By Arkangel Tembo
Blantyre, August 18, Mana: Personalities and Comedians from all walks of life converged at Henry Henderson Institute (HHI) cemetery in Blantyre on Monday to bid farewell to popular character in Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC’s) radio 1 Pamajiga and Sewero la sabata ino funny man Elson Soko.
Soko who was popularly known as Anyoni died last Saturday night at Blantyre Adventist Hospital after suffering from heart problems.
At exactly 3:05pm, the brown coffin carrying the remains of the comedian who was a member of the Traditional Church was lowered into the grave as the sun was descending, while whispers of birds could be heard.
All speakers during the funeral described Soko as a humble man.
He was described as a ‘loving and humorous’ person.
Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako said, “Death has held back a laugh from Malawians. But we thank God for giving us time to share with Soko. Bongo’s legacy will live on as he was the most honest person.”
He described Soko as Prime Minister of artists; saying, his talent was unique.
“Time has come as a nation to celebrate people like Soko while they are still alive. Let us emulate culture of visiting such people while they are alive not waiting for their time of death to come in large numbers at their funeral,” Kazako pointed out.
“We are saddened by the fact that actors work so hard, but die poor,” the Minister said, assuring Comedians and Artists in the country that government will soon facilitate the formation of their Association.”
Kazako said the Association would be responsible for the welfare of artists, adding that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera was greatly shocked with the death of Soko because he was one of his followers on Pamajiga.
“When the President heard about Soko’s death, he was shocked and he couldn’t believe it because he was a big fan of Elson Soko in Pamajiga. Receive his condolence message and may Elson’s soul rest in peace,” he added.
Another celebrated comedian, Eric Mabedi, popularly known as Jakobo described Soko as a ‘good citizen and an honest man.’
“Elson was a vibrant and kind-hearted man and he will be sorely missed. We have lost the only pillar for Pamajiga who was left after some big names on Pamajiga like Zamadula, GPMG, already left us,” he said.
“My interaction with him was short but sweet. It’s a pity that today l am standing bidding farewell to the man who loved his nation through arts,” Mabedi lamented.
Soko, who hailed from Makezi Village in Balaka died at the age of 71 years and worked for MBC for 48 years. He is survived by a wife and four children.