Mafilika and Goitse play a wonderful joint gig!
Upcoming modern afro-rock and reggae outfit Mafilika came hot on Tuesday night in a wonderful collaboration with traditional Irish folk band Goitse, at the Irish Embassy in Lilongwe.
Mafilika and Goitse mesmerized the audience that comprised of Irish nationals residing in Lilongwe and local Malawians who came to witness the performance.
A fusion of modern afro-rock and Malawian traditional touch from Mafilika and Irish traditional folk music produced irresistible rhythms that united both Malawians and Irish to dance and sing along.
The two groups brought Malawian and traditional Irish beats together and fused them with rock and reggae that left many wondering what music can do in uniting people of two different cultures.
The two groups had only two days to rehearse together in order to come up with such a spirited performance. Brian O'Brien 2nd Secretary at the Irish Embassy could not resist the rhythms as he jumped on stage and performed some Irish dance steps that also amazed the audience.
"It was irresistible. I failed to believe I was seeing two groups from different cultures fusing their traditional music and making everyone feel good. Malawians and Irish they were all feeling at home with the same song," said O'Brien.
O'Brien said they organized the show to show people that music knows no boundaries and has the power to unite people from different races.
"Mafilika and Goitse have proved to us that our cultures are similar. Both Malawi and Irish artists are talented but their coming together was something different," said Obrien.
Mafilika's leader Jizammy Lindani Andy said it was a wonderful and memorable experience to perform alongside Goitse and that as a group it has expanded their music knowledge and understanding of western traditional music.
"We have shared so much and yet our traditions are so different, it was an very enriching experience we produced good rhythms together. The sound that was coming from their instruments was awesome and fusing with modern instruments made the final outcome super," said Jizammy.
The Goitse used boduran (hand drum), fiddle, guitar, banjo and accordion, while Mafilika was using electric guitar, bass guitar and ng'oma (African drums).
Goitse came to Malawi after performing at the Music Crossroads Interregional Festival (IRF) in Zambia where they performed as a guest band. There visit to Africa was supported by Culture Ireland and Irish Aid and sponsored by PJT Insurance. It is the second year of an exchange programme being run by Clonmel Junction Festival with Music Crossroads.
For the last two years the winning band from the IRF has been invited to Clonmel for the week of the festival to perform and spend some time exploring shared and different musical interests with a group of Irish musicians.
Clonmel Junction Festival Artistic Director David Teevan, who has been developing Irish exchange programme traveled to Malawi last year with Clonmel rock band Maslow that perform at the IRF 2008 in Lilongwe as a guest band.
He said the exchange program has been successful with all sides benefiting from each other.
"The programme is producing good results according to our objectives. The visits are very meaningful for the musicians in terms of their life development and their music" said Teevan.
By Mike Langa Lulanga