Kenyan Afro-pop band Sauti Sol capped their appearance at the just ended Lake of Stars (LoS) Festival in Salima with an impressive performance that almost equaled the high expectations patrons had placed on them.
So many performances were lined up for the annual three-day international festival, but ultimately what kept the firmly-fixed waiting on the beaches of Kabumba Hotel was the day-two concert by the Nairobi-based all-boy band which was one of the headline acts at this year’s event.
With performances being held simultaneously on the TNM Beach Stage, Hivos Main Stage and the swimming pool Deep End, Kabumba Hotel was turned into a beehive of artistic activities all happening at a pulsating and exciting speed.
On the day other established acts such as Faith Mussa, Kim of Diamonds, Lusubilo Band, Zathu Band, crowd favourite Fredokiss, Soca Twins and Music According to Percussion performed and showed that the pressure rested on the Kenyans to hold their own.
An hour before they went on stage, Sauti Sol—comprising lead vocalists Bien-Aime Baraza, Willis Chimano and Savara Mudigi and guitarist Polycarp Otieno—held a media briefing where they appeared relaxed and more than ready for the task ahead of them.
“We are here to give Malawi the best. It is a moment we have waited for so long and we are glad to be here,” said Baraza.
The award-winning band was making their second visit to Malawi after performing at the City of Stars a couple of years ago. When they finally took to the stage at around 10 pm, it appeared the whole beach was focused on one thing; to watch one of the festival’s headliners.
Their somewhat weird sense of dress on the boogie night was another attraction as members of the band spotted a combination of clothes which did not seem to suit. They engaged the audience perfectly and ably retained the crowd which had virtually covered every sand on the beach.
During their performance that lasted close to two hours, the band dished out some of their popular songs such as Isabella, Short N Sweet, Afrikan Star, Unconditionally Bae and the hit everybody else seemed to have waited for—Melanin.
The air around the open space was dominated by an apparent feeling of satisfaction and excitement. It was the moment they had been waiting for and you could not deny them the opportunity to share in the pride.
Baraza added amid their performance: “Malawi we love you and thank you for the love and support that you show us.”
In his post-performance media briefing, musician Faith Mussa said it was nice to see how the festival, which has clocked 15 years, continues to grow and create opportunities for artists both within Malawi and abroad.
The festival, which started on Friday afternoon, ended in the early hours of Sunday. It was officially opened by Trade, Industry and Tourism Minister Henry Mussa on Saturday afternoon. n