Geddes Chalamanda… a world star on “Tik Tok” after 92 years
Thursday – 17 Jumada II 1443 AH – 20 January 2022 AD
Shalamanda’s song “Lenny Ho” has become a phenomenon that extends from South Africa to the Philippines (AFP)
Lilongwe: «Middle East Online»
Geddes Chalamanda, 92, from Malawi does not have a mobile phone and does not know the Tik Tok platform, on which short videos are published that spread at lightning speed around the world. .
Chalamanda’s song “Lenny Ho”, which he recorded in late 2020, has become a phenomenon stretching from South Africa to the Philippines.
“Young men and women are showing me videos on their phones, but I have no idea how they work,” Chalamanda told AFP from his home surrounded by macadamia trees and about 20 kilometers from Blantyre, Malawi’s economic capital. I do it.”
The old, thin, white-haired artist maintained the youthful enthusiasm. His grandson, 16-year-old Stepson Austin, who launched into the world of hip-hop and was dazzled by the length of his grandfather’s 70-year musical career, considers it “surprising that he lived so long to testify to his global success.”
Shalamanda was born in Chiradzulu, in southern Malawi, and became famous with his guitar all over the country. And his song “Buffalo Soldier”, in which he tells his dream of going to the United States, is known by everyone.
He currently sings in concerts and has played alongside new generations of musicians in the last decade.
In 2021, he decided to record a reggae version of some of the songs with a local artist in her thirties called Patience Namadingo. The video spread so quickly that the number of views reached seven million on YouTube.
At the end of 2021. The video clip reached the “Tik Tok” platform and spread around the world.
“When people in a nightclub or festival hear this song, everyone starts dancing,” says artist Davis Ngopvo. “It’s a hit.”
Although the lyrics are in the local Chihua language, they “go to the soul” of the listener, even if they are not fluent in the language, according to Joe Macingora, a producer and owner of a production company based in South Africa. “The old man sings with such passion that he impresses anyone who listens to him,” he added.
For Tammy Mbendera of the Malawi Institute of Festivals, “the lyrics of the songs were so deep in the past that they still resonate today,” while the TikTok platform created great opportunities for artists.
But Geddes Chalamanda, who has given birth to 14 children, seven of whom are still alive, is still waiting for the wide spread of his song to pay him a financial return.
He said: “It surprises me that I do not earn anything despite the popularity of the song. I am happy to make people dance all over the world but it must be of use to me. I need this money.”
According to Shalamanda’s business manager, Pemferu Mvandi, the process of obtaining royalties for his song that went viral on “Tik Tok” is continuing, and the Malawi Property Rights Association has announced that it is ready to help him.
“Writer. Communicator. Award-winning food junkie. Internet ninja. Incurable bacon fanatic.”