Malawian ethno music group Fikisa, famous for the song Akamwire, have parted ways after the band leader Jeffrey Thom accused the two other member Saidi and Seleman Yusuf of bewitching him.
Fikisa, who self-titled album was on the BBC Album of the Year list for 2012, won listeners’ hearts with their fusion of ethnic Yao drumming beats fused with urban sounds to create a genre that was both unique but also catch and danceable.
According to reports, trouble started brewing after the trio parted ways with their managers and mentors, Nyimbo Music Company who they accused of swindling them. After that, the trio decided to go solo, performing at gigs across the country.
But they started arguing among themselves on how to split the earnings, with the two brothers Saidi and Seleman accusing Thom of swindling them.
“When they raised the issue with Thom, who also happens to be their uncle, he accused the two of practicing witchcraft. And when the two took up the issue with their parents, it was reports to the village head Kawinga, who heard the case, found Thom guilty and fined him two chickens,” said our source.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, both Saidi and Thom confirmed the reports, confessing that they have since gone their separate ways.
Thom, whose dancing antics include an intricate stomach dance and eating a fireball, claimed that he did not call his nephews witches but he told them that their behavior was tantamount to witchcraft.
“The boys stopped talking to me yet we were in the same group and I told them that their arrogant behavior was tantamount to witchcraft. But I have accepted their decision and I will continue performing with other people,” he said.
On his part, Saidi said they could not continue performing with a person that calls them witches.
“We are in the studio recording our own music which will be out soon,” he said.
Fikisa evolved from Village Cultural Troupe and became a music group under the patronage of Nyimbo Music Company, whose CEO Daud Suleman said he could not comment on the issue since they stopped working with the group last year.
He, however, explained that none of the members would be allowed to trade under the Fikisa brand as it is trademarked by Nyimbo Music Company.
“We are the ones who came up with that name and we even trademarked it with the Registrar of Companies so if they want to continue performing they will have to find a new name,” he said.
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