Music has proven to be a productive space for the display of political party ideologies. Songs seem to be a ready-made arena for the playing out of these philosophies. It is no wonder that each and every party and candidate has the ability to sway voters by involving musicians to brand their image. This paper will analyse three songs by Dan Lufani (Dan Lu). It will explore how Dan Lu managed to sell his party, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) since 2018, when he produced his first pro DPP song.
Dan Lu has produced three songs for the DPP titled ‘Lozanu Zanu’, ‘Winaso Ayi’ and ‘DPP Boma ilo’.
The first two songs feature Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM), the president of DPP. In the first song, ‘Lozanu Zanu’, produced in 2018, shows how Dan Lu started his branding episodes by celebrating the achievements of the DPP since its birth. However, some criticised the song for mentioning some developments done by the late Professor Bingu wa Muthalika, who passed away, saying he could have focused on what Professor Arthur has done.
I feel this was just a mere attempt to repudiate the fact that Dan Lu was celebrating the achievements of DPP as a whole and not a periodic representation of Professor Arthur’s time.
‘Lozanu Zanu’ is aimed at giving Malawians a picture of what the DPP has done since its birth. This gives Malawians the appreciation necessary to vote for it. What Professor Bingu and Professor Arthur have done is create the platform that all upcoming presidents of DPP will use to get votes. For example, Professor Bingu’s achievements was essential for Professor Arthur’s 2014 victory and what he has done now will help him and all other future presidents.
“I want rural areas to be engines of economic development.” This statement by Professor Arthur in the song shows his understanding of spatial organisation, especially the rural urban linkages.
Listening to ‘Winaso Ayi’, one is forced to understand that Dan took the ‘Lozanu Zanu’ criticism seriously and he did not repeat mistakes. ‘Winaso Ayi’ is a song based on Professor Arthur and it talks about developments done by the Professor himself. For reference sake, the song mentions Chapananga Bridge, Kasungu Stadium, numerous technical colleges and different roads that the wise and dynamic leadership of Professor Arthur had done.
Looking at these achievements, Dan Lu argues that Malawians do not need any other person but Professor Arthur.
“A winaso ayi/ dziko lagwiilizana/ Msogoleri ndani? /Peter yekha.” (we do not need another president, only Arthur Peter). This songs feature’s Professor Arthur’s speech about rural electrification through the MAREP 8 elecricity initiative in Malawi. Rural electrification is very important if we are to improve rural areas. With rural electrification, the rural economy can be diversified because electricity will create room for other livelihoods that cannot work without electrical power.
In his last blue song titled ‘DPPboma ilo’, Dan finishes his blue campaign by encouraging Malawians to vote for Professor Arthur for other reasons that were not mentioned in the last 2 songs. For example, the song praises the DPP government for the facilitation of the production of the National ID’s and the stable economy, just to mention a few. ‘Boma ilo’ shows that Dan Lu is updated on the issues happening in the country and in the DPP as a party.
Dan Lu’s three blue songs are not mere songs. The songs have a special touch and tempo. They are club bangers, especially ‘Lozani zanu’ and ‘DPP boma ilo’. The artist and producer had a feel of what a campaign song should sound like. The songs have mature styles. Of all the songs, ‘Lozani Zanu’, is the best because it has a captivating beat that encourages people to dance.
However, Dan Lu could have done better if he corroborated with the Sendera Sisters. These women are a rare species. They know what to sing in a bid to sell a candidate. If you listen to their songs since DPP was born, you will see that they have produced jingles that are respectable for a campaign. A combination of Dan and these women could have produced another hit like ‘Angwazi senderani’.
Music is important. It’s no wonder all parties have their own branded songs. However, Dan Lu does stand out because he managed to produce songs that are captivating and have managed to sell his party.
Some songs from other parties are equally good and have that fire power to make people rave and adore. United Transformation Party’s (UTM) Akunva Kuwawa, Tuwapochere a Chilima by Fikisa and Malawi’s Congress Party (MCP’s) Tikufuna Chakwera by Nic Thindwa are at par with Lozani zanu. However, the consistency of Dan Lu’s songs was worth exploring.
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