By Franco Mwachande Jnr
To many, the name Patrick Wame Magalasi sounds absolutely new but mentioning Mafunyeta, a cross-section will remember him as another extraordinary artist whose immense talent helped a lot in sharpening dancehall genre in the country.
Born March 27, 1988 as a third born in the family of four; he was fastest rising dancehall artist, songwriter, entrepreneur and actor. He used to call himself black cat and Crazy Mofin before he changed to Mafunyeta.
Mafunyeta popularly called the king of dancehall in Malawi by his fans captured many fans by his unique controversial, pro-gun lyrics and his stuttering and melodramatic style.
Late Mafunyeta’s Manager, Jeremiah Mbemba who also known as Snoozer said Mafunyeta was a multi-talented artist who bought change in the dancehall arena.
“Those who knew him, he was not just a mere musician but also a multi-talented artist despite that he was a dancer as well, his first public spotlight was through Lucius Banda’s video Esther, he was a dancer,”, he said.
He adds:” When he was selected to Mzuzu Government secondary school, he continued his habit of creating free styling with his friends, his music began to take more positive tune, and in short he was fastest rhymer I ever seen”.
In, music Caribre, he appealed to the public who like him in 2006. He came into the limelight after dropping his single Ndimakondwa before releasing album courtship days, from then, he received huge audience from many youth in the country.
“He get so much audience because of his uniqueness he created his own style in fact he hated copying from other artist that’s why it was very easy to become household name just imagine his music enjoys air plays in countries like Germany, England, Italy and some African countries,” Mbemba added.
Mwanache, the late Mafunyeta’s friend, describe the fallen dancehall artist as exceptionally talented and skilled in his music career.
“Mafunyeta brought in a new dancehall which I think was not performed anywhere, he was so creative. Just imagine, he could just get into the studio make a song right there on microphone, honestly, I never saw him busy writing lyrics, he was doing it more freestyle but his music was proper.
Mwanache, a dancehall artist as well added that what distinguished him in music industry was his originality and if he were alive, the music industry would have been at another level.
“As I knew him, we as Malawians lost an abundant talent in him. He was someone to learn from but he left untimely,” said Mwanache.
Another artist, Third Eye real name Mandela Mwanza describes Mafunyeta’s music as prophetic.
“The main difference between him and us as other Malawian artists is his uniqueness, just an example, after his demise many up and coming artist as well as other veterans tried to imitate his music style to connect with his fan base, but have not succeeded,” he said.
In his music career, he recorded 93 songs and collabos. He did songs like Ndimakondwa, Kangobwera, My Queen, Udikilire, Kangobwera, come back again just mention a few.
As artist, he featured with artist like Tay grin, Black jack, Malinga mafia, Third Eye, Mwanache, Sally Nyundo, Gwamba and his group Mabilinganya Empire and others.
Entertainment writer, Cyrus Bengo said that, there is something that went with him to his grave and that he created his inimitable music videos, he had his own kind of shooting and content, and he was not kind of artist who had huge budget when shooting his videos.
“He created his inimitable music videos, he had his own kind of shooting and content, and he was not kind of artist who had huge budget when shooting his videos.
“He always a simple approach,” he said.
This can easily been seen the costumes and not specially made by most urban music videos where artist aim at impressing and improving their image example is Kangobwera.
After success in 2007, he formed his group, Mabilinganya Empire which included dancehall powerhouse such Maddy P, Jay Jay Cee, Malinga Mafia, Dotolo, Black star just among others which also produced songs like Akufalasha ndani?.
However, the group leader Maddy P said his death brought the great loss to the group and Malawi music industry.
“Our memory is still fresh, we are still mourning for his death; in fact he was our pillar as group. We miss his advice but as of now, we just accepted the situation, as you know it was God’s will no one can reverse it but in his short time, he had shown his effort, “said Maddy P.
Adding to what Maddy P said, Jay Jay Cee another group member worried if Malawi will find another talented artist like him.
In his time, Mafunyeta also called King Shaka, worked with numerous producers one of them is Dj Sley who said:
“His type of singing or rapping that you drop in bars by starting before or after a kick or snare then ending up with a certain word and the next line rhyming with last word of the first phrase. This followed by pretty much every artist.
He was awesome, he would start anywhere as well in curse you will feel he is off beat but he always end up in the right space with increasing rhyming,” he said.
Mafunyeta who also called Maluli did more than 60 shows under Unique Recording company label, one of the biggest shows to his credit was the one organized by Q Malewezi under British council and at the show, and he shared stage with big local and international artist including P square from Nigeria.
Gwamba described the fallen dancehall icon as best stage performer he had ever seen in his life.
“I think what made him to be more special was ability to create freestyle at stage, he performed tirelessly, the way he gestured his hands and dancing style swallowed huge audience regardless of their age.
Meanwhile, Elias Missi “Che Patuma” hit maker, who known by name Atoht Manje said that Mafunyeta was among few musicians in the country who was able to develop his own music and it will take Malawi sometime to find another creative artist like him for that he deserved to be remembered.
“Though he died but his music is still alive and because of that I decided to pay last respect by creating him a song, Mafunyeta wapita which means we are digested,” said Atoht.
He adds, “You can see how many musicians had gone so far but as musicians, we see to it that it is necessary to commemorate him every August 24,” said the former Mabilinganya Empire member.
Mafunyeta passed away around 9 PM at Area 18 dispensary on 24 August 2013 due to Asthma attack and he was out of inhaler.
May his soul continue Rest in Peace.