Reggae outfit Black Missionaries will represent Malawi at the inaugural Africa Connect Music Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, from May 4 to 5.
To be graced by at least 30 acts from southern Africa, Black Missionaries will headline the show with the likes of South African award-winning rapper AKA who performed on Sunday at the Nyasa Music Festival in Blantyre.
Festival organisers said the event is aimed at encouraging African unity and tolerance following the recent string of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“The theme of the festival is the ‘Funeral of Xenophobia’ which is a message we are sending to people to end such attacks. At this festival which has around 35 acts and 11 DJs from countries such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, eSwatini, Botswana and Angola, we are going to bury xenophobia,” said festival organiser Presley Lebogang Ledwaba.
He said Black Missionaries and the rest of acts were identified through public voting.
“We asked people through our Facebook page to tell us what they would like to see from their countries at this festival. That is how we got to settle for Black Missionaries. So, all the artists that are coming are super stars and number one in their countries.
“Other than using fun to deal with xenophobia, the festival is about cultural exchange plus raising flags of different countries in a nice way. Similarly, the festival is part of the celebrations for the Africa month,” said Ledwaba.
Black Missionaries leader Anjiru Fumulani has confirmed the band’s invitation to the festival together with Anthony Makondetsa.
“We are actually finalising our itinerary and the arrangement with the festival organisers is that as soon as we perform, we should fly back to Malawi for the Carlsberg CoolPRO Sunsplash in Malosa, Zomba. The good thing is, we are scheduled to start our performance in Zomba at 2am so we will surely make it,” he said.
CoolPRO International Club director Duffy Chikakuda also confirmed the arrangement in a separate interview.
“After discussions with the South African promoter, they [Black Missionaries] assured me they will make it for our event,” he said.