Malawi continues to welcome a flock of international artists while being mean with its own.
The art-importing country has become an attraction not only for Zambia’s crowd puller Oga Family, General Kanene and Mampi but also musicians from elsewhere.
The Zambians have become talk of town. But the biggest import this year was South Africa’s bestseller Zahara, who used the same stage as Malawi’s great Wambali Mkandawire in September at the Standard Bank’s Jazz Concert in Lilongwe. The 25-year-old took advantage of her popularity to show why she is a blossoming flower, zahara.
From the state of the sound equipment to the ticketing system, the first international entertainment event at the magnificent Bingu International Conference Centre exemplified everything worth emulating when it comes to hosting an international show. At least, those who were swallowed by what came to be known as ‘Zaharamania’ left the venue smiling.
This is in contrast with the spectacle at Blantyre Arts Festival where both Mali Legend Salif Keita and his fans left the French Cultural Centre fuming at the sound engineers and hissing machines.
Also worth of a mention was the delayed arrival of Nigerian rapper Ice Prince. After postponements and cancelling a show at Zanzi Bar in Lilongwe, the artist finally appeared at Country Club Limbe in July.
Other imports included South Africa’s Jezebel hitmaker Professor and Botswana’s Makhirikhiri and Zimbabwe’s Banyana Bafana.
So lucky were the Zimbabwean dancers that they found themselves on the deportees’ bus to Bulawayo after overstaying their welcome. Somebody could have checked their visas earlier to spare the beautiful dancers them the embarrassment.