Lake of Stars; Are we ready?

September inches in and, with it, beckons a chance for Malawi to get on the world map for something positive, not Cashgate, the rotten buzz of the systematic plunder of public funds.

The world converges at the beaches of the host lake district of Mangochi for a grand art festival we call Lake of Stars.

The globe turns its lens on Malawi, not to take pictures of its grinding poverty or to have media interviews on the growing debates on the legalisation of marijuana or same sex marriages, but to savour art by the unmatched lake, the rare beauty the universe freely gave us.

Imagine the glittering golden shores dotted by various colours and races of revellers, united by the frenzy of music and its supporting art genres!

Yes, art stars come out to shine, equally radiant to the silky hearts that are the audience.

With each dawn, the waves on the lake will bring from all cardinal points skills that our artists will learn from.

But we shall not just sit on the beach and poke our ears to the strum of the foreign guitar; we will showcase the warmth and dexterity with which we belt out a tune, wriggle our waists to the melody and stomp the hard ground to the pounding of the African drum!

Are you not yet moved by the feel of a happy festival so heart-warming and intoxicating? Then you must have a serious problem that needs exorcising!

Malawi’s international tourism stands to benefit. Let’s market our people, our crafts, our culture and our pride.

Our artists, who may have had problems taking their talent across the sea, now have the world come to Malawi. Let’s grab the opportunity. Let’s support our artists.

I would want to see communities sponsor their best bands, dancers, sculptors, painters, designers, basketry artists — virtually all kinds of artists, to represent the pride of their lands.

I wish I could sponsor the best m’bwiza group from my Kapenda Village in Zomba to have the world see the wonder that lights our village during ceremonies!

Google Lake of Stars today and see how everyone else across the globe is taking the festival seriously. Are we seeing things through those same lenses?

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