Acoustic gospel musician Faith Mussa, alongside Mbanaye Band, will represent Malawi at this year’s Watana Festival (WFest) in Mozambique.
Mussa, who will be making his first appearance at the festival, said he is excited with the chance to go and learn from the new experience that festival will bring.
“This will actually be the first African festival that I will attend outside Malawi. All the international festivals I have been to have been out of Africa. So this opportunity is an exciting one for me,” he said in an interview.
Completing the Malawian line-up at the festival will be the Lilongwe-based traditional afro-jazz band, Mbanaye, who said they are ready to give a good account of themselves and the country as well at the festival.
Member of the seven-man band Gilbert Simuchoba said: “It feels good to be considered for such a festival. Performing at such a big stage has its own demands but we believe we will be ready for it. This is our chance to go and raise the Malawi flag high.”
Though relatively new on the scene, Mbanaye are no strangers to international festivals having starred at the Sautiza Busala Festival in Zanzibar in February this year. Locally they have also performed at the Lake of Stars, Tumaini and Nkhotakota festivals.
The group has a single Extended Play (EP) under their belt titled Odi. Right now they are working on releasing a live album from their performance in Zanzibar but the dates are yet to be decided. The band is owned by Norwegian Karstein Gronnes who owns a record label, Ujeni Records.
Watana is an original name of Emacua language which means union. So the festival is a union of arts and cultures.
The WFest is a multicultural festival which involves different facets of art present in the northern part of the country and beyond the borders such as music, dance, photography, ceramics, basketwork, sculpture, gastronomy, hairstyles, among others.
The festival aims at promoting and protecting the historical-cultural heritage, artistic cultural tourism, the environmental and natural resources for the benefit of the local community. n