Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lest We Forget: Black Missionaries Band Declared Two Weeks' of Mourning in July

And I wrote thus:

The energy that makes the Black Missionaries tick on stage has been swept by the winds that brew away the life of patriarch, Enock Robert Fumulani, who died peacefully in his sleep around 2 am last Thursday, prompting the Chileka-based music outfit to declare two weeks of mourning.

The Blacks’ Band manager, Rasta Ray Harawa, said in an interview Tuesday that, without Enock, life could simply not go on for the Blacks.

“And this means that we have cancelled all live performances until after the mourning period. He was a pillar for the family. Now that the pillar is no longer there, we need to honour his life,” Harawa said.

Enock, a renowned composer, gave up the ghost on 12 July, pulling the breaks on 96 years of productive life that started in Chileka’s Dambo Village (modern-day 10 Miles) on August 19, 1916.

Under his mentorship, he saw most of his kinsmen turn into, or give birth to, musicians of national repute. Though most of his children died over the long years, they include Robert (Anjiru’s father), Dalford, Cresta, Silas, Arnold (the late Gift’s father), Eli, Mercy (Anthony Makondetsa’s mother), Jersey (Yanjanani Chumbu’s mother), Lewis and Levison.

Then came a host of talented grandchildren that include Anjiru Fumulani, Chizondi Fumulani, Moda Fumulani, Gift Fumulani, Anthony Makondetsa, and Alex Chumbu. In all, he is survived by 123 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“Because most of the Black Missionaries Band members are connected to him, we could not go on with our scheduled shows. Actually, the day Enock died, we were scheduled to perform in Kasungu but we called off the show,” Harawa said.

Harawa said fans should not panic as the cancelled performances would be rescheduled.

The Blacks had a litany of performances this week, starting with Salima on Saturday and Lunzu in Blantyre on July 22. In Salima, the show was organised by the Lilongwe-based Phindu Promotions.

“We will honour the shows, but only after July,” he said.

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