Host villages around the venue of the Sunbird Sand Music Festival up this weekend are guaranteeing patrons a warm reception and a secure, enjoyable stay throughout the three-day do, Group Village Head Chipoka said on Sunday.
She was on one of her regular inspection trips to the venue of the gig Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in the lakeshore district of Mangochi, located in her area of command.
Chipoka said the event â€˜is a boost to the surrounding communitiesâ€™ financial lives and there is need to preserve a good reputation for the show; hence, the need to guard against possible negative social influences.
She said the seven villages under herâ€”Mpemba, Nkopola, Makawa, Kera, Matuwi, John Sawali and Chipokaâ€”largely dependent on fishing, look up to the festival as a rare chance to supplement their economies through sale of curios, clothes, adornments and food items such as nsima, fritters, chips and thobwa.
â€œThis year, the numbers applying for plots for stalls is bigger, signalling growing acceptance of the event as a chance to make money. We, therefore, are committed to making the event cosy for the patrons,â€ said Chipoka.
Her adviser, Rahim James, said the villages nominated representatives to work with police in rooting out disorder such as theft, child abuse and drug peddling.
â€œWe also have had meetings sensitising villagers against loose behaviour such as wanton sex which could spur HIV and Aids.
â€œWe will do our best, especially that this year the gig is 100 percent run by locals, challenging us to greater levels of participation and loyalty,â€ said James.
Nkopola Lodge manager Silvester Mtambo said it was encouraging that communities realise the positive impact of the gig.
The Sunbird Sand Music Festival is being organised jointly by Black Missionaries, Lucius Banda and Sunbird Hotels. It has pooled in local talents and international talents in the likes of Dalisoul from Zambia, Banyana Bafana of Zimbabwe and Makhirikhiri of Botswana.