Reggae artist Ralph Kapanga to hold live show in Malawi, despite ban on large gatherings
RUSTENBURG - Reggae music artist Ralph Kapanga will host a live music show in Balaka, Malawi, despite a ban on large gatherings, local media reported.
According to The Nation, Kapanga's announcement came two weeks after Concerned Active Musicians revealed their intentions to resume live music shows.
Musicians announced their intention to host live shows after political rallies were held, attracting large crowds where physical distancing was not observed. Political parties in Malawi held rallies after submitting their nomination papers.
One of the musicians, Lucius Banda, said they have taken the action by politicians to mean that the ban on public gatherings was no longer necessary.
Gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited in Malawi as a sweeping measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The musicians stated, however, that if politicians may host large, crowded rallies then musicians, too, should be able to host live shows to earn a living.$
Kapanga's show is scheduled for May 29, where he is expected to launch his album, titled "Rise Malawi".
The show was expected to feature Skeffa Chimoto and his Real Sounds Band, one-time people’s favourite Katelele Ching’oma, Leslie and Prince Makase.
Kapanga told the newspaper that the show was planned in response to a request from music fans, who have been denied live performances for two months due to Covid-19 restrictions.
"Initially I planned to launch the album in March, but it coincided with this pandemic. By then I had already paid for the venue and the supporting artists, but I had no choice but to shelve it," he said.
He said after the Balaka gig he plans to hold another launch in Blantyre.
"People have missed music, while we as artists need to make ends meet. This inactivity has affected us badly."
The acting president of the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) Gloria Manong’a said they have no control over individual artists who have decided to start holding live performances.
"In the first place, it should be understood that it was not MUM that suspended live performances but government. It is therefore not our responsibility to order or prevent a resumption of the same."
She said the union would make its final position known after the expiry of the two-week period they gave the government to work on the grievances raised during an earlier engagement.
Elsewhere, Namibia media reported on Monday that several musicians were arrested at the weekend for contravening lockdown regulations. The group was arrested on Saturday in Windhoek, where an online concert was to be staged. The show never took place due to the arrests and the musicians were released after paying an admission of guilt fine of N$2,000 (about US$134) each.
African News Agency