The day the music died: Joseph Tembo laid to rest

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“Your talent has been extraordinary, your humanity indescribable. Your love stays for eternity. Gone physically, but your spirit and your love will remain eternally dear to our hearts. Sleep in peace,” reads a caption on a huge portrait of musician and politician Joseph Tembo mounted at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.

Nankhumwa paying his last respect to Joseph Tembo Nankhumwa paying his last respect to Joseph Tembo
21
December


The ceremony was to take the gifted music maker through to HHI Cemetary, his final resting place. He died on Thursday at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe after a short illness.


From 8am in the morning, a stage had already been mounted where well known musicians such as King James Phiri, Ndirande Anglican Voices, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Favoured Martha, Allan Chirwa and Black Missionaries were ditching out their best in honour of a man whose contribution to Malawi’s music industry is just huge.


Away from music, Joseph Tembo also had a flirt with politics, which saw him becoming a Member of Parliament for Chikwawa South Constituency in between 2009 and 2014.


This was evidenced by the turning up of number politicians, with President Arthur Peter Mutharika being represented by Agriculture and Water Development Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa.


“President Mutharika is saddened by Joseph Tembo’s death, as you are all aware that, through his music, he contributed a lot to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party,” said Nankhumwa in reference to DPP’s Sendera Sisters, who owe all of their production to Joseph Tembo.


Taking her turn, Musician Union of Malawi (MUM) President Gloria Kampingo Manong’a said late Tembo respected all musicians regardless of their status in the industry.


“You go to his studio; he would respect you no matter whether you were a new comer or an established musician. This is an example worthy emulating,” said Manong’a.


And according to Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Chancy Simwaka, Joseph Tembo died barely seven hours after President Mutharika had appointed him into a Copyright Association of Malawi (Cosoma) board.


A son to Apostolic Faith Mission president, Bishop Jeffrey Tembo, Joseph started his music in church at the age of ten. To his name, he has produced music for artists such as Lucius Banda, Billy Kaunda, Whyclif Chimwendo, Chitheka Family and Grace Chinga just to mention a few.


Born on September 18 1977, Joseph Tembo has died at the age of 42. He has survived with a wife and four children. He hailed from Tenesi Village, Traditional Authority Ngabu in Chikwawa.

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