The month of September promises to be fun-filled as three key events are set to take place in Malawi; the highlight being a jazz concert by Standard Bank, featuring South Africaâ€™s music sensation, Zahara.
Born Bulelwa Mkutukana, Zahara–meaning â€˜blooming flowerâ€™–will be headlining the Jazz gig alongside Malawiâ€™s Jazz pioneer Wambali Mtebeti Mkandawire at the magnificent Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) on September 22. A few kilometres away, Malawiâ€™s first ever cultural arts carnival will be taking place. Under the theme â€˜Malawi Cultural Festival; Celebrating Our Unity in Diversityâ€™, the two day Malawi Cultural Arts Festival MaCFest will run from September 22 to 23 at two simultaneous venues in Lilongwe.
A week later, it will be the launch of the countryâ€™s talent show, E-Wallet, in Lilongwe.
However, the visit by Zahara seems to be the pinnacle of entertainment this month as, after impressing Malawians with her beautiful strong voice, she will now meet them face to face.
Zahara shot to fame in 2011 when she released her debut album Loliwe (meaning â€˜The Trainâ€™) which proved to be a big success as it went platinum in 13 days and went double platinum after just 17 days, selling over 100 000 copies in South Africa.
She thus became the second musician after the late Brenda Fassie to reach 100 000 sales figure in such record time.
At the annual South African Music Awards in May, Zahara won eight awards, including Best Female Artist and Album of the Year.
â€œ2012 is a special year for Africaâ€™s biggest bank in terms of profits and assets; Standard Bank, as it celebrates its 150th anniversary. As such, the bank has decided to make merry with our customers who have been the beckon of our success by giving back to them.
â€œSince there is no celebration in Africa without music, we hereby announce that we will be hosting Zahara on 22 September,â€ said the bankâ€™s Head of marketing Linda Kachingwe Sisya.
â€œZahara will headline the show with the jazz master Wambali as well as bands like Mingoli, Jazz Image and Malingaka. We are giving our customers the best and as a way of motivating them, we will be running several promotions on radios that will see lucky people winning tickets to show as well as giving the same prize to our lucky customers who will open fixed accounts with our bank,â€ she added.
Wambali said he was looking forward to the event.
â€œI have already started rehearsing for the show and I must say it is a big one which needs seriousness. Malawians should look forward to the event for it denotes the resurfacing of jazz in Malawi.
â€œI will perform with a band of assorted artists, mainly from the defunct Manyasa. I will do songs from my previous albums but I must say that Malawians should look forward to a big surprise on that day,â€ he added.
Tickets for the show are being sold at selected Standard bank branches Limbe, Ginnery Corner, Chichiri Shopping Mall, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Zomba.