Good people, it is that time again entertainment stars from across the globe converge on the stunning shoulders of Lake Malawi, one of the internationally acclaimed best places to go, to entertain no lesser beings.
Typically, the tanning summer sunshine on the shores of the glittering lake brings to life a season of annual arts festivals often misjudged as just a blast of fun.
Looking at the broader picture, it is about Malawians coming together with thousands flying in to make merry—the songs on stage, the dancing on the sand, the drinking all night, the swim in the starry waters, the sightseeing on the palm-fringed beaches, the mingling with smiling faces and all that jazz.
With September vanishing, there are two festivals coming to the shores of the continent’s third largest fresh-water body that must send adventurers scream with exhilaration. It’s tourism month in Malawi!
Talk about Lake of Stars, the festival slated for Friday-Sunday at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi.
Unless you are a stranger in the Warm Heart of Africa, you will need a reminder that there is nothing bigger this weekend than the 11th coming of the premier arts festival that has not only grown into a must-watch calendar event, but also catapulted the beautiful face of the country into broadsheets obsessed with grim images of war, hunger, disease and poverty.
Named after the first impression the legendary Scottish missionary-cum-explorer Dr David Livingstone had when he first sighted the picturesque water body, Lake of Stars is not the music of yesteryears.
Actually, it represents everything good about the song in the air as the country dedicates this month to its tourism potential.
This is why there can never be a better time for the globally certified melting pot of entertainment, tourism and culture, than a three-day slot at the climax of a national homage to its attractions.
Abbreviated “one million people, one million opportunities”, the campaign is not a yawn for people trekking to its numerous ill marketed attractions.
Rather it is a yearning for more and more innovative initiatives the size of Lake of Stars which will help bring worthwhile dollars into the country’s ailing economy by selling the country’s numberless tourism hotspots to new audiences across the world, but also shed light on Malawi’s unique place on the world map by heralding planeloads of visitors to take part in a priceless communion in the safe embrace of this Warm Heart of Africa.
In this league is Lake of Stars’ off-shoot, Sand Festival, which is slated for November 1 at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima.
As the festivities hit their climax, it is amazing watching such big-timers as Soldier Lucius Banda, Lawi and Sally Nyundo lead a battalion of local beginners searching for a chance on the same gig grounds as South African hit group Uhuru of Y-tjukutja, the song that often sends party-makers into bottoms-up dance as if they were birds with itchy tails