All merry makersâ€™ roads on Friday night led to Mungo Park in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, where local entertainment outfit; Entertainers Promotions partnered Carlsberg Malawi Limited in hosting a musical bash.
From as early as 7pm, many fun-lovers had started flocking to the entertainment joint off Mchinji Road to have a feel of vibes from artists like the Black Missionaries, Lucius Banda and his Zembani Band, Armstrong, Piksy and Biriwiri from Ndeâ€™feyo Entertainment, Skeffa Chimoto and the Real Sounds, Symon and Kendall and Mafunyeta, among others.
Apart from providing excellent melodies, skilful and enjoyable dancing frolics, perhaps the major highlight of the night was the first class equipment.
The stage was of international standard and arguably it can be compared to that used during the Fanta Mega Mix parties Southern Bottlers Limited (Sobo) used to hold sometime back that saw South African groups and artists like Mafikizolo, Malaika and Ntando perform in Malawi.
The Phungwe also brought fond memories of Hugh Masekelaâ€™s concert in Blantyre under the auspices of Zain, now Airtel Malawi, four years ago. Fast forward to 2012, Entertainers Promotions went the extra mile, by investing K17 million in the state-of-the art equipment.
Â â€œThe whole 55 000 watts equipment complemented by dazzling lights, smoke and bubbles was meant for people to see what our core business is. It cost us a fortune, K17 million, but it is worth it, for we are taking the entertainment industry to another level,â€ said Jai Banda director of Entertainers Promotions.
â€œWe say â€˜always imitated but never equalledâ€™ and as such, quality is the core objective of our business. If you cannot satisfy a customer by giving them the quality they deserve, you lose out,â€ said Banda.
The show started a few minutes after eight with performances by young musicians such as Mafunyeta, Nes Nes and Chayicoon.
By 11pm, the Mungo Park was flooded with men and women, with many draining beer bottles. Being Friday and the end of the month, it seemed everybody was in the party mood and ready to burn and chop more kwachas.
Then came the youngster of Sinditha Kumvetsa fame, Sopani â€˜Armstrongâ€™ Kalua who apart from the popular track, wowed the fans with Busy Signals â€˜Come Overâ€™, Ulendo and Ndamusowa.
Then came Evance â€˜Piksyâ€™ Zangazanga, who is yet to launch his album Maso on Sunday in Blantyre. He dazzled fans with his dancing and singing prowess as he did his songs like Ponya Mwendo, the title track, Unamata and Appetiser.
The clock fast clicked 1am, but the hordes of revellers at the place had not had enough for they were eager to continue jamming.
In fact it looked like the night had just started, but yet it was the beginning of a new day and new month.
It was now the turn of the jewels of Chileka from Singano Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kuntaja, a community adjacent to Likhubula River on the foot of Michiru Mountain. Anthony â€˜Mr Coolâ€™ Makondetsa was first on stage before the versatile Black Missionaries emerged. It was surely reggae time with vibes like Mulomo, Timba, Rastamanâ€™s wife, among others playing.
Lawrence â€˜Luluâ€™ Khwisa took over from the reggae maestros and he was in his top form as he performed a Ndombolo dance much to the pleasure of the fans.
Soon it was morning and many of the revellers had left to catch a sleep. But some left till the final track of the bash was performed.
Lucius â€˜Soldierâ€™ Banda crowned it all with his Zembani Band.
He started his performance that saw him sing old songs like Mzimu, at 4:35 and went on to around 7am.
â€œWe believe this is the biggest and wackiest show in Lilongwe this year! With Carlsberg, our partner, the show has been beyond our expectation. The musicians[and the turnout] were just so good,â€ said Banda.
â€œThe Phungwe was worth forgoing a sleep. These are the kind of shows that Lilongwe unlike Blantyre fans miss,â€ said an Area 25 resident Sylvia Banda.
Carlsberg Malawi partnered Entertainers Promotions with its Kuchekuche Beer as a brand for the promotion of local music with the purpose of supporting local artists as well giving back to customers, according to its senior brands manager for alcoholic beverages Twikale Chirwa.