Zomba Central Prison Band is this year among the nominees for the prestigious Annual Grammy Awards alongside other Africa’s big names like Angelique Kidjo and Anoushka Shankar.PHOTO: Zodiak Online”]
The Zomba Prison Band Project’s album, “I Have No Everything Here,” scored a surprise nomination in the Best World Music Album category of the 58th Grammy Awards.Deputy Prisons Spokesperson Inspector Julius Magombo shared the excitement the nomination has brought to the department,saying it proves there is talent behind the walls despite problems that are there.
“It has come as a big surprise,” says the excited Magombo. “We did not expect it as this is just a prison band barely known to the world. We hope to know soon on who will represent them at the awards.”Inspector Magombo says the band was formed to generate income for prisoners and was later chosen by the National Aids Commission which bought its first acoustic equipment to help in spreading HIV/AIDS messages.
It later got noticed when a well wisher who visited Zomba Maximum Security Prison liked their performance and posted their music on YouTube.According to Aljazeera, when this week’s Grammy nominations were announced, Zomba Prison Project’s producer Ian Brennan was shocked to find their name in the World Music Category.
“I am very happy for the prisoners and quite shocked really, the awards have become extremely celebrity-driven, and ironically, the World category in particular has become so predictable – it’s the same names almost every year … so to see a group of unknown individuals get a nomination makes it that much more of an accomplishment.
“The 20-member band is comprised of four officers from the facility and actual prisoners, men and women, behind bars for crimes ranging from murder and theft to other offenses like homosexuality and witchcraft.