Fresh from their exploits at the Sauti za Busara Festival in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Lilongwe-based musical group Madalitso Band have earned a place at the Nkhotakota Music Festival to be held from April 21 to April 22.
Their omelet performance at this top festival, which this year brought several artists from different African countries, seems to be attracting the attention of event organisers.
And just two weeks ago, the duo of vocalist Yobu Maligwa, who also plays the Babatoni, and guitarist Josefe Kalekeni featured on BBC Global Beats.
The group’s manager, Emmanuel Kamwenje, confirmed on Tuesday that they have signed a contract and that they will perform on April 22.
Nkhotakota Cultural Centre Manager, Anne Lene Østli, also confirmed Madalitso Band’s participation in the festival, adding that they were excited to have them.
With Lake of Stars Festival not taking place this year, Nkhotakota Music Festival continues to make headway in its programme of giving artists a platform to showcase their talent.
According to Østli, Nkhotakota Youth Organisation (NYO) supported by Music Crossroads Malawi, established the festival in 2014.
“It was Sille Lukowski, manager for the Cultural Centre at the time, who wanted to do something new and exciting for the centre and for the youth. She thought, ‘why not create a festival!’ Luckily, she had people around her who supported her,” Østli said.
She said that there are a lot of great young musicians connected to the Cultural Centre as well as Music Crossroads who have worked together to make the festival vibrant.
Østli said it has been a long journey for the festival, driven by passion for music and the youth as well as wanting to create something great for the community.
“As a youth organisation, we want the festival to be a place where young people can gain confidence and skills in the context of performing arts,” she said.
The manager also said that, through the festival, they want to uncover raw talent among the youth and connect with the local community.
Østli said the festival wants to play a role in promoting arts and culture in the country while, selling Nkhotakota to the world.
Apart from Madalitso Band, the other acts set to dine and wine with their music at the festival include Faith Mussa, Neil Nayar, Mbanaye and Daughters Band.
“The festival’s line-up is a mix of traditional and contemporary Malawian music and dance and, so, people should expect surprise acts and up-and-coming artists from Music Crossroads Malawi,” she said.
Østli said they will add colour to the festival by setting up a campsite at the Cultural Centre to accommodate a lot of visitors.
In addition, she said they want to provide a cultural walk for people to see the Livingstone Tree as well as other significant landmarks in Nkhotakota.
Nkhotakota Youth Organisation is a youth–run local NGO established in 1997 and works to reduce unemployment, facilitate skills training. It recreational activities among the youth.