Malawi’s popular Urban musicians’ fan base is undoubtedly dominated by the ghetto youth since their standards allow them to be glued to local content unlike suburb dwellers who consume more of international content than local.
2019 will go down in the history of Malawi urban music as the year in which the ghetto audience had more praise for mediocrity. The receiving end in question opted for songs which are not music to the ear whose end results saw mediocre artists claiming awards at the expense of the deserving artists.
Wikise had a wonderful 2019 having claimed two honours in the Urban Music Party Awards for artist of the year, and song of the year. The key to his glory was his hit song Chikamphulikire. Frankly speaking, the aforementioned song was only popular but poorly crafted. Disregarding that Wikise is a comic artist, the recipe for his song missed some spices.
The message was poor, the production both in audio and visual was pathetic. To cut the long story short, the production was done by cheap and less professional producers. Surprisingly, the song once aired on Trace TV Africa but who said the continental content provider sets standards for good videos.
In Malawi, people mistake popularity for skill; when a song is popular the audience conclude it is a good one. The bottom line is, a song can get popular for different reasons not only the beauty in which it was done. What we have to know about the ghetto audience is that they speak highly of every song which suits their situations no matter how bad it is. The world must surely be laughing at us that Wikise was voted artist of the year 2019 for his poorly done song Chikamphulikire.
If we were to compare Chikamphulikire with songs that were hot in other countries in 2019, we will observe more loopholes in our music industry. The blame goes to organisers of Urban Music People Awards for allowing only votes to decide winners instead of putting in place a team of music analyst to run the process.
One can know that not every popular song is great by analysing the Zambian song, Kwa George, whose popularity was catalysed by a few bar citizens on cyberspace. It was only popular for a week or two, whereas Keturah Milimo’s Nambewe did not make noise of that degree when in true sense it is by far a better work than that of B1.
The Malawi ghetto should learn to appreciate talent where it is due. In Malawi those from the gh
etto hate musicians who appeal to urban standards for whatever reasons. Consequently, they end up appraising ghetto artists just because they share standards while silencing those great musicians with an urban sense.
After running a poor awards ceremony in 2019, UMP was at it again a few weeks later. They recognised people who were outstanding in the entertainment industry in the last decade. It was surprising that most of those who were recognised have not been relevant in the industry, the past 10 years.