PK Chishala

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PK Chishala
PK Chishala.jpg
Peter Kalumba Chishala

Died15 June 1996
Other namesProfessor PK Chishala
Spouse(s)Harriet Chishala

Peter Kalumba Chishala (1957 - 15 June 1996) popularly known as PK Chishala or Professor PK Chishala, was a Zambian musician who was widely acclaimed as one of the grand masters and pioneers of Kalindula music. PK Chishala and The Great Pekachi Band along with the Junior Mulemena Boys, and the Masasu Band were among the early musical bands on the Zambia music scene. Like Paul Ngozi, his music focused on social themes like corruption and bureaucracy.[1]

Chishala dominated the music industry between the mid '80s and the early '90s. Some of his songs include: Church Elder, Na Musonda, Kubwaiche, Umunandi, Ichupo Ninsansa and the protest song "Common Man" where he protested the low salary wages of a common man amidst the rising economic hardships.

In July 2016, The Misty Jazz Restaurant and Café in Lusaka hosted a memorial fundraising dinner for Chishala. The show featured the PK Chishala Band, Junior Mulemena Boys and Masasu Band. Part of the proceeds went to Chishala's widow in support of their children and family.[2]

Early life and education

Chishala attended Mambilima Primary School in Kawambwa and Sefula Secondary School in Mongu.

Music career

He debuted with the song 'Icisosa Cipamano', which he recorded at Malachite Studios during his school days. Although it was not a huge success, the song gave an indication of what he was capable of doing.

He followed it up with 'Ba Pastor', which took a swipe at the immoral behavior of pastors. Naturally, it did not go down well in religious circles. Some sections of society thought that the song was a true story, but PK refuted that. Some called for it to be banned saying it was blasphemous. But despite the controversy, it went on to win the Song of the Year award in 1985.

He released the album Church Elder under Kariba Label by Teal Record Company, and whose title-track exposes the misdeeds of one church elder by the name of Pole Pole. The album had other songs like 'Impumba Mikowa', a lament from orphans complaining about their plight, and Mulele, a Luvale song advising a school girl to first complete her education instead of rushing into marriage. The title-track won PK the 1987 Soloist of the Year Award, and made him the country’s flag bearer at the 1988 World of Music and Dance (WOMAD) Festival, an annual event held in the UK. He was sponsored by Teal Record and was backed by the Masasu Band. One of the songs that he performed there, Umuti wa AIDS, was featured on the WOMAD compilation album.

He later released the album 'Na Musonda', on which he introduced his wife Harriet Chishala on backing vocals. The album also had the humorous song, 'Kubwaiche'.

Thereafter, he released the controversial album 'Common Man', which chronicled the suffering of the people, particularly the workers. The song was originally composed and performed by Bennet Simbeye. The album also had the satirical 'Muchibolya' and the danceable 'Lelo ni Weekend', which is highly popular at weddings.[2]



Awards and nominations for PK Chishala
Year Association Category Result
1985 Song of the Year Award, 'Ba Pastor' Won
1987 Soloist of the Year Award, 'Church Elder' Won
1988 WOMAD, UK World of Music and Dance (WOMAD) Festival


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See also