Arts, 55th Independence anniversary

Tomorrow Malawi will commemorate its 55 years of sovereignty. It is a day when among other things, as a nation, we put into perspective what we have managed to achieve since attaining independence from our former colonial masters.

It is a moment to take stock of what we have gotten right, wrong and what else we can do to get things right. But mostly the mood that dominates is celebratory. Whether we pat ourselves on the back for a good reason is another matter.

So, this being a holiday, a lot of people always ensure they make maximum use of this resting day. After all who does not enjoy time away from the usual hassleand demands of  office life.

In the same vein, event organisers look at this moment as a perfect time to stage their events at every possible corner around the districts, towns and cities. And true to that, the entertainment guide book for this long weekend is filled to the maximum.

So many musical shows, to be held under the independence celebrations veil have been lined up both internationally and locally. The furthest will take place in South Bend, Indiana. Yes you got that right. Right in the United States of America (USA).

Malawians who are based in the USA, in recognition of their heritage, identity and in display of pride in being Malawians, organise themselves annually to stage the celebrations. Brandon Mafuleka, Duncan Chalulu and C-Dub are some of the names behind the organisation.

A couple of years ago, during a similar event, they had hip-hop artist Tay Grin perform. This Saturday, Malawian USA-based rapper Jolly Bro will be the main headliner of events. He will be joined by fellow lyricist Zigzero and Jay Stringer.

According to Jolly Bro, the event which is expected to be attended by people of Malawian origin from all the States, will have on its menu a barbecue, musical performances, games, poetry, storytelling among other interactive activities.

Back home, fun lovers, in Lilongwe and Blantyre have been spoilt by choice. The annual Ufulu Festival, featuring an array of the country’s celebrated performers, takes place on Saturday at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe from morning hours.

Reggae band Black Missionaries has three shows lined up in the Central Region. On Friday they will make their maiden appearance at Linde Hotel in Mponela, Dowa. The day after they will be in Salima at Kabumba Hotel to perform at the Pre-Sand Music Festival concert.

The event in Salima has attracted a number of musical acts including Lucius Banda who will be on show alongside his troops from Balaka such as Sam Smack, Jonny B and Nepman. Straight from Salima, Ma Blacks will draw the curtain at L’sburg Leisure Centre in Lilongwe on Sunday.

Acoustic maestro Lulu, will on Saturday evening July 6 be at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in a gig he has dubbed Malaawi Independence Day Chitenje Night.

The Southern Region has not been left out. The Blantyre City Council partnered Entertainers Promotion to hold their own 55th Independence Celebrations in a unique way by staging an all-night event from July 5 till July 6 at Independence Arch.

A live music performance from SkeffaChimoto will top the line-up which will also include food and beverages. On Sunday, Kwathu Drama Group will perform at Blantyre Cultural Centre.

On paper, the local creatives appear to have done everything in their power to make the long Independence weekend full of fun. As we say viva to Malawi’s independence, we also spare a moment to say viva to our local creatives! n

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