The stage is set and the talent is overflowing. The youth are ready and fun seekers are anxiously waiting to see what they will witness when the ghetto youths from Bangwe Township take to the stage to showcase what they are made of.
This is the first ever Luso La Bangwe Arts Festival.
Often associated with negative things such as thievery, prostitution and unemployment, ghetto youths are trying to make their mark and rewrite the pages of their story.
Held under the theme Invest In Talent, the festival will pool together comedians, actors, musicians and poets from Bangwe Township and surrounding areas.
The event will take place at Bangwe ‘Desert’ ground on August 25.
One of the organisers Edgar M’baluku, working under the Luso La Bangwe youth talent agency, told Chill that the festival will give Bangwe youths an opportunity to shine and showcase their talents to the world.
He said: “We want the youth in arts to have a chance to showcase their talents since most youth groups here are only given a chance to showcase their athletic talents. This is time for the arts.”
M’baluku said the event, which will also see them launch the Luso La Bangwe Festival and Bangwe Music Awards, will be open to all youths from townships around Bangwe, but said residents are encouraged to register.
“Most talented artists fail to promote their talents and get recognised due to financial constraints so this event offers that much needed opportunity,” he said.
Richard Phiri, an aspiring rapper from the township, wants to make it big.
“I have been doing hip hop music for two years now. I record myself using my phone. I hope to get an opportunity to be on a big stage and show the world what I am capable of and maybe I can have my breakthough,” he said.
Phiri said he tried to get a slot during the Tay Grin free show but failed as he was late for registration.
“I will make sure that this time I get on that stage and prove that I am talented through and through,” he said.
M’baluku said anyone willing to participate at the first ever Luso la Bangwe festival should register.
“During the inaugural Bangwe Music Festival in April this year, we felt we needed to do more to promote talent in the ghetto. Now we will have both the awards and the festival,” he said.
During the inaugural Bangwe Music Festival, 48 artists were nominated in 12 categories.
Artists who coloured the occasion include El Genesys, Shay B and Team Sosha.
To take part in the festival, interested youths must register at Fikani Music premises in Bangwe.
Of late, Malawi has seen the number of music and arts festival increase. They include the Nyasa Music Festival, Urban Music People (UMP), Lake of Stars (LoS) and the Lilongwe Jazz Music Festival.
Other well known platforms where up-and-coming artists have seen an opportunity to showcase their talent include the free Fredokiss music concerts and the Tay Grin free music concerts which were both curtain-raised by up-and-coming musicians.n