From prison to glory Malawi prison group grab Grammys nomination

Inmates become Malawi's first ever grammy nominees.

  • Published:
Zomba Music Project play

Zomba Music Project

24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

The first batch of nominations for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards is out. Slotted in the “Best World Musical Album” alongside musical giants like Angelique Kidjo and Anoushka Shankar, is Malawi’s first ever grammy nominee. 

Interestingly, it is not a famous musician, but a music group from one of the country’s maximum security prisons known as the Zomba Prison Project who clinched the nomination. 

Their album titled “I Have No Everything Here”, has captured the attention of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the US who award the award in recognition of outstanding achievement in the music industry.

Released in January 2015, the album features 16 singer-songwriters in the 20 tracks and was produced by Ian Brennan - an American award-winning Grammy producer. Eighteen of the songs on the album are written by the prisoners, both male and female.

Their discovery began when, in 2013  Brennan and Italian photographer and filmmaker Marilena Delli recorded and documented Malawi’s maximum-security Zomba Central Prison inmates as they sang their deeply personal songs, many of which depict the harsh conditions in which they live and the journey that brought them to their incarceration. 

The Zomba Prison Project was launched by the couple in order to raise awareness about the prisoners’ situation and to advocate on the inmates’ behalf. The aim of the album was to use a portion of the proceeds to fund legal representation and provide support for the inmates.

“I Kill No More”

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Brennan described how their crimes range from murder to assault to theft, but that there are others, especially women, who have been imprisoned over “more questionable” charges like witchcraft and issues related to homosexuality, or simply because their cases are taking too long to be heard due to bureaucracy.

Their poignant songs tell of an incredible story with titles such as “Goodbye, All My Friends”, “Prison of Sinners”, “Give Me Back My Child”, “Last Wishes”, “I’m Alone” and the naked emotion of “I Kill No More”— a 20-second declaration of a born-again conversion.

The competition will be stiff for the inmates, but Brennan said that to “see a group of unknown individuals get a nomination makes it that much more of an accomplishment.”

There are 83 categories making the Grammy Awards 2016 with some of the world’s hottest musicians like Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar receiving nods for their work this past year.

Source: MG Africa

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email:

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos

Top Articles

1 New Music Flowking Stone - Shake For Daddy feat. Patapaa (Prod. by...bullet
2 VGMA 2018 winners Sarkodie, Ebony Reigns top with 4 each; see complete...bullet
3 Songs of the month Top 10 Ghanaian songs of January 2018bullet
4 Rootikal Swagger Weed smoking brings out the best in me - Singer...bullet
5 New Music Sarkodie - Brighter Day feat. Akwaboah & Obrafuor...bullet
6 The Reign! 10 best Ebony Reigns songs of all timebullet
7 New Music Dada Hafco - Yebewu Nti (Prod. by DDT)bullet
8 Sad Ebony's last WhatsApp chats reveal how she saw death...bullet
9 Zylofon Dream Start making cash from your creative works...bullet
10 VGMA Aftermath Ebony didn’t deserve 'Artiste of the...bullet

Top Videos

1 Audio Kwesi Arthur & Juls - Maintainbullet
2 Video Fancy Gadam - YakaChana feat. Mr Eazibullet
3 Video Strongman - Life Freestylebullet
4 Audio Yaa Pono - Obia Wone Master feat. Stonebwoybullet
5 Video Adi Virgo - The Listbullet
6 Music Video Lady Kess - To Wo Boasebullet
7 Audio Medikal - Adwee Babullet
8 Video Stonebwoy - Dirty Enemies feat. Baby Jetbullet
9 Music Video DahRealDude - I Get It feat. Lil Burna &...bullet
10 Video DJ Cuppy - Vybe feat. Sarkodiebullet