Lilongwe Beer and Food Fest to promote cultural diversity

The Lilongwe Food and Beer Festival will take place tomorrow at Ulendo Safaris in Area 10 to promote Malawi’s cultural diversity, organisers have said.

The festival, which is in its sixth year, has expanded its profile by doubling beer and food offering.

One of the organisers, Ruairidh Waddell, said they expect to host the largest event as they build on from the 800-plus patronage they recorded during last year’s event.

Patrons enjoying beer during last year’s fest

He said: “The event is designed to be multi-cultural, especially on foods and we will have different cuisines on offer.”

Waddel said there will be an unprecedented number of food stalls, stands, cocktails and activities for kids to live up to the billing of the event as a family gathering.

He said: “By being a family event, it does not mean that there will not be controls to ensure that beer does not fall into the hands of the underaged. The law on beer consumption in Malawi is clear. This is not an event where beer is available to all.

“The idea is that it should be a social event where people can come together, have a nice time and not over indulgence and intoxication. Certainly, underage drinking will not be tolerated and the Malawi Police Service will be on call throughout the event.”

The festival is also a major fundraiser for the Lilongwe Rugby Club and rugby development programmes in schools and areas around Lilongwe.

“We use the funds to support these programmes, run a local league, fund tournaments and travel costs for clubs from Lilongwe as they participate in events in Blantyre and elsewhere,” said Waddel, who is also the chairperson for Lilongwe Rugby Club and Lilongwe District Rugby Union.

Zilanie Gondwe, an arts and social commentator, has been part of the event for the past five years and believes that apart from being a social event, the platform can also be used by businesspeople to market their brands and establish new connections.

She said: “Some people make home-made beers, wines and spirits from fruits. This is a good and competitive marketplace for them. It is a good place because it exposes people to different tastes and influences and broadens their horizon.”

The festival will start from 2 pm till 11 pm. n


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