Ancient force of belief


It takes an ancient force of belief to rise up immediately after a half-fall but organisers of Pamchenga Gospel Festival have shown that it is possible to rise so soon after a fall.

When the inaugural Pamchenga Gospel Festival, which debuted this month at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima, ended in one day instead of the planned three days, some quarters were quick to point out that the event had been a flop.

After all, when artists who participate in an event claim that they have returned home without being paid, and others who were billed to perform do not turn up, it becomes easy to adjudge that the ceiling of organisation has dropped so low for organisers that it may take time for them to raise it up again.


The gospel festival was scheduled to start on Friday, December 2 and end on Sunday, December 4 this month but only took place within a day, a development organisers have attributed to heavy rains and storms.

But, in a sudden twist of events, organisers of the gospel festival have disclosed that they have turned the event into an annual fixture, saying the debut festival has offered them a number of lessons and that, from the ruins of such lessons, they will come back big.

Tamika Milimbo, who prefers to be called by his brand name Tamika, said in an interview yesterday that the festival is there to stay.


“To say the truth, the festival was disrupted by heavy rains and storms and that negatively affected our plans. But the festival will be back next year and we have started working on other things. We will start planning in January and we intend to have the festival in October. So, we will be back,” Tamika said.

Tamika said, at the moment, the organisers were “strategising on how to do other things”, adding that “we are sure that everything will be okay and that we shall continue to offer Malawians entertainment”.

Asked about reports that some of the artists who participated in the festival did not get paid, Tamika said only bands had not been paid.

“In terms of payments, we are sorting them [those owed] out. We have made some [money] deposits. We only owe few people [money] and these are mainly those from bands. We are sorting everything out. For example, we plan to recover some money from artists who received money for three days and, yet, the event took place in one day due to disruptions through rains and storms.

“We agreed with some artists that the festival would be held for three days but we only did it in one day due to rains and storms. In other words, such artists only performed for a day and we will see what we can do,” Tamika said.

In another development, Tamika dismissed claims that he threatened a The Daily Times reporter who sought more information from him last week. The reporter had attended the festival in Salima.

“That is not true. We are in the entertainment industry to stay and we cannot do that because we engage ourselves in many aspects of entertainment,” Tamika said.

Tamika said they hope for improvements next year, banking on the possibility of courting sponsors. He said the debut event had no sponsors, hence the cropping up of some of the logistical challenges they faced.

The Daily Times reported recently that the Pamchenga Gospel Festival, which debuted at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima, saw organisers leave the venue before paying artists.

According to adverts promoting the event, the show was supposed to feature local and international artists and renowned church ministers. In fact, it was supposed to be a spiritual party of music to run from Friday to Sunday

However, things started going haywire when some artists who were billed to perform chickened out before the party even began.

For example, Favoured Martha and Patience Namadingo were initially billed to perform, but later chickened out of the deal because they were not convinced with the arrangements.

The two artists told The Daily Times that they did not travel to the venue because the festival was poorly organised. They cited poor logistical arrangements that would help artists travel from their respective bases to the venue, among other grounds.

“I did not even turn up for the event because I did not receive a deposit prior to my performance,” Martha, whose sentiments were echoed by Namadingo, was quoted as saying.

Another artist, Steve Muliya, confirmed being approached by the organisers but said he got no further communication thereafter.

Muliya said this was the case despite that his name was included on the list of those billed to perform.

“I was approached some months ago and [I was] informed that there would be a gospel festival but I never got communicated to again. Therefore, I could not use my resources to travel to the venue,” Muliya said.

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