CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
THE Immigration Department has arrested Congolese musician Shadreck Mukenge, popularly known as Mumba Yachi, for allegedly obtaining Zambian citizenship illegally.
And the Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) is shocked to learn that Mukenge is not Zambian but Congolese.
Immigration Department public relations officer Namati Nshinka said in a statement yesterday that Mukenge, 31, allegedly made false representations to obtain a Zambian green NRC number 405730/10/1 and a Zambian passport number ZN 550035.
“The suspect was on May 9, 2017 intercepted by officers at Chirundu border control when he attempted to enter Zambia using a Zambian passport number ZN 550035 bearing the names Shadreck Mumba. He also had in his possession a green NRC number 405730/10/1 also bearing the same names,” Mr Nshinka said.
Mr Nshinka said Mukenge was handed over to Immigration Department headquarters on the same day, when a statement was recorded from him in which he claimed to be Zambian.
However, Mukenge allegedly later withdrew his earlier statement in another report recorded on August 28, 2017 in which he admitted to be a Congolese.
Mukenge is currently detained at Lusaka Central Correctional Facility awaiting court appearance.
And in an interview, ZAM president Njoya Tembo expressed shock to learn that Mukenge had been arrested.
“Mumba Yachi arrested? That’s shocking because we didn’t know he wasn’t Zambian, especially that his music has been in a local language. This is very unfortunate,” he said.
Mr Tembo urged musicians to be law-abiding citizens
“Let us learn to open up and disclose our real nationalities. So for now, we won’t say much until we hear his side of the story,” he said.
In an era in which music fans are looking for something authentic, Mumba Yachi’s music comes across as the real deal, earning him the respect of his fellow musicians as well as industry critics.
A man who loves folk music, he has come to be regarded as the leading figure in traditional/folk music locally. He has a unique way of blending traditional Zambian Kalindula beats with other music styles from across the continent.
Mumba Yachi is known to have hailed from Mokambo, a border town with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
His name, Yachi, stands for the initials of YAmfwa and CHItenta, with Yamfwa coming from the Yamvo of the Lunda kingdom and Chitenta having been a Bemba king. He is said to have developed interest in music at a tender age while listening to his mother singing in church and his father playing records of the likes of P.K. Chishala, Fela Kuti and Franco, a major figure in Congolese and African music.
He has been active on the Zambian music scene since 2009 in which time he has released albums like `Inspire Me’, ‘Mokambo’, `Mongu Rice’, `I am Lenshina’ and the more recent `The Great Work’, which he is currently promoting.
He was billed to perform tonight at the official launch of Odini Arts Centre in Lusaka’s Chelston, an initiative of Moses Sakala which is aimed at preserving the country’s heritage through music. He is also billed to perform at the Stanbic Music Festival to be headlined by Boyz II Men later this month.
Through music, he has earned the recognition of such organisations like the United Nations Development Programme, which appointed him as a music champion and ambassador for the HeForShe global campaign, which appeals to boys and men to be part of the cause of empowering women, a cause you find in his music.