George da Soulchild aka Kaufela aka George Mukwita, co-host of our regular Sunday night radio show on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, writes about James Banda, Zambia’s youngest music producer.
“Call him ‘Jack Of All Trades’, James Banda otherwise known as ‘Magigi’ is multi-talented in music circles and it leaves one wondering how he’s mastered so much! The 16-year-old’s ability to produce, write and sing songs puts him in a class of his own. Magigi, a grade nine dropout, has embraced music to raise money for school.
In an interview Magigi said he had to drop out of school due to lack of sponsorship. After his father stopped working last year life became difficult for James, but despite the problems he was facing, he qualified to grade 10 at Libala High School – though he wasn’t able to take up the placement. Despite his considerable talent in music, Magigi is determined to go back to school, because for him, music goes well with education.
“I will surely go back to school because I cannot depend on music. Musicians get finished and so when things don’t go well for me, I can easily fall back on my education,” he said. Magigi urges upcoming musicians to prioritize education, stating that education is the only key to success. “Young musicians who don’t have interest in education will regret it, because anything can happen in music. School is very important in life actually, it is education that can help somebody make it in life” he said.
Magigi, a music producer at Flat Line studios, has single handedly written and produced an eight-track album entitled, ‘Certain Feelings’, the songs are currently receiving massive airplay on local radio stations. The youngest musician in the country is currently scouting for sponsorship, so that he can release the album. “I have finished the album and hopefully soon it will be on the shelves, but I’m looking for sponsors to help me promote my music. Again, I need to find money to register my music with Zamcops. I don’t have the licence yet to protect my music from piracy”. Magigi said.
On how he has managed to fit in the industry at his age, he recounts that he has a rare touch to his music. “I have courage in the industry. I give respect to those I have found in music, but I don’t fear them. I don’t compete with anyone because I do musical things differently. I sing about the realities of life,” Magigi noted.
He says through his music he speaks for the voiceless, especially the orphans and vulnerable children. “I speak for the people who are suffering in society. I teach people through music because I go to shanty compounds and see people are suffering. Sometimes I go on the streets to monitor street children. I thank God for giving me the talent,” Magigi related. He says he’s an open-minded person and always leaves room for criticism. “I like incorporating new ideas in my music. Even if I am young, I advise parents on various issues and due to the problems that I have passed through, I feel hurt whenever I am singing,” Magigi said.
Born to Francis, a retiree, and Joyce Banda, a marketeer at Lusaka’s Kamwala Clinic, Magigi is the last born in the family of five.”