By Arkangel Tembo, MANA
In his eulogy during the funeral service of Elson Soko, the popular comedy character who trended as ‘Anyoni’ in Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s informative Pamajiga and Sewero la sabata ino, Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako said time has come as a nation to celebrate legends like Soko while they are still alive.
Soko, who died last Saturday night at Blantyre Adventist Hospital after suffering from heart problems, was buried at Henry Henderson Institute (HHI) cemetery in Blantyre on Monday and the ceremony was attended by high profile personalities and comedians from all walks of life.
“Death has held back a laugh from Malawians,” Kazako said, who worked with Anyoni for many years at MBC.
“But we thank God for giving us time to share with Soko. His legacy will live on as he was the most honest person.”
He described Anyoni as the ‘Prime Minister’ of artists, saying his talent was unique.
“Let us emulate a culture of visiting such people while they are alive not waiting for their time of death to come in large numbers at their funeral.
“We are saddened by the fact that actors work so hard, but die poor,” the Minister said, assuring artists in the country that government will soon facilitate the formation of their own association, which would be responsible for the welfare of artists.
He said President Lazarus Chakwera was greatly saddened by 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 Anyoni in Pamajiga.
“Receive his condolence message and may Elson’s soul rest in peace,” he said.
All other speakers at the funeral described Anyoni as a humble, loving and humorous person.
Another celebrated comedian, Eric Mabedi, popularly known as Jakobo, described Anyoni as an exemplary citizen and an honest man.
“Anyoni was a vibrant and kind-hearted man and he will be sorely missed. We have lost the only pillar for Pamajiga that was still standing after some big names like Zamadula, GPMG, already left us.
“My interaction with him was short but sweet. It’s a pity that today l am standing here bidding farewell to the man who loved his nation through arts,” lamented Mabedi.
Soko, who is survived by a wife and four children, hailed from Makezi Village in Balaka and died at the age of 71 having worked for MBC for 48 years.