to be honest, people thronged to Livingstonia Hotel cause of Awilo, General Janene, K Milan. But apart from Awilo the two mentioned did not show up! Came Awilo time to perform it was disaster! Honestly he confessed and blamed the MC for what was happening. He indicated that he perform with the band not CDs but he was subjected to that. Please ngati simunapiteko keep quiet and watch your language.

  3. There is nothing like old school in music. People take things so personal and believing everybody will get into their shoes. What difference would it make if Jimmy Cliff or that old Hip hop band called the ROOTS were coming to perform instead? All this is just double standards at its best

  4. komatu anthu inu mukuti bola wakuti bola wakuti.. tifiseni ife kunalitu chimunthu ku sand festival nde mutifuse kuti timakataniko… awilotu basi nde nkhani yake osatiso zachanichani mukunenazo…

  5. To my side the best international act would have been Jose Kamillion from Uganda.
    The guy is a crowd puller.
    I think Lucius has let a big lesson.

  6. Onse omwe akunyoza mpaka yemwe walemba izi sanapite ndi anthu aja amati zawo akagula kathu ndi zakale zimenezo.a Malawi amatha kuzaza Ku band imodzi Malawi oziwa kusangala osati wansanje

  7. kulalata chonsecho simunapiteko ku sand festival,osapangitsa yanu bwanji?omwe anapitawo sanadandaule ,if they had a problem with it anali ndi ufulu osagula ticket sizinali zokakamiza

    1. Kkkkkk zoona a Malawi pena lake eeeeh anthu okonda kusangalala ndi omwe anapita kumeneko opanda iliyonse anasala cc thanx powawuza ngamo kkkk

    2. aaaaaaaaah a malawi timanyanya penapake tinangozolowera kupeza vuto pa chilichonse,sitilora chinthu chidutse ulere koma tiipitse basi…..Ngati sizili bwino kungopangitsa event yathu kuitana achina chris brown ,Drake ndani ndani kuti enawo aonere pa ife osati kumamgonyoza yet olo birthday ya ana timakanika kupanga m’makomomu…Its not easy tiphunzire kupanga appreciate ma effort a anzathu

    1. Kodi Mu Hiphop Ndi Mu Rhumba Mmene Muli Uthenga Ndi Muti? Music Is For Entertainment,education And Information Not Kumangotukwanamo And Kumazipopa(HIPHOP) ITS BETTER TO BE BACKWARDNESS(RHUMBA) UKUZIWA CHIMENE UKUPANGA

  8. Awilo anathamangisidwa pastage awuzeni oyimba kuti anthu akuMalawi ndi osauka chabwino ndiozindikila no more CD playing we need live stage osazabweraso nditi maCD ukafunse maMorrgan Heritage anapepesa ndikukatengaso zida zawo live band

  9. Thank u for ur opinion mr writer but i think to some people like me it’s a perfect idea to try. In intreprenuership, a new business discovers what is profitable thru trials. This cud be one of ways to see if entertainment seekers are lured with contemporaries only. So let’s wait & see. Whether a failure or a success, impakt will know what its patrons love. Trial tells absolute truth better than theoretical amusement like urs. That’s there is what is called ‘pilot project’. I for one, have missed awilo alot & wud be nice to see him live. Thanx however for ur fully expressional article, just minimise personal attack approach in writing next tym.

  10. Good analysis and observation Mr Mbalume.apapa impakt events yapala heavy.

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