Team Lazarus, a management team for Malawi musician with albinism, Lazarus Chigwandali, has finally bought a secure home for the artist and his family which cost K19 million.
The money for the purchase of the house has been realized from an online Kickstarter campaign in the wake of attacks on persons with albinism in Malawi.
Chigwandali felt insecure at his old house in the outskirts of Lilongwe City and he was a victim of the violence when he was previously abducted.
Speaking to Nyasa Times, Lazarus producer and manager Johan Hugo disclosed that about 150 people donated to the kickstarter campaign during what described as “a very nerve wrecking month”.
“We had calculated that we would be able to build a house on the land Lazarus had for the money we raised (just over £22 000 before Kickstarter fees) but we quickly realised Lazarus was getting too famous in Malawi to live in the area where he had the land.
“There was a lot of weird vibes and we worried we would build the house and they would still not be safe there. This really freaked us out because we couldn’t afford to buy land in a middle class neighbourhood and build there. And we had looked at finished houses before and they where way out of our budget,” Hugo explained.
He then said Lazarus team in Malawi which consists Clem Kwizombe, Esau Mwamwaya and Spiwe Zulu saw many houses and found one that the team liked and could afford.
“We then started to go through the process of buying it just to realise we were being scammed and we had to pull out. Weeks and months went by without finding another house we could afford, until this house appeared! It was over budget (total about £19,500 plus all the legal fees etc) but we knew we had to buy it or we risked being totally stuck.
“The process really long and complicated and we were on the verge of being scammed again, but it finally worked out and Esau Mwamwaya picked up the keys last week while Lazarus was in Scotland,” Hugo added.
“It has a fully-fitted kitchen, big garden, two bathrooms, tiled floor, three bedrooms, one sitting room and a dining room,” he said.
“It also has a small out house that could eventually be a little studio for Lazarus. Or a massive chicken coop! The whole compound has a big parameter wall with barbwire on top. We’ll be installing flood lights and they’re getting a couple of guard dogs. No one is getting to them here,” Hugo stressed.
According to Hugo, a year ago, Lazarus and his Family lived in a shack, really exposed to attacks and kidnappings, worrying every day for the saftey of their kids.
“Now the family can live in peace and Lazarus can focus his attention on his music career and his work as an albinism activist. We will forever be grateful for what the people have given them,” said the grateful Hugo.
He further appealed to the general public to keep supporting Lazarus family in terms of school fees, house bills, medical treatments among others.
Reacting to the development, Chigwandali wrote on Twitter: “Oh my God! You all [fans] bought me a house through the kicker starter campaign. My family is finally safe! Thank you.”
America pop superstar Madonna endorsed Lazarus as an emerging musician from Malawi who is leading the way towards social change for people with albinism in Africa.
The pop icon, who is also the Executive Producer of Lazarus documentary, described the Malawian artist as “A powerful voice of a new generation in Malawi”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :