Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, was on Saturday, December 21, among thousands of mourners who attended the funeral of Malawi’s cerebrated musicians and guitar maestro, Joseph Tembo, at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Tembo, who was also former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) MP for Chikwawa Nkombezi, died on Thursday, December19, 2019 at the Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe after a short illness.
In his eulogy, Nankhumwa who represented President Peter Mutharika, said the Malawi leader is seething with a heavy heart and deeply saddened by the death of Joseph Tembo who he said was a dedicated member of the ruling party, and who he also regarded as his own son.
“The President has particularly asked me to deliver this solemn message of condolence to the bereaved family; to the music fraternity and to all DPP members because of their heavy loss. He said his relationship with Joseph dates back to the time they worked together on the campaign trail prior to the 2014 tripartite election.
“The President said he knows Joseph as a passionate and dedicated person who loved his job and the DPP. He said he knows Joseph as a talented young man who created most of our campaign songs and produced some of the finest songs for the famed DPP Sendela sisters,” said Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa added that it is sad for the country to be losing such young and talented musicians like Joseph Tembo.
He said apart from providing entertainment for the people, musician are very critical to the social economic development of the country because the language of music transcends international boundaries, and can be a valuable source of foreign exchange earnings for this country.
Nankhumwa urged the musicians to be little more organised in their associations to ensure that they have a framework to deal with their social wellbeing during critical times or emergencies.
Said Nankhumwa: “I would like to seriously encourage you to establish associations, not just on paper, but associations that are practical; that work. These associations should be vibrant to be used as vehicles for mobilising funds for a rainy day; to be used during hard times such as sickness or death of members.
“In such a way, the dignity of members will be sustained and there won’t be such things as taking a begging bowl during emergencies like these because that would have already been taken care of.”
Other people who delivered their eulogies at the funeral were Chief Naperi of Blantyre veteran gospel musician, Wycliffe Chimwendo and Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Joseph Chavula.
In his speech, Chavula said he was shocked by Joseph Tembo’s passing.
“It was in the morning of the same Thursday, December 19, that we received instruction to write Joseph Tembo, to notify him that he has been appointed to the Board of COSOMA as a Board member. I was therefore did not believe to learn in the evening of the same day that he had died at Kamuzu Central Hospital. We are therefore saddened as a Ministry with this unforeseen death,” Said Chavula.
Among some of the musicians who were present at the stadium were Favoured Martha; Ethel Kamwendo, Anthony Makondetsa, the Anglican Voices, Joseph Nkasa and Tembo’s band , the Magic Groove which played some songs at the funeral in remembrance of their fallen leader.
Other high profile dignitaries were also present at the funeral; among them were Minister of Mining and Natural Resources who is also DPP Regional Governor for the Central Region, Binton Kutsaira; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francis Kasaila; Minister of Information who is also MP for Zomba Chisi Constituency, Mark Botomani; Deputy Minister of Defence who is also MP for Blantyre Central Constituency where the funeral took place, Chipililo Mpinganjira and some deputy ministers. Joseph Tembo was 42 years of age and is survived by a wife and three children.
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