Malawi Gospel Music: The Past, Present, and Future of Gospel Music In Malawi

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Malawi Gospel Music: past, present and the Future

Malawi gospel music stands to be among the popular music from Malawi. Malawian gospel music is sung in vernacular language especially Chichewa. Some Malawi gospel musicians compose English songs as well. Malawian gospel music dates back into the 1980s. The earliest Malawi gospel was done in the 80s. Paul Banda the founder of Alleluya band is one of the oldest gospel musician from Malawi.Malawi gospel music

In the early years, Malawi gospel music was performed by choirs. By then the use of heavy instruments were not recognized in the churches. Singing gospel songs in Malawi using instruments was a taboo.  Gospel music in Malawi was by then influenced by Holly cross choir from South Africa. Some of the pioneer gospel music groups in Malawi are the, alleluia band, Mhango salvation singers and Katawa singers.  Back then recording and distribution of Malawi gospel music was done by the public broadcaster MBC.

Fast forward in the 1990s there was drastic change in gospel music industry in Malawi. By these years the number of Pentecostal churches increased. Unlike the catholic and other traditional churches, Pentecostal churches allowed performance of Malawi gospel music using instruments. As a result gospel singers called “praise teams” were formed in different churches. This promoted gospel music industry in Malawi. Since then solo gospel artists emerged in Malawi.

See also Malawi Music: What you need to know about Malawi music

Malawi Gospel Music Today

Malawi gospel songs are now popular across the country. The popularity of Malawi gospel music is in one part due to the fact that most Malawians are Christians.  Statistics shows Christians form 80{5808e1736132a1fa864f6fc8b64688fbc0d5d9b8c9ab44aea1223eff99f9c2e7} of the Malawi population. The remaining 20{5808e1736132a1fa864f6fc8b64688fbc0d5d9b8c9ab44aea1223eff99f9c2e7} of the population are Muslims and others.

Malawi music top 100 lists compiled whether on radio, TV or online are never complete without including gospel music. Malawi gospel music videos and audio are now popularly distributed through online music sites. In the past distribution of Malawi gospel videos was through OG Isaa. Other gospel artists also sell their music on the roads especially in the cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.

Malawi gospel music free downloads are also available from some Malawian music websites. But recently Malawian music websites have started selling Malawi music videos through their sites. Top Malawi gospel singers include Thocco Katimba, Ethel Kamwendo-Banda, Patience Namadingo, Princes Chitsulo, Limbani Simenti, The Great Angels Choir, and Kamuzu Barracks Choir.

Malawi Gospel Music Future

People enjoy live performances of gospel music done by Malawian artists. Most gospel shows are performed at BICC and the ICA Marque (Lilongwe), Robin’s Park and Comesa Hall (Blantyre) and at Katoto Secondary School (Mzuzu).   The future of Malawi gospel music is clear. Malawian gospel musicians are investing more in their talent and technology to give out their best. 

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