One street. Citywide sound blast. Truckloads of beers. Multitudes of merrymakers. Police officers all over. First aiders at arm’s length. Music in the air.
Such was the setting of Mzuzu’s maiden street party organised by Carlsberg Malawi Limited that an outpouring of revellers from all avenues of the city clogged St Denis Street on Saturday for a night of fun, relentless fun—nothing but pure fun.
This was a night Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the founder of their religion.
Since Friday afternoon, however, the hooting of beer-carrying trucks across the city and sights of beer kiosks, stages and toilets on the city’s centrally positioned street offered an ample glimpse that they were in for an Easter carnival like no other.
Often mistaken for a fun-starved community, both residents and visitors in the Northern Region’s largest town got what they expected—with three stages sticking out like islands in a vast sea of souls seeking scintillating times.
It appears alcoholic drinks alone would have been enough to preserve the night among things to remember—for the majority of the patrons seemed at home with just grabbing their favourite cupful from nearly 15 beer outlets established on the street that is home to Sports Cafe, BM Interland, Greenvee and A1.
However, all was serious business by 9am when the wide tar was eclipsed by masses leaving a narrow path or none for those who could not just stay in one place.
The nine-strong DJ contest might have attracted thousands of fanatics of remixes, but there was no magnet that attracted a bigger audience than the gigantic metal stage where the Black’s cousins, Moda Fumulani and Anthony Makondetsa, set the crowd on fire.
This was inner combustion, for naked fire could have easily set ablaze a near-by Total Filling Station.
The petroleum outlet appeared endangered when Anjiru Fumulani and the Black Missionaries jumped on stage and started dishing out their much-loved tunes from Evison Matafale’s Kuyimba One to Kuyimba 8. Smoke spiralled in the air, cigarettes of all manner flickered like fire flies and enthused viewers sang along when the reggae group ventured into their unorthodoxy ‘Ganja Time’ when Anjiru’s brother, keyboardist Chizondi, took over the microphone to unleash Healing of the Nation in praise of Indian hemp which remains illegal in Malawi. Even police officers were seen dancing and singing along.
Skeffa Chimoto took his turn after the Blacks, notwithstanding an interlude of performances by his Real Sounds Band and Dan Muyaya who had to deal with the tough task of coming immediately after probably the best performers in the country.
Carlsberg Malawi’s senior brands manager for alcoholic beverages Twikale Chirwa said he was impressed with the response at the one-off bash.
“We are very encouraged by the positive response. Mzuzu loves Carlsberg. For a long time, we have been having shows in other parts of the country, but Mzuzu’s response is amazing,” he said.
By 6am Sunday, some people were still on the bash grounds, either dead asleep or gulping the leftovers in their soaked solitude.