Most musicians of his calibre and age are dead but veteran musician Giddes Chalamanda is still strong at 79 years and continues to entertain the masses with his music.
He would have loved to be performing alongside the likes of Michael Yekha, Allan Namoko, Daniel Kachamba, Stonald Lungu and Saleta Phiri, but they are all dead.
Peep into the old Nyasaland Times newspapers and you will know the journey that Giddes has travelled; not an easy feat to be where he is today, still strong and entertaining the masses.
But for the gift of life, he thanks God.
"I wish some of my old folks were around, I guess it could have been nice and I don't know what kind of music we could have been playing. Sometimes when I am home I recall the times when there were no electric guitars but today here I am playing an electric guitar," he tells Malawi News.
He struggles to speak, reluctant to empty his chest so the best he does when he has so many issues is through music.
"Music gives you a chance to voice out your concerns, with music you can speak for the voiceless but I feel sorry because I have spoken for others and used all my skills but here I am with nothing. I wish I had enough money and I could have been talking about having my own band and maybe driving my own car," says the veteran musician.
Giddes started playing music decades ago and throughout his career he has rubbed shoulders with several musicians who put Malawi on the map but sadly, most of them have passed on.
He could have dumped his guitar way back because of the challenges he was going through, the life of poverty but today he continues to enjoy the game, entertaining people simply because he loves music and music is his way of life.
Dressed casually in a jean trouser and a striped shirt plus a cap, he takes a deep breath, takes a sip of his Carlsberg beer which a patron had bought for him and reminisces:
"I have travelled to places in the country and held shows and I have been outside the country, particularly Germany twice but all those are nothing to me, I want to live a better life. A life where people would be saying there goes Giddes and not when people see me they should be running away afraid that I would beg for money from them."
During performances, Giddes has continually said that if he dies then he will not play music again.
"Of course I have made strides with Edgar ndi Davis and I just want to thank them for giving me a chance to hold several performances with them. But my heart is still bitter because for all the sweat and creativity there is nothing I can show now or maybe a car," said the veteran musician in an interview at Club XL in Blantyre last Friday where he performed alongside Edgar ndi Davis.
He said there have always been challenges in life but he wishes he had lived a better life.
"For those who have followed me, it's been a long time since I started playing with Edgar ndi Davis, I can't remember the years but I guess it's now eight to ten years. They have been there for me, I know there are problems here and there but that's life and here we are still together," says Giddes.
During the gig, Edgar Kachere and Davis Njobvu called on people to support the musician who is one of the best the country has ever produced.
"He is 79 years old but look at how strong he is and for all the talent he continues to entertain us. Let's support him now and not when he is dead," said Edgar.
Davis says he has worked with several acoustic groups citing among others Lucky Stars but he takes the hat off for Giddes, saying he even surprises them with his energy during his performances and yet he is 79 years.
"I think to say the truth, Giddes is the best musician the country has ever produced. He can play on his own and change his performance and the way he interacts with the audience is very unique. I was watching a DVD of his performance in Germany where he went courtesy of Blantyre Arts Festival; the way he interacted with the audience was nice," says Davis.
He added: "Of course of late I have noted that he is slowly losing his voice but he keeps practicing and that is why he is very unique in his performances."
Giddes was all smiles early this year when he was rewarded during the first Malawi Music Awards. He triumphed in the Best Folklore Award.
Giddes speaks of his guitar as the only weapon which he uses to bring food on the table.
"If I die then I will not play music again but it is through this music that I am able to have something in my home but it's not enough and sometimes when I sit down I cry to see that I have not managed to make something out of music," he mourns.
But at least for now, although he is still poor he can afford a little smile with the award he got which is displayed at his home in Chiradzulu, despite that the awards had no monetary reward.
He says he prays to God that he keeps him alive for some years to come so that he continues his journey in music and even impart his skills to the younger generation.
"I thank God for the life; to hit 79 years in these difficult times is not that easy. I have lived music and continue to live music," says the musician who toured Germany in May, 2011 alongside Ben Mankhamba and Lloyd Phaundi.
But the question probably might be after Giddes has been involved in many gigs and concerts since he started music, why is he still poor?
"I don't know, I still don't understand and have no answer to give you as to why I am poor and yet my music is playing on the local radio stations almost every day," he says.