Hit-Maker of the moment: Blackjack Che Kalonda

By Alfred Njikho, Malawi Heat

His music has been misinterpreted – many times. Banned on state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and unbanned. But Blakjak, born Fatsan Michael Che-Kalonda, hasn’t lost his grip. With a career spanning over thirteen years, the man has remained himself – Malawi’s man of the moment.
Malawi's celebrated musician - Blackjack

“It all started with doing church plays, singing in the choir,” the Wadya Iwe hit-maker told www.malawiheat.com.

He is currently one of Malawi’s top urban musicians. Previously, he was very much associated with Nyasa Guruz – an urban music outfit he and his siblings formed – which has gone silent for the last few years.

The group was renowned for some its good numbers including Tumpale, Fisi, Nthawi and Suzzie.

Asked whether or not the group split up, Blackjack said “the group is still together.”

He added: “Actually, we are currently working on our fourth album. We just took our time to concentrate on personal developments.”

Apart from being a musician, Blackjack – currently a darling of all Malawian youth with his latest song Yes or No – is also an actor with Nanzikambe where he also directs plays.

Looking back at his career as a musician, he recalls having his songs banned from being played on national radio - MBC.

“It was a mere misunderstanding that led to the ban of my music,” he said. “People at MBC radio station thought that I swear in my songs but after a thorough research, they found out that I do not swear in my songs and started playing my music again.”

Blackjack said the biggest challenge he faces as a musician is piracy.
His music has been misinterpreted.

“People do not show support by buying original CDs - but rather engage in burning songs,” he said.

But he said to deal with the problem he makes sure he releases listener friendly songs and does more performances.

He also disclosed to www.malawiheat.com that his latest single will be out on November 25, 2013. He couldn't say the title of the single though.

Advice to Malawi’s up-and-coming artists: “Work hard and be original.”

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