By Sam Banda Jnr:
Old Town in Blantyre came to a standstill starting on New Year’s Eve as it played host to a Fireworks Family Night organised by Blantyre City Council (BCC) in partnership with Team Entertainers and Castel Malawi.
Hundreds of people patronised the event, which gave them a chance to welcome 2019 in grand style.
As time hit 12 o’clock midnight following a count down, there was a delirium of shouts of ‘Tachilowa (we are in the New Year)’ and this was capped with fireworks, sound and smoke.
This marked the end of 2018.
During this time, veteran musician Sir Paul Banda, backed by Alleluya Band, performed the track ‘Ndizatamanda Ambuye’.
In the song, the musician praises God for the gift of life.
The veteran musician, however, appealed more to the older generation, with other acts appealing to the younger generation.
Earlier, before welcoming 2019, Blantyre City Mayor Wild Ndipo hailed people for coming out in large numbers.
“We will be doing this every year and this is a promise. The idea is for residents of Blantyre to come together, interact and welcome the new year together. This is also part of thanking people for their continued support to Blantyre City Council by paying city rates but also making the city vibrant and clean,” Ndipo said.
He said, since they started, they have made sure that the event is violence free.
“We always make sure that there should not be violence by putting in place tight security. We are happy that everything has gone on smoothly as well. We are also happy that families came as this is what we want,” Ndipo said.
Ndipo, alongside his deputy Joseph Makwinja, also took time out to show their dance moves before welcoming 2019.
He then hailed their partners, Team Entertainers and Castel Malawi, for supporting the event.
“This was colourful with a very good stage,” Ndipo said.
During the Family Fireworks Night, people had time to enjoy performances from, among others, ethno-musician Waliko Makhala, Don Tarz, Steve Spesho, Six Solid Band from Lilongwe, Sir Paul Banda, Alleluya Band crew of Coss Chiwalo and Paul Subiri and Reggae Ambassador Charles Sinetre.
Team Entertainers Director Tonderai Banda said after the event that they were satisfied with the performances as well as the attendance.
“People enjoyed every moment and this was good. As Team Entertainers we will continue to work with different stakeholders in hosting events,” Tonderai said.
Random interviews with some of the patrons indicated they were satisfied with the event.
“For me, I have enjoyed the outing. Of course, at some point rains threatened to disturb everything but they stopped. We need such nights especially when welcoming the new year,” Gerald Tembo from Chilomoni Township, said.
Apart from the performances, people also had time to enjoy food and drinks which were being sold on the night.
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