By Harold Kapindu
I am not one of those people who shower praises on the dead; I give credit where it is due and timely. Barely eleven years after the demise of Malawi’s reggae dancehall superstar and urban music pioneer Vic Marley, the country seem to slowly forget the icon, a development which is quite unfortunate.
As a kid, growing up in Chitawira, Blantyre I remember occasionally meeting Vic Marley when he was recording at MC Studio in Nkolokosa. That time, I was in a rap group “Maximum Sentence” and we could discuss music every time we met as that was our common ground. To those who knew Vic Marley am sure they can agree that he was a down to earth person despite his popularity.
Born Victor Kunje, the “Hii Hoo” star died on 24 May, 2005 in a tragic accident along Lunzu road. His only album “Mau Anga” had hits such as “Adaferanji”, “Malilime” and “Chidikhodikho feat Annie Matumbi” while “Traffic Police feat Blackamoore” was released as a single.
If you follow local music, artists out there are jacking Vic Marley’s style, especially dancehall artists but they don’t do anything to show they still remember the icon known for his twisting style and unique concepts. His Memorial Day has just passed but nothing has happened to celebrate his life.
In 2013, Vic Marley was honoured with a Life Time Achiever Award at Urban Music Party (UMP) Festival which took place at Blantyre Cultural Center (formerly French Cultural Center) in Blantyre, thanks to Nd’efeyo Entertainment. This is probably the only posthumous accolade the artist has received so far.
Malawi is known for easily forgetting her fallen heroes. It is therefore my appeal to all industry players including the media, artists and the Kunje family to act in unison in remembering the fallen reggae dancehall legend. Remember, apart from Vic Marley, the Kunje family has also given us talented artists namely Star Marley and Reptiler.
At this juncture, allow me to send my deepest condolences to the Nyanga family for the passing of Malawi’s prominent comedian John Nyanga trading under the moniker “Izeki” of the duo Izeki ndi Jakobo. May the souls of Vic Marley and Izeki continue resting in peace.