Malawian video hits million views on YouTube, Facebook

Abale Ndikumbukeni, a video by a little known Nkhata Bay musician Gasper Nali, has hit over 9 million views on a Latinos Post on Facebook.

Gasper Nali folk-artist

Gasper Nali folk-artist

A video of the folk artist has received worldwide acclaim and has seen about nine million views on Facebook and over one million views on YouTube despite that many of the people cannot understand the Chichewa language he uses.

Nali is a talented self-taught traditional musician from Nkhata Bay whose unique sound stems from the babatone, his self-made, one-stringed instrument played with a metal baton and a glass bottle used as a slide. He combines the babatoni with a floor bass drum (also self-made) and a crisp, clear voice to produce a rich blend.

The three-minute video shows Nkhata Bay native playing a home-made babatoni against a backdrop of the lake. He is playing a small drum with his foot and one of his large string guitars that he makes of recycled materials, including wire from burnt tyres.

In the comments section, several viewers laud the musician for the originality of his music.

Nali was previously featured in the documentary, ‘Deep Roots Malawi’, where he explains the origin of his instrument.

According to the 35-year-old Nali, he started playing  the babatoni with his young brother way back in time: “Back in Zingwangwa, my younger brother first made a guitar with three strings. I told him it was a good idea to make that kind of instrument. We started practicing and the sound was good, really good. So we decided to make a one-stringed guitar, which is called a babatoni. We cut a cow skin and fixed it on a mortar well. When we played people loved the music.”

A two minute, 57 seconds clip of him playing Abale Ndikumbukeni was initially recorded in 2007 but it went viral last month after Latin website Latinos Post reposted it, where it has so far garnered close to nine million views and 150 000 shares.

And since then, the video has been reposted by websites, with even reputable sites such as Huffington Post, Daily Motion and Heavy Metal picking up the clip and reposting it with commentaries.

An in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, the soft spoken musician says he has not started benefitting from all the publicity, but he looks forward to using his new-found fame to reach out to a wider audience.

And in an exclusive interview from Nkhata Bay, the Standard 7 dropout said he has been surprised by the sudden interest in his music.

“I am honestly surprised by this interest because the video was recorded many years ago,” said the soft-spoken musician who is a resident musician at Mayoka Village Lodge in Nkhata Bay.

Since 2002, Nali has been engaged by Mayoka Village Lodge, a tourist haven in Nkhata Bay.

Aside that, Nali says he is looking forward to performing at this year’s Lake of Stars Festival in Mangochi.

Watch the original video of Nali here:

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wasoka manson


pingu bikili kamizu

I watched it, wonderful talent, unfortunately the lad has tasted nothing from his labour and fame, but I hope someone out there will have the passion to promote him locally please.

wales banda

Zikomo zikomo, pamene nkhata bay ili mbwalo thyolo ikonzeke

alick fwaya nkhatabay boy

Ooooooo I love u tonga boy


It’s just unfortunate that with all that buzz about his music, he is still not getting a penny off his talent. Funny thing not any artist here in malawian can match with him yet even at the he is due to perform, you will find him being less paid. Sad……. #Wordsmith is out


Is it my computer because this song keeps stopping while playing

Heroes are not honored in their own land. We have seen it. In Malawi social media and technology is not helping us. Kunabwera Luciano and performed at Silver. But nothing on Youtube to watch that show. Not even clips from mobile phones. Kunabwera Anne Kansiime, nothing on youtube. What more our own local rare gems. nothing good really. How do you expect people to know or here about Malawi. Anthu aziti akamapanga search this international stars who visited Malawi, azipeza zinthu ngati #Luciano in Lilongwe, Kansiime at BICC, PSquare at Golf Club etc. In that way we are also lighting… Read more »

well done



Zanga Phee!

keep well buddy.see my name

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