Renowned Malawian arts journalist and blogger Harold Kapindu has released a music album depicting personal struggle with mental health related issues.
Kapindu: I have been struggling with mental health issues
Kapindu, a journalist for Nyasa Times and also writes Urban Trends column on Friday in The Nation newspaper, noted that it's high time Malawians started addressing mental health to raise awareness.
He is tackling the issue in his new music album When The Black Sheep Becomes Elephant In The Room. In the album, the artist talks about his personal struggles with mental issues as a young man.
"Artists have a responsibility to raise awareness on issues affecting the general public. A lot of people are suffering in silence because they don't have a platform. Let's use the available resources to create a new normal. We need to change the Malawi conservatve society narrative," he told Nyasa Times.
He then described the album as personal soundtrack based on real life events.
"I have been struggling with mental health related issues for a while. As a kid, I survived suicidal thoughts and many fatal circumstances. I, therefore feel like God keeps me for a reason hence the name Very Important Person to God (VIP TO GOD)," he said.
Commenting on the book, he explained: "I have written 90 percent of the book and I am currently negotiating with potential publishers to publish and market the book. Both the album and book's themes are centered on my personal struggle with mental health, journey to becoming a journalist and a rapper as well as sociopolitical issues in Malawi and the world at large."
The book is scheduled for release in October.
The artist said the album, which is his sixth, centres around his mental issues as well as his journey to become a journalist and a rapper.
He said: "I am also talking about sociopolitical issues in Malawi and the world at large. The beats were produced by Justus, Eric Most, Venom and Self -Defense. The album was, however, recorded by Sub Zero and mixed and mastered by S.A.M.U.E.L."
The 10-track album has no featured artist.
"I believe there was no song that needed another artist. I feel features should be done with a reason. There should be chemistry between artists," said Kapindu, adding that he personally does not do features.
Some of the songs on the album include Hand of God, which talks about the artist's mental issues, Cry Babies, Trust and Betrayal, What's Trending and Lately, among other songs.
Kapindu, was born and grew up in Lilongwe but comes from Chileka, Blantyre.
While his latest album When The Black Sheep Becomes The Elephant In The Room was released on August 5, his book is slated for released in October. His previous albums are Press Conference (2006), Hidden Faces mixtape (2008), Spiral Of Silence (2009), Blind Deaf Dumb and Sheep and Crocodiles (2012).