Malawi Mouse Boys – ‘Ndatopa Nawe’ (NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert)

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Listening to Nelson Mulligo‘s brilliant soulful and passionate singing in ‘Ndatopa Nawe‘ (I’m tired of you), you can easily get lost in dreaming. He really transcends places with his voice and guitar play and invites us, just to sit there next to him, in the Malawian countryside, in his home village near Balaka. But the lyrics confront us with the darkest sides of live. It’s a track about poverty and about evil human traits that make life hard. Nelson Mulligo personifies all the evil in Satan and confronts the devil directly: “You have brought troubles into this world/ Satan no I’m tired of you/ You are evil“. He also makes reference to the current Corona pandemic that has destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands people and continues to rage on all continents:

“You have brought a pandemic into this world

Satan no I’m tired of you

You have brought jealousy into this world

Satan no I’m tired of you

You are evil”

The Malawi Mouse Band has so far recorded four albums. Despite that, they cannot make a living from their art. According to Ian Brennan, in order “to survive, the men continue to sell mice by the roadside to travelers. They have also begun hawking coal. The creation of charcoal involves many of the same hazards as mouse hunting—exposure to wild boars, poisonous snakes and spiders, but also in this case, smoke inhalation … In desperation, two of the four members have now fled to South Africa in the hopes of work.” (Afropop)

You can purchase the band’s album “Forever is 4 Youhere or here.

The track was recorded live in the framework of NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts. Since the Corona pandemic also inhibits NPR to hold their regular concerts, artists from all over the world send their own home concerts. Sometimes crises widen our perspectives. The lyrics were translated from Chichewa into English by Malawian Youtuber Sana.




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