Malian Afro-pop star Salif Keita arrives in Malawi on Friday to headline the Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF), an organiser has disclosed.
According to festival coordinator McArthur Matukuta, the â€˜Golden Voice of Africaâ€™ will enter Blantyre from Lusaka, Zambia, after a cordial ending of disagreements that arose over the sound equipment that awaits him at the French Cultural Centre in the city.
Â â€œAll is set for the festival and Keita has confirmed his coming. His manager expressed reservations against our equipment, but we checked with our friends in Zambia and we have assured him that our set is of the same quality as the one he is going to use during his show in Lusaka on Thursday,â€ Matukuta told the press in Blantyre at the weekend.
Also arriving on Friday will be the US drumming group Sally Band, Zimbabwean theatre revolutionaries EdzaiIsu and their compatriot gospel singer Pastor G.
Keita, EdzaiIsu and Sally Band will perform on a Friday night starring no mean localsâ€”the Black Missionaries, Logos Theatre and Agorosso.
â€œThe Blacks were initially slated for Saturday, but we had to re-adjust the programme due to factors beyond our control. Patrons are in for a night of fun,â€ said Matukuta.
The shift leaves the Saturday night to Poetry Africa. Returning for the third year, the University of KwaZulu Natalâ€™s poetry mission includes Pedro Espi-Sanchis, South Africaâ€™s Ewok and Madosini, Kenyaâ€™s Philo Ikonya, Madosini, Ghanaâ€™s Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Jamaicaâ€™s Dâ€™bi Young and Malawiâ€™s own Malawians Chigo Gondwe and Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa.
Minister of Tourism and Culture is expected to open the festival on Thursday evening. Top of the bill at the ceremony will be Kuche Kuche Music Awards five-time hero Ben Mankhamba, 2011 Malawian Music Awards winner Giddes Chalamanda and Chileka Dance Troupe.
Last weekend, Carpenters were busy fixing the auditorium and amphitheatre which was ransacked during the venueâ€™s shambolic handover from the French Embassy to the Malawi Government.
Matukuta estimated the rehabilitation works at K2 million, revealing they experienced delays in funding from the Norwegian Embassy.