Tombstone for musician Michael ‘Yekha’ unveiled

Tombstone for iconic Musician Michael “Yekha” Mukhito Phiri has been unveiled 31 years after he died, and the tombstone is courtesy of Muthukumano wa Alhomwe.

Phiri’s songs hit the airwaves of the then only radio station in the country Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) with hits such as miseche, Khuruwani muche, Anabanda among others.

Speaking after the unveiling ceremony of the Tombstone in Thondolo Village in Phalombe district, chairperson for the cultural grouping Wilfred Mpisa said they thought of honouring the secular hits musician with the tombstone due to what he contributed to the Lhomwe tribe.

“It is great to honour people like these ones, during his time he promoted our culture through his songs of which most of them are in Lhomwe language that’s why we are here today,” he said.

In an interview, one of the family members, Gusto Gunda Phiri, commended the cultural grouping for remembering his uncle by constructing the tombstone.

Muthukumano wa Alhomwe which is an affiliate group to Mulhako wa Alhomwe has constructed the tombstone at the tune of Mk1.2 million.

Who was he?

Michael Mukhito Phiri was a visually impaired musician who was born on 28th April 1951 at Filisa Village around Matawa Village in Phalombe district. He did his primary school education at Nazombe Primary School before moving to Montfort School for Blind.

Despite his disability, he was skillful as he was playing guitar, vocals, drums and rattles (maseche) at the same time on his own. That is how he ended calling himself “Michael Yekha Band”.

He was married to Nabanda Kambewa of Namalima Village in Mauzi area in the same district. He died at the age of 37 years allegedly of cerebral malaria on 3rd March 1989 and was laid to rest on the following day 4th March. His wife died two years later.

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