Malawi’s cholar expert composer of the popular Kunali John Chilembwe song, Mjura Mkandawire, has died aged 87, his son said on Thursday.
Chilembwe song was in honour of Malawi’s prime martyr who is credited with the heroics of 1915 uprising that catalysed the fight for self-rule.
Mkandawire – from Chihoro Village in Rumphi – also composed other popural songs like Pakupoka Wanangwa and Nsewu wa Golodi.
The former MBC band leader also taught music at Phwezi Private Secondary School from 1988 to 1994 and authored a book titled Malawian Choral Compositions to give teachers helpful hints.
According to Mkandawire’s fifth born son Vitumbiko Mkandawire, Mjura passed away in the early hours of Thursday at Livingstonia Mission Hospital in Rumphi after succumbing to rectal cancer.
Vitumbiko said his father was diagnosed of rectal cancer sometime back and in April this year was taken to University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia where he received cancer treatment before being referred to Livingstonia Mission Hospital in Rumphi for chemotherapy.
“He has been fine after receiving the two treatments. It was on Wednesday evening when he complained of stomach pains and we took him to Livingstonia Mission Hospital and he passed away hours later,” said Vitumbiko as quoted by The Nation .
Mjura is survived by a wife Donas has left six children and 14 grandchildren.