Shows and performances such as music, poetry, film, dances, fashion shows, drama, story-telling, childrenâ€™s games, among others, will take place at Malawiâ€™s first-ever Cultural Festival (MaCFest) on September 22 and 23 in Lilongwe.Â
Beginning this year, the event will be celebrated annually in May alongside the International Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development that falls on May 21 annually.
However, due to some logistical challenges, the 2012 edition of the festival will be celebrated in September alongside this yearâ€™s Tourism Week.
Under the theme Malawi Cultural Festival: Celebrating Our Unity in Diversity, the two-day carnival will take place at two simultaneous venues in Lilongwe.
â€œMaCFest official launch will be on Saturday September 22 in the Great Sapitwa Hall at Crossroads Hotel. The event is scheduled to feature performances by Chindime and Samalani, Parker Town Band, which performs Honara dance and music by Ben Mankhamba.
â€œVenues are Civo Stadium and Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe. Performances and exhibitions shall start from 8am till late. Except for a few selected performances and exhibitions, the festival will be free of charge,â€ said MaCFest spokesperson James Thole.
He added that this yearâ€™s MaCFest categories, which aim at offering family entertainment and educational experience, shall include dance, fashion, film, music, poetry, theatre traditional childrenâ€™s games, stories and songs as well as visual arts.
â€œOn dance, Gule Wamkulu â€œ4 Engineâ€ from Dowa and the versatile Malawi National Dance Troupe will be available. On the fashion category, straight from Africa Fashion Week London, celebrated Malawiâ€™s designer Lilly Alfonso will team up with Clemoh Sato,â€ added Thole.
â€œThis is the first festival in Malawi to unite different arts. All the festivals in the country focus on one genre, but MaCFest is beyond that. It will unite different arts and heritage groups,â€ he said.
Thole added that artists such as the Black Missionaries and Ethel Kamwendo-Banda will also perform whereas Qabaniso â€˜Qâ€™ Malewezi will anchor the poetry session, which will bring together poets such as Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa, up-and-coming Duwa Mvula and Felix Njonjonjo Katsoka.
Theatre will be provided by Kwathu and Nanzikambe. Eva Chikabadwa, Noah Kapitapita, Peter Masina and the mouth-painter Chayera will light Crossroads Hotel with their exhibitions. To spice up the premier edition of the Malawi Cultural Festival, a special cloth has been printed.
â€œAgain, we are still open to more sponsors other than the National Aids Commission (NAC), Sana Cash & Carry, Bishop Simama, Lilongwe City Council, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) and Southern Bottlers Limited, a subsidiary of Carlsberg Malawi,â€ said Thole.