Malawi artist Manganya detained during ‘Kamuzu’ movie shoot

Malawi Police on Friday detained renowned comic star behind Manganya trademark, Micheal Usi, after he took commercial city Blantyre by storm when he started shooting his movie, Kale, which combines traditional dances and drama depicting founding president Ngwazi Dr Hasting Kamuzu Banda era, driving citizens down memory lane.

The comedian had been permitted by the city authorities to shoot the movie.

He was taken to Police as he paraded through Masauko Chipembere Highway in Blantyre with his mock convoy.

Usi said he hired Police Mobile Service for security, the traffic police for direction on the roads and obtained permission from the Censorship Board and Blantyre City Assembly.

On the detention, actor said Police told him they did not want his mock convoy  “to disturb”  President Bingu wa Mutharika’s motorcade  which would  be passing through Limbe from Lilongwe.

Usi was freed without any charge.

It was reminiscent of the past for people to see Mbumba (women) dancing for their “beloved” Life President Kamuzu (being played by Manganya) and also the notorious Youth League members clad in their red and Khakhi uniform.

Usi acting as Kamuzu in Kale

The movie is based on an open day which brings 50 members of party women guilds -including MCP’s Mbumba za Kamuzu, DPP’s Amayi a Bingu and UDF’s Lyolyolyo crew -together as Malawians. Typically, the gathering is characterised by dances, party colours and security agents as MCP’s youth wings.

Usi says, through  Kale, he wants to remind the nation the story about the late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda – the genuine Ngwazi , not the copy cat Ngwazi Bingu wa Mutharika, how he lived and how he governed and developed the country with the help of his four cornerstones—Loyalty, Unity, Obedience and Discipline.

The playwright stresses that Kale “has nothing to do with politics” but it is a story that is based on “good things Kamuzu did” to Malawi.

“It’s a political play but there is no politics in it.”

He also pointed out that he is “an avid supporter of Dr Banda, whom many people despise as dictator.”

“I have read much about him. It’s not that I agree with everything he did,” Usi, diminutive like Kamuzu, said.

According to Usi, Kamuzu “was the biggest democrat because he allowed the [1993] referendum to happen and was quick to accept the results when Malawians elected Muluzi.”

He feels Kale will give the “born-frees” —the youth—a chance to have a feel of his mannerisms and leadership style.

“There is no future without Kale (past),” he said.

Usi: Acting Kamuzu Banda in Kale production, Blantyre movie shoot
Mbumba dancing during the movie shoot
Acting as MCP Youth League members
Movie shoot: Mbumba

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