The jewel of Malawian tourism, Lake Malawi at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge, was the prime entertainment destination at the weekend, not only for Malawians, but for revellers worldwide.
Buying a K31 000 (US$75) ticket to the Lake of Stars Festival (LoS), seemed like an overrated purchase. But only to those that did not witness the stars shine on the three performance stages of the festival.
Most of the patrons at the festival were looking forward to Mafikizolo’s performance. And the South African duo made it a performance worth remembering on the opening Friday night.
The 45-minute sound check was not something revellers could complain about as Mafikizolo defied their time allocation when they performed an hour and a half instead of the 45 minutes allocated to them. But who could dare stop them when they had patrons eating from their palms with a sterling performance that left even the staunchest of critics a little out of their breath?
From the onset of their performance, Mafikizolo, whose set included three dancers, a trumpeter, a drummer and a DJ, exhibited professionalism with an energetic performance as they played crowd favourite tracks such as Khona, Tchelethe and Emlanjeni.
The band had water breaks in between their act, but the gap could not be noticed as their choreographers stitched the set together with sultry dance moves.
Aside Mafikozolo’s stunning act, South African rapper Reason was among the headliners that became a reason to term this year’s festival the best so far.
And the international performances went a long in consolidating the widely held view that local acts still have a lot of groundwork to do in terms of working a crowd—with most of the local performances sound flat and the artists seemingly disinterested in entertaining.
Come Saturday night, it was the turn of Black Missionaries—who drove straight from Chileka Airport in Blantyre to the festival after a South African tour—to salvage the Malawian flag, or whatever had been left of it.
And disappoint they did not as they stepped out of their comfort zone to give an exciting performance. The Chileka reggae band rose above the rest of the local performers.
In an interview, Blacks’ leader Anjiru Fumulani said they were happy with the response they got from the fans at the festival.
“It was a good performance considering that we had just arrived from South Africa. We could read from the response of our fans that they were having a good time,” said Anjiru.
Tay Grin also gave patrons value for their money with his energetic performance.
However, the dawn of Saturday came with a mist of sorrow and grief as 21-year-old Zomba resident Ufulu Kanyongolo drowned at a swimming pool at the hotel.