Biography on Chasaya Sichilima by Viktor Chabala Mubili
Chasaya Sichilima is a geologist, computer scientist and musician – and his recent performance nicely marries all three.
Mr. Sichilima hails from Ndola and attended Kayele Primary and Kansenshi Secondary schools. He later went to Mpelembe Secondary School for his Form Six before moving onto Manchester University for his first degree in Geochemistry. After briefly working for the then ZCCM’s Konkola Division as a Systems Geologist, he returned to Manchester on a Beit Trust Scholarship to read for a masters degree in Computer Science.
Mr. Sichilima has, however, carried his love for music alongside his professional life, having been influenced by such music greats as Ackim Simukonda, Ted Chilambe, PK Chishala, just to mention but a few. His foreign musical influences include the Winans, Tabu Ley, Salifu Keita, Loukoa Kanza, Franco, Willy Chirino, Africando and Luther Vandross. Mr. Sichilima’s unique dance moves and mesmerizing vocals make him an energetic performer who is a pleasure to watch. He has played with Brit award producer nominees Tony Henry and Trevor Bygrave and singer/songwriter Josh Sims. His interest in other music forms and dance culminated in winning the UK 2001 Southport Cuban Salsa Dance Championships. In Zambia, he has collaborated with Zambian musical doyens such as Kalambo Hit Parade, Yesu Culture and Mulemena Boys.
Mr. Sichilima’s song ” Zambia” from his highly acclaimed CD “Inspirationally Yours” album has been the subject of media debate as a possible alternative to the country’s current national anthem. The song has become one of the most played songs on radio and TV during national events. Zambian Broadcasting icon Frank Mutubila sums it all up when he says “. . . For me, it has become my national anthem – my show is never complete without playing it. How, I wish it could be adopted as our new national anthem”. Indeed “Zambia” is inspirational. As Mr. Mutubila observes, the song’s warm lyrics epitomises the spirit of the Zambian – HOPE. Although Zambia has been battered by wave after wave of economic problems, poverty and political differences, her people remain an oasis of peace, love and hope that one day we shall overcome, and this stands out in the song “Zambia”. Every Zambian should get a copy of this CD because it will inspire all to greater heights!
Mr. Sichilima has become an instant colourful player in the music world, sharing the stage with Toronto’s renowned award -wining jazz saxist Kennny Kirkwood, the famous Royal Drummers of Burundi, Njacko Backo of Cameroon, and others. He is, of course, a growing name on the Zambian music scene. His hit songs “Kalindawalo”, “Zambia” ,”Moombe Wabacisya” and We Kaela” sent the Afrofest crowd into a frenzy clamouring for some more. Whatever they thought the vernacular words meant!
Even the Toronto media were not spared, as each carried their own version of Mr. Sichilima’s brilliant singing and flashy dance moves. He has indeed made Zambia proud, and what a better time than now for a Zambian to be in North America! His music debut has earned him the distinction of being the first to bring Zambian vernacular music right to the stages of this side of the world.
Asked about his future plans, Mr. Sichilima says “I’d love to see Zambian music genres such as Kalindula and Manchancha get bigger and bigger on the world stage and myself a part of that generation of artists that will take it there.”
Mr. Sichilima (just married in August 2003 in Zambia) exudes the hopefulness that is common to many Zambians. But he is a humble, down-to-earth and quiet guy – often finds just the right phrase to capture the joy and frustration of daily events. He often never explains anything too much, just paints a picture and leaves you to decide. But he is awesome at live shows – the radio and television trenches being the foundations of his international success!