Meet Gaspar Nali From Malawi Playing His Babatoni

Clint Drieberg

As heard with Pat Courtenay, this is the latest release from Gasper Nali: a Kwela roots one-man-act from the small town of Nkhata Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi.

He plays a one-string, home-made, 3-meter long Babatoni bass guitar with a stick and an empty beer bottle, along with a cow skin kick drum. With this arrangement, he creates amazing, dance-inducing Afro Beats.

Gasper Nali’s unique style of music has received an extraordinary amount of online attention after a 2010 video of him playing by the lake shore went viral with more than 20 million views.

According to the Globe & Mail, “It’s the singing that keeps A Bale Ndikuwuzeni from becoming Nkhata Bay’s answer to the Stooges. He sings like a man in love. Clear-hearted and confident, he sings a melody that seems to glitter in the sun, fly out across the waves. And so despite the muddy, thumping instrumentation, A Bale Ndikuwuzeni feels like bright and joyful pop”

He has been featured by CNN, jammed with Joss Stone, appeared on Wired for Sound – Malawi, and has also been featured on BBC 6 Music.

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Clint Drieberg
Radio Producer, Programmer and Writer. Showbiz Reporter & Interviewer. Based in Ireland. Heard and seen worldwide. Want to see my photos with Richard Branson in the penthouse suite of the infamous Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood? Want to know what Sting, Hugh Grant, Teri Hatcher, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Emily Blunt, Jamie Oliver, Bjorn Ulverus, Mark Wahlberg & Diane Keaton are really like? And if you really want to hear what it’s like to go to the toilet with R2-D2 and John Mayer… Just ask... I can tell you all of this and more!