Youthful Movers Band from Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe will in August represent the country at this year’s Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) Imagine festival to be held in Norway.
The Kaliyeka-based quintet emerged winners of the inaugural Imagine Festival national finals held on Saturday at Area 23 in the city.
They saw off competition from other bands that include the Cautious Kings Lembo Band, Apawo Mobile Band, Zebra Band, People’s Em-Cee Band and the resident Music Crossroads Band.
Movers Band leader Sanderson Mphapo was short of words upon being pronounced winners:
“You ask me how we feel to have won the top position? Speechless may be the word best to describe it. We came here as underdogs. Other bands were equally geared for the showdown and most of them are experienced sort of. We just thank God for the talent.”
The 20 year old bass guitarist however hinted they will not be carried away by this victory, calling it just a first step to greatness.
But in a separate interview, chairperson for JMI Africa Gayighayi Mathews Mfune said the local band will also represent the rest of the continent at the annual international festival.
Mfune, who also heads the Music Crossroads Programme in the country, said his centre will ensure the rookie band gets all the necessary support before the global showdown in Norway.
“This is the first band from Malawi to participate in the festival and it will be the only one from Africa. The lads have the potential to make it big in life. With proper guidance, they can surely continue to brush shoulders with some of the worlds finest in no time.”
Mfune also disclosed that the band impressed the jury on music quality, stage presentation, originality of their art and personal interpretation.
Meanwhile, the Norwegian Embassy has invited the band to perform during commemorations of this year’s Norway national day that fall on 17 May.