Letter to the Editor

Smokey Haangala: That great artist, writer

Dear editor,
I RECENTLY read an article written by Swithin Haangala about legendary musician and my campus days colleague late Smokey Haangala.
It rekindled both sad and fond memories of our student days at the University of Zambia (UNZA).
In 1971, I found myself working with a witty personality, late Edwin Haangala, popularly known as Smokey Haangala, at a student newsletter called UZ.
I partnered with this renowned multi-talented musician-cum-journalist.
Together we lampooned the socio-dynamic student life with caricatures like ‘Mojo’, ‘Kojo’ and ‘Momma’.
Two years my senior, Smokey was in charge of the jokes column while I did cartoons.
Surprisingly, more than four decades later, Mojo, Kojo and Momma are still alive at UNZA in form of caricatures in student publications and plays.
Of course, they must have evolved with the passage of time.
Sadly, on Tuesday morning on August 16, 1988, Smokey Haangala, the poet, writer, composer and musician, had played his last show.
The typewriter had typed its last full stop. The music had been played. The last note had been strummed.
Undoubtedly, none of us could have foreseen how several decades down the line, Zambian arts would undergo a socio-economic revolution far better and more magnified than anything that Zambians had experienced at the best of times.
Lest you forget Swithin, your departed older brother was a great writer, great poet, great musician, a great son of our soil.
He is gone but he will live indefinitely in the minds of all who knew him.
For those who just read about and listen to his music, and those yet to know about him and his works, read on.
Rest in eternal peace, Edwin ‘Smokey’ Haangala.

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