White Kananji’s talent, was spotted during Alleluya Band show in Balaka. He is only 23 but he has all the skills a dancer would want to have. Those who have watched him think he has no bones because he can hang his legs around the neck and this has led some to think White uses magic.
A Standard 7 dropout, White grew up with his grand parents after his father died when he was a baby and his mother married another man who couldn’t stay with him. He spent much of his childhood with his grand parents.
White thought that living with her grandparents would be easy and that life would be easy but it wasn’t to be. His grand mother started to drink ‘Kachaso’ (locally distilled beer) excessively, which brought no peace in the house. There was nobody to search and cook food for him and some times he was sleeping with an empty stomach.
White started cultivating in other people’s fields in exchange for food. At the age of 16, he went to Lilongwe where his uncle was doing construction work to search for greener pastures.
“One day I went out with my uncle to a Chinese national residence where he was constructing a house. There I met kids who were doing acrobatics and I had a chance to learn from them. After I was satisfied with the skills I acquired, I started performing in different areas in Lilongwe where I was asking people to pay me so that I could show them how I do it,” White narrates that because life in the city was much difficult for him, he decided to come back home.
Then his lucky day arrived. Alleluya Band was performing at Ostia Primary School. He showed Alleluya Band what he is made up of. He got overwhelming morale from people who came to watch the famous band performing live.
Paul Subili and Cos Chiwalo decided to invite White to show his skills to the patron of the group Fr Mario Pacifici. Fr Mario was impressed. He was approved to be a member of Alleluya Band.
Although life is full of ups and down, White says since he joined the band, his life has improved tremendously.
“I am able to buy clothes, food and other necessities. I don’t need to go around showing my acrobatic tactics to survive as I used to do,” says White.
However, money has not made him forget about education. He has a part time teacher who is helping him in the morning hours.
“I feel starting again from Standard 7 will difficult for me. I just want to improve in how to write and read.” White believes that time for him to go in class was already wasted.