Narrated by Choolwe Samboko, member of the Pilgrimage Concept, the Chainama SDA singing group to which the late belonged.
WHEN news filtered through last week that Brighton Sinkala had died after he was involved in a road accident, social media was awash with messages of condolences because of his huge following.
Mr. Sinkala was mainly known for his comics as a stand-up comedian but that was not all. He was also a devout Christian who dedicated most part of his life serving the Lord. Actually, at the time of the accident, he was going to Lusaka for a church programme-rehearsing with his group ahead of their album launch which was supposed to be held on October 30, 2022.
The Scoop caught up with one of the members of the Pilgrimage Concept, Choolwe Samboko, and he recounts his first encounter with Mr. Sinkala and how he (Mr. Sinkala) recruited him in the singing group without him knowing.
Here is his testimony:
In February 2017, my family and I relocated. The first Sabbath, we went round places trying to find a new church. Our first try was Chainama Seventh-day Adventist Church. Apparently, that day had been declared as prayer and fasting day. Since we were not aware, we carried food for our lunch.
We sat as a family under a tree for lunch and lo and behold… Brighton Sinkala joins us from nowhere. In his usual jovial mood, he tells us he was not ready to fast and without being invited he joined us to lunch. That was the first time we had ever met!
As we ate, he discovered we were new and he invited us to join the choir. While we waited for the afternoon program, we were joined by three of his friends I later learnt were his singing mates in the group called Pilgrimage Concept. They started rehearsing but one voice was missing. He immediately asked me to fill in for that voice as I struggled to learn the song.
I thought that was just a one off kind of arrangement. On Sunday (the following day) I received a phone call from him reprimanding me for missing rehearsal. I explained that I was not aware I was a member of the group. He told me to immediately start off and join them as they were waiting for me. That is how I joined the Pilgrimage Concept.
In the early hours of Sunday, 9th October 2022, we received shocking news that he was involved in a terrible car crash. I tried his number and it just rang. I sensed things were not good.
He was driving from Kitwe hoping to be in Lusaka early as he wanted to make it for the rehearsal in preparation for the “Bend me O’Lord” album launch that was scheduled for October the 30th.
With my colleagues, we rushed to Kabwe Central Hospital where we found him in an unconscious state. I felt as though he would get up and tell us he was just joking, he was fine! But not so. He was in pain, he could not talk to us, he could not recognize us. As arrangements were being made to evacuate him to Lusaka, he died.
The most horrible memory was carrying his lifeless body to the mortuary. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. His death is so painful. Today’s (last week) experience was too horrible to be true! We picked his body from Ideal Funeral Parlour to Church for the church service and left him at memorial park!
Never again will I hear Brighton Sinkala’s voice under the sun; never again will I sing with Brighton Sinkala under the sun, never again will I have one on one conversation with Brighton Sinkala under the sun!
Mr. Sinkala was not only my singing mate, nor was he only a friend, but was more than a brother to me. He called me every morning as we talked about many things while he cracked his usual jokes! And today I wake up to no phone call from my big brother (as I fondly called him).
On Thursday 6th October 2022, we went to the studio to take photos for publicity materials not knowing that was the last time we were to be with him.
Many people knew ba Sinkala as just a comedian but I knew him as a preacher, a singer, a unifier, a peacemaker, a source of wisdom, a counsellor, a father, a husband, a brother and a friend. I was really blessed to share his life and have a closer relationship with him.
As Pilgrimage Concept, we are really hit hard and we can only leave everything in God’s hands. I miss him. I pray that God heals our broken hearts. Till we meet again on the resurrection morning.