Malawi: Public broadcaster accused of blacklisting



Public broadcaster accused of blacklisting

Malawian musician Lucius Banda claims to have been banned by public broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, reports Nation Online

“My songs have been banned on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and I am being dragged to court after all that I did for Bingu [wa Mutharika],” says Malawian musician Lucius Banda in an interview with Nation Online. Bingu wa Mutharika is the president of Malawi.

The state broadcaster parries away the allegation that it has banned his music. Spokesperson Edith Tsirizani says: “Music on MBC is demand driven. If his songs are not being played it means no one is requesting it. It could also mean he is losing popularity and he should not blame MBC for that.”


An article by Isaac Masingati in Nation Online describes how Lucius Banda’s music career opened up for a political career as well. Back in 1993, he had a major hit in Malawi with the song ‘Mabala’, and his political career started to take off at the peak of his music career, when Lucius was overwhelmingly voted Nation Publication’s “Man of the Year in 1997”.
His songs soothed not only the souls of millions of peasants in his country, but also tried to heal the wounds of many who had suffered various injustices during the dictatorship of Dr Kamuzu Banda.
In the 2004 presidential elections, Lucius composed and recorded a special song that he titled ‘Yellow’ in order to show outright loyalty to the United Democratic Front (UDF). Lucius and his dancing crew performed at various fora, singing his voice out to encourage people to push the UDF party and its presidential candidate Bingu wa Mutharika into power. This song arguably became the most played number on state radio MBC, and on Television Malawi. The music and wriggles of the suggestively dancing ‘girls’ did their magic: Mutharika was elected president to replace Atcheya (Bakili Muluzi).
Today, Lucius’ song ‘Yellow’ is hardly heard on the national radio. The only place one is likely to hear it is on juke boxes at drinking joints. Lucius Banda himself is involved in an ongoing court case in which he is accused of forging a Form 4 certificate, which he presented to the Electoral Commission to enable him contest in the 2004 parliamentary elections. A matter which is attracting nation-wide interest.


Nation Publications / Nation Online – 9 April 2006:
‘Lucius feels betrayed’

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