Born in 1969, died in 2001, the story of Malawi`s late reggae music giant Evison Matafale is one of the most interesting taking into account the extraordinary impact he had in artistic circles.
Prior to his demise, Matafale was embroiled in politial activism against Bakili Muluzi`s administration. In a series of letters he addressed to Muluzi, the reggae voice decried the president`s style of leadership.
Malawi24 online media has seen one of the letters which is believed to have contributed to his death. The letter tackles a number of areas in which the first democratically elected president of Malawi performed below par.
The letter is titled “Kalata yopita kwa president ndi boma lake komanso A Malawi onse, kodi amalawi muzalekelera kuti Bakili Muluzi atizunze ndikutinyoza mpakaliti?” (Letter to the president, his administration and Malawians, Malawians for how long are you going to let BakiliMuluzi mistreat us?)
He opened his letter by cursing the word BOMA (British Oversees Main Administration) as being meaningless to Malawians. In the local context, the word means government/administration. Then he went on to attack president Muluzi along religious lines.
“Bakili Muluzi ndi mtsogoleri wampingo wa satana, ndipo chipembedzochi chikuchitikira m¹malo a chinsinsi osiyanasiyana muno MMalawi mwachitsanzo: mzipinda za pansi za nyumbaya boma yatsopano ku Lilongwe ndi malo ena (BakiliMuluzi is a leader of the satanic religion which is being practiced in different areas in the country, including government structures,) reads the letter.
He also criticized Islam and Christianity lacking the Godly sense.
“Ndiri ndi chikhulupirilo champhamvu kuti Bakili Muluzi ndi mbuli bwakebo sadziwa chinsinsi cha chisilamu chipembedzo chopanda Mulunguchi. Awerenge izi tsopano: Isumaeri mwana wa Hagara mkazi wotembeleredwa uja ndiye phata kapena kholo la mtundu wa amwenyewa ma Arabs ma Palestina ndi mitundu ina yonse imene inafalitsa chipembedzo choipachi. (BakiliMuluzi is ignorant about the roots of Islam. He has to know that Ishmael the son of Hagara, the cursed woman is the ancestor of Arabs from Palestina and other races that led to the spread of this evil religion.)
“Zomvetsa chisoni. – Akhristunso nawo pamodzi ndi matchalitchi onse mudziko muno adziwe lero kuti ali wosadziwa chimene apembedza ndipo anve izi zoonazi: – Yesu amene mumupembedza ndithu siYesu weniweni mwana waMulungu ayi koma fanizo la chilombo papa Yohane Paulo ndipo nkhope imeneyi ndi yamunthu wina waku Italy ku Rome ‘Michael Engel’ (sic) amene papa adasankha chithunzi chake kuti chipusitse otsatira Yesu onse pa dziko la pansi. – Taonani m¹mipingo mwanumo mulibedi Khristu ndichifukwa chake satana akulamulani kwambiri: muchitaufiti, miseche, ndiponso mavalidwe auchitsiru ndi ziwerewere zimene Mulungu adalamula ndi mphamvu zake kuti zisachitike (It’s sad that christians are ignorant about who they worship. The Jesus Christ they worship is not the real Jesus the son of God but a picture of the beast John Paul. They worship the face of a Roman in the name of Michael Angel. This is why their religion is devoid of Godliness.)
He concluded his letter by warning Muluzi to step down else face punishment from God.
“Iwe mbuli iwe, ndati uleke kulamula dziko lino msangamsanga. Ukachita makani uwonadi zoopsya zosasimbika zamkwiyo wake wa Mulungu kupyoler mwaine ‘Matafale’. Mau wa akukhudzanso onse okutsatila iwe. – Ndipo ndati udziwe kuti ine simunthu wamba, kapena woimba wamba ayi. Ine Matafale ndiri chobala cha Yakobo ndipo Ufumu wanga uliwa Davite amene anayimba ndimagitala mpakana kuyimbila ngakhale mfumu monga ndidakuimbila iwe nthawi ija. Koma ndidzakupha momwe Davite anaphora chiphona chija. Iwetu ndiwedi chiphona koma ndithu ndikugwetsa. Amwenye akowa amene akungoba m’Malawi muno ndiponso kuzunza ndi kunyoza antchito achi Malawi mmashopu mwawo, kuwalipira ndalama zochepa iwo atagwira ntchito yaikulu, ndikuwathamangitsanso ndipo akachita makani, mufera limodzi (You are ignorant! Am warning you to step down failure which you will face the wrath of God through me. You will be punished alongside your supporters, and you have to know that am not just an ordinary person, I am from the lineage of David and I know that you are a giant but I will defeat you. I will also drive out your Asian friends from this country for exploiting Malawians.”
According to information sourced from different platforms, Matafale was arrested on 24th November 2001 after writing Muluzi a series of letters. He died a few days later and his death is connected to police torture. However, an autopsy reporter by Kamuzu Central Hospital revealed that the death was caused by severe pneumonia.
The son of Chileka still speaks through his songs. His classic music addresses real life situations from generation to generation. The band he founded, Black Missionaries plays a paramount part in keeping his legacy alive.