It is hit after hit from Malawian rapper, Suffix. After impressing with his last song, Cholinga, the Lilongwe based artist has once again come with a work that keeps reminding fans the genius in him whenever he decides to go into the studio. Malawi’s favorite Christian rapper keeps on meeting the huge expectations people have for his enormous talent.
His flow is something special. Eloquent, powerful and vivid, Suffix makes sure his music does not complicate matters, but get to his listeners in a way that finds their soul. The artist is impressively using urban music in a way that most listeners never imagined as the music is usually associated with promoting unruly behaviors.
In December 2017, American rapper, Sho Baraka, visited the country and had music shows in Blantyre and Lilongwe. As the renowned gospel rapper in Malawi, Suffix was the right hand man of the visiting rapper. He would open the shows for him, get close to the 116 founding member, and giving all his efforts to learn from the best. Learning he did as their relationship ended up in a joint and Suffix’s latest and first offer in 2018, Ghetto Ndi Nyatwa.
Power. Dreams. Inspiration. These are words that so far describes where Suffix is with his career and how it is affecting urban music in Malawi. The song has shown why and how the rapper is counted as one the best among his contemporaries. It is based on the talk of character as most important for man’s success.
Kamuzu Banda’s voice sets the mood of the song with his famous take on the subject. In a featured audio, the former Malawi leader is quoted: “It is character that makes a lady and a gentleman, not money.” Suffix has invested much weight of the song on the ghetto association with urban music. He builds it from an understanding of him as former resident of Chilobwe ghetto in Blantyre.
All is not well there. Ten homes using one pit latrine and crime are the order of the day. They then look at children from well-to-do neighborhoods as not tough enough to hustle for living on their own. They go around boasting and living on their parent’s riches. Real life is said to be in the ghetto, raps Suffix, stepping into the shoes of his former self when he was there. Everyone, including rappers, wants to be associated with the ghetto, places where life is always tough.
Is this all that you deserve? Suffix then brings out his own life story. As a boy formerly from the ghetto, it is possible to rise out from the place. The life experienced directly influences one’s character. Chances of ending up in crime or shunning education are high. But just like him, it is possible to still keep oneself upright and work for the day when you will be out.
He recognizes that for most it is not their own choice to be in the ghetto. But he then faults the trending attitude of normalizing life in such places as the ultimate reflection of what a Malawian youth has to be. There is something better than it. Suffix brings in government as well. It is not giving much attention to what is happening in there. People do not have access to good health services, for example, while when those in authorities can afford to fly overseas for better treatment.
It is never wrong to live in good neighborhoods, in fact this is actually what we need to be working towards. He raps that he works hard just to make sure his children do not endure the ghetto life he faced. When secular urban music is branding itself as music for the low areas youths, it is time this is put to a stop. This cannot be the only life.
Sho Baraka comes in after Suffix. He is no ordinary rapper as every word that comes from his rap carries with it versatility and conviction. He preaches love and models it on Jesus Christ; reaching out to those in the ghetto, showing that there is an opportunity for everyone. There was no ghetto for the Savior. He goes on to rap about America:
America ain’t better bra coz we gat riches
What good is your money if it ain’t used for gospel living
It does not start and end with hustle for money. We are in the ghetto/hood for a reason, he preaches. There has to be love and a spirit that makes us equal to our challenges. Believers need to fight against the normalization of injustice and corruption in the society. When we think ghetto is a place where real life is; actually, there is more to it.
Writer: Wonderful Mkhutche