Booze, music and fun. More booze, music and fun. That is how Lilongwe enjoyed Carlsberg Malawi Limited’s street party celebrating Malawi’s 50 years of self rule.
It was a party and more as thousands thronged the Independence Drive—from ADL House to slightly past Gemini Puma gas station—with hordes of other revellers jamming themselves on the grass along the road.
From Friday 6pm, queues of parked cars started forming and meandering in City Centre and by 10pm, Independence Drive was totally besieged.
It was like the whole of Lilongwe had descended on one place and with one unifying purpose of having fun.
Three stages—the main stage where all the live performances took place, the DJ Chill stage where six disc jockeys battled out for the crown and the promotion stage where revellers were walking away with Carlsberg Malawi branded materials—were enough to send the fans into a wild night of entertainment.
And when it came to music, the night started with Mapale Band before Police Orchestra sent the ecstatic crowd down memory lane with hits such as Makondamakonda and Amunanga Muno Mtauni.
Malawi’s rising urban music songster, Ellen Kadango, better known as Elly K was up next.
With her funky outfit and breathtaking vitality on stage, her unique vocals of urban music and local hybrid fused with western pop, Elly K’s eclectic sound and captivatingly engaging is what made her win hearts of those who appreciate this kind genre of music.
Sammy Cool, Kaka the mimical master from Zembani Band and Sam Simakweli all took the turns to entertain people in their own way.
The tempo changed up with hip-hop up next as Gwamba stepped on stage.
The Lilongwe-based rapper left the stage for another city’s own Lulu.
His gyrating dance moves and expertise on the guitar obviously made the Afro-R&B singer a darling of the revellers.
And then Balaka rhythm was in Lilongwe. The oldest performer of the night jumped on stage with his guitar, yet Paul Banda strummed it with so much energy and vigour, sending the multi generational crowd into jiving to songs such as Malilime and Nthawi Zina.
With some sozzled up, Mizu Band, led by vocalists JJ Katsokwe and Eunice Kadzuwa Mhango gave people a good treat of different renditions of mainly reggae songs and once again, showed that they are a force to reckon with as far as Malawi’s cover version bands are concerned.
It was now the turn for Skeffa Chimoto and the Real Sounds Band, who did not waste time, but went straight into the business of the day with more music and fun. With the Jamming Machine on stage, as Chimoto is fondly called by his fans, the revellers were assured on one hour of magic. He left the stage for Wendy Harawa who was more of a dancer as
compared to a singer throughout her performance.
With the time around 3:45 am, Soldier, Lucius Banda stepped on stage with his Zembani and thrilling dancers.
They had the right dance routine for any song with at times Soldier defying his hefty nature but to join in the wriggling like it is a contest.
From Paulendo, Chikondi Chikatha to old hits Mabala and Amalume, the night seemed like had just started for some as with so much energy they danced, had fun with more booze of Carlsberg.
And then the Chileka beats descended on stage with Moda Fumulani before Anthony Makondetsa turned the party outside with the rest of the Black Missionaries who are fresh from a tour of the United Kingdom.
Mbumba ya Abraham and Muyuda, among others, were some of the hits that Makondetsa dished out before Anjiru Fumulani, popularly known as the Jewel of Chileka hit the stage at around 5:40 am.
With Carlsberg beers were going between K350 and K500 that alone was enough motivation for many to many to party hard. At 6:10, the crowd was still big with thousands yet partying with a plastic tumbler filled with their favourite Carlsberg beer in hand.
And the party went on until the Blacks were reportedly called to stop the remaining crowd slowly left the Independence drive but some still yearning for more.
It was Malawi’s Independence Day celebratory party, held on the Independence drive in the capital city and the fans all had their independent fun.