Lucius Chicco Banda: The Malawi Music Legend


It is devastating to learn from various social media platforms that June 2024 has regrettably witnessed the demise of several prominent Malawian public figures, including former Vice President Saulos Chilima, prominent lawyer Ralph Kasambara, actor and TV presenter Hope Chisanu, former first lady Shanil Patricia Dzimbili Muluzi, and many others.

Adding to this list of tragic losses, Malawians were further heartbroken upon hearing about the passing of Malawi’s music icon, Lucius Banda, nicknamed ‘Soldier,’ who died on June 30, 2024.

While genuinely mourning the untimely loss of such precious lives, this article aims to celebrate the life of Lucius Banda by drawing ten pertinent lessons from his undertakings.

1) Balaka District Can Also Perform Wonders

Much as it is on record that Balaka district has been endowed with blessings of producing Malawi’s first ladies such as Shanil Patricia Muluzi and Getrude Mutharika, with the creative initiative of Lucius Banda, Balaka has become an incubator of Music industry in Malawi.

History has it that many notable Malawian music celebrities such as Charles Sinetre, Charles Nsaku, Mlaka Maliro and many others have been trained at Zembani Band whose founder is Lucious Banda.

2) Humble Background Is Not an Impediment to Prosperity

Lucius shook all the odds of coming from a humble background to become one of the most celebrated music icons in Malawi. His biological father abandoned the family in preference of another woman. Singlehandedly, Lucius’ mother had to fend for their family. In one of the interviews, Lucius admitted that he did not have shoes when he was conducting his first stage music performance with his elder brother, Paul Banda at Balaka Parish.

However, his determination, creativity and industriousness propelled him to success and prosperity to the extent that at time of his demise, Lucius was the Personal Advisor to President Chakwera on youth matters.

3) Know When to Quit

One of the scarce traits of successful people is the ability to recognize when to quit. When Lucius realised it was insurmountable to oust Atupele Muluzi, the then president of the United Democratic Front (UDF), he left the party and joined Saulos Chilima’s UTM, where President Chakwera later appointed him as a presidential advisor.

4) Education Is Not the Only Stepladder to Prosperity

While basic education is important, prosperity does not only visit the highly learned. Lucius Banda struggled with school at Bilila Distance Education Centre (DEC). His success proves that determination and talent can also lead to prosperity.

5) Be Original

Lucius remained steadfast in being himself and did not copy others’ lifestyles. His originality in music made his work stand the test of time, unlike many upcoming musicians who mimic established artists like Joseph Nkasa, Lucius Banda, Skeffa Chimoto and many others. Much as it is not necessary to reinvent a wheel, Lucius’ originality has made his music to stand the test of times.

6) Invest Your Skills in Uplifting Others

Lucius knew that no generation exists forever. He passionately invested his music skills in others by training or financially assisting them. Many Malawian music legends, such as Billy Kaunda and Paul Chaphuka, were mentored by Lucius Banda.

7) No Person Is Above the Law

In the book entitled “The Way to Happiness”, L Ron Hubbard provides a free piece of advice that people should desist from doing anything illegal even if they think that there is no possibility of being caught redheaded. Unfortunately, Lucius Banda had a clash with the Laws of Malawi when he was convicted of forging someone’s MSCE certificate. For sure, no one is above the law.

8) Diversify Your Life

In addition to being a great musician, Lucius was a staunch Catholic, a family man, an entrepreneur, and a politician. He became a Member of Parliament (MP) in Balaka, initiating numerous social and infrastructural developments. His music often voiced support for the underprivileged and rebuked corrupt regimes.

9) Be the Best You Can

Lucius excelled in various aspects of life. In music, he became an icon; in politics, he aspired to lead the UDF; as a family man, he cherished his family. His achievements included visiting Italy and meeting the Pope, and his Zembani Band became renowned in the music industry.

10) Death Is Unpredictable and Unmerciful

When Lucius first reported his brother Paul’s critical illness, few expected Lucius to be the first to pass away. It was heartbreaking to see Paul shedding tears for his brother, who had been a source of hope and support during his illness.

In a nutshell, Lucius Banda will be remembered as a great musician, entrepreneur, human rights activist, philanthropist, youth mentor, and accomplished politician. May his soul rest in eternal peace.


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