Lucius Banda, popularly known as Soldier, on Sunday performed at New Village House in Blantyre and took advantage of the gig to call upon people to patronise the Sand Music Festival to be held at Livingstonia Beach in Salima from October 27 to 29.
This was Lucius’ second show in Blantyre, after performing at From Dusk Till Dawn on Friday.
Having unveiled two international acts recently— in South Africa’s Thulasizwe and Congelese singer Awilo Longomba— Soldier also revealed that Jamaican artist Kenyatta Hill, son to reggae maestro Joseph Hill, is coming back to perform at the festival.
Kenyatta and Culture performed in the country in June, and had shows in Blantyre and Lilongwe— where he showed that he was not different from his father.
“Sand Music Festival will be good this year. This year, we have artists with different genres and the idea is to reach out to everyone. We have Awilo Longomba, who does kwasakwasa, and then Thulasizwe, who will bring house music,” he said.
Lucius also said they have a Zimbabwean musician, Seh Calaz, who will offer dancehall and then Kenyatta who will satisfy reggae lovers.
“So, you can see that we have close to five international acts who will share the stage with local artists. There is more to come and people should just watch the space,” he said.
The award-winning musician also called on the corporate world to support the festival, saying it is strictly for Malawians.
“The corporate world should come out and support festivals in the country. Outside the country, festivals are fully sponsored by the corporate world and this is what we want our companies to do,” he said.
He said, being a Malawian festival, the entry fee is cheaper than other festivals, with tickets selling at K15,000 early bird and K20,000 at the door.
“We have two events in Salima— the Sound and Light’ coming up end of September and Sand Music Festival end October. We, therefore, need support for us to continue growing,” Lucius said.
The shows last weekend were part of celebrating Zembani’s 20th anniversary.
“It was a very good show, the crowd responded to our music and, being the middle of the month, people came out to support us. This is all about celebrating Zembani’s 20th anniversary but it all started last month with my 47th birthday celebration,” he said.
He said they have performed in different places across the country where they have received massive support.
“In terms of the 20 years Zembani has been in existence, these have been years of vibrancy and not dormancy. We thank people for the support and we don’t take it for granted,” Lucius said.
The show, which attracted performances from Nepman, Sam Smack and Saint, among others, went all the way to midnight, with Lucius closing the curtain.
There was also a special performance by Dan Lu, who also backed Lucius in some songs.
Zambia’s group, Organised Family, who performed at From Dusk Till Dawn on Saturday, also performed as a surprise guest. Female singer and dancer Wendy Harawa also performed.
Organised Family, who are always energetic on stage, nearly stole the limelight when, after being given a chance to perform, people did not want to let them go.
Having not rehearsed with Zembani Band, Organised Family had difficulties jelling with the local band but their energy and dance erased everything, thereby winning the hearts of the audience.
The group also played, albeit accapella, their new song ‘Mpunga ndi Chambo’ from their latest album Don’t Judge Me. The song appreciates the good taste of Malawian rice and Chambo fish (Tilapia saka).
During the show, Lucius also took time out to perform old songs from his several albums including ‘Nthawi’ and ‘Esther’.
Zembani Band dancers, led by Sammy Cool, spiced up Lucius’ performance with sharp dancing skills but newly-wed Jane Khongwa Kachepatsonga was not present.