Malawi President honours 92-year-old legendary musician

Everson Luhanga

Giddes Chalamanda and his daughter Linny were guests of honour at Malawi State House on January 20 as part of his 92nd birthday celebration.

President Lazarus Chakwera hosted Chalamanda at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, where the Malawi leader gave the musician a gift and a trophy.

“You have shown that a person can use their music talent their whole life,” Chakwera told Chalamanda.

In his remarks, Chalamanda thanked the president for remembering him.

Chalamanda started his music career in the mid-1940s when he taught himself how to play the gallon guitar.

He began recording in 1970 with the state radio, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation.

Last year, a reggae version of his hit song “Linny”, which he performed with Patience Namadingo, went viral on Tiktok and became a worldwide sensation.

In one of his old songs, Chalamanda sings about his wish to visit the United States of America.

His dream only came true in 2016 at the ripe old age of 86.

Chalamanda used his opportunity to urge President Chakwera to revamp the country’s troubled arts sector.

Following the birthday celebrations, the president said on his official Facebook page that he had touched base with Chalamanda on a number of critical areas that need improvement.

“I hosted music legend, Giddes Chalamanda, for a chat that revolved around his views on music, arts, and history about his career,” he wrote.

“During our interaction, Giddes gave me insights on how the best government and the music industry can collaborate in creating jobs and inclusive wealth for all Malawians.”