Peter Mawanga has attracted worldwide acclaim with his music, the Nyanja vibes, performing on world stages in Africa, Europe and America. Not a stranger to the BBC and other media outlets, Mawanga has established himself as one of the living legends in Malawi and Africa.
Blending traditional instruments as the Nyanja’s Nsansi (thumb piano), visekese (Shakers), Valimba (Xylophone) and Kaligo (1 string instrument), with contemporary instruments, he produces music that is fondly described by many as therapeutic, drawing from the Nyanja’s core values of peace and calm.
The Nyanja (people from Lake Malawi) are the most peaceful people in Africa and their country Malawi, which has never been at war, be it civil or otherwise, is known as the Warm Heart of Africa. Their instruments are deliberately designed to produce sounds that appeal to different feelings that aim at calming the nerves, celebrating life, pleading for peace and mostly merry making.
It is from this source that Peter birthed The Amaravi Movement and the celebrated Nyanja afro-vibes, which mainly took off when he produced the now world-renowned album, Mawu A Malawi (The Voice of Malawi), which featured Stories of AIDS.
For seven months Peter and colleagues had collected narratives from twenty-six of the most inspiring people they had ever met. They shared their loss, pain, joy, courage and wisdom. The result of the project was Mawu a Malawi. The album was launched at the University of North Carolina and Department of State, making Peter Mawanga the first African musician to perform at the office of the Secretary of State.
Since then, Peter’s performances have been holistic, characterized by song, film, dance, talks and sometimes dramatic monologues.
Peter, just like the Nyanja’s of Malawi, believes that music goes beyond the ear, reaching out into the inner person to produce a healing power. It is one of the keys to a peaceful mind.