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Busy Signal shines again at Sand Music Festival

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ENERGETIC—Busy Signal performs

Jamaican reggae dancehall musician Busy Signal offered a perfect set once again during his second outing at the 12th edition of Sand Music Festival which started on Friday and ended Sunday at Kambiri Beach Resort in Salima.

The architect of ‘Free Up Black People’ and ‘ Dreams of Brighter Days’ tracks, which he performed during his set, jumped on stage in the wee hours of yesterday and gave the audience a treat.

His 2015 outing at the festival in the same district but at Sunbird Livingstonia saw the reggae dancehall artist show energy throughout and he performed for more than two hours.

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He did the same in his second performance at the festival and performed for close to one-and-a-half hours.

Wearing a white tracksuit and white sneakers, he was welcomed in stage with pomp and went straight to business, offering one song after the other, most of which people sang along.

“I love you Malawi and I am happy to be back here,” he said.

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With a backing team of three members including a drummer and guitarist, Busy Signal connected with the audience as he advocated for love and unity.

There was even a moment when Busy Signal invited on stage a gentleman, who performed with him labelling the challenge Malawi versus Jamaica.

“Thank you to Sand Music Festival for bringing be back here and thank you for coming out tonight “, he said.

He left the stage at exactly 3:30am with most of the people leaving thereafter but the performances continued on the FDH stage, with Saint and Kell Kay taking turns to entertain the people who remained.

Having disappointed on the first day with delays due to power shortage, the performances improved on the second day.

Artists gave people a treat on both the main and smaller stages.

Ahead of performances, people were also treated to games such as Beach soccer by companies such as Castel Malawi and FDH Bank which saw them winning prizes .

The second day also saw Nyasa Manufacturing and Miss Malawi 2022 organisers partnering to light up the unveiling to Nkhata Bay based reggae musician Michael Mountain with some contestants who made it in the top 30, walking on stage carrying flags.

“It’s my first time to perform at such a festival and I hope this is the beginning of more things to come,” the musician, who won the hearts of many people with his reggae vibes , said.

There were a number of impressive and outstanding performances and they included that of Gwamba, Rudo Chakwera , Lusubilo Band, Eli Njuchi and Salama Dancers.

Having failed to perform on the first day, Zambian artist Yo Maps performed on the second day and there was even a moment when he invited Eli Njuchi to perform ‘Gugugu’ together.

Tanzania’s musician Harmonise, who was the international headliner alongside Busy Signal, also performed on the second day despite being detained by the police earlier due to monetary issues.

Sand Music Festival Director Lucius Banda could not be drawn to comment much on the issue, saying they were happy he performed.

“We feel this issue could have been handled professionally and not the way it was done but, all the same, he performed . We are happy; all acts scheduled performed,” Lucius said.

He admitted they started on a bad note due to power shortage but was quick to say things improved on the second and last day.

“All artists put in their best shots. Of course we had challenges, being a new venue, and we apologise for that. We will keep improving and next year we will come back bigger and better”, he said.

Lucius also admitted that this year’s festival was not better than last year but attributed this to the new venue.

Earlier on, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Principal Secretary Chancy Simwaka hailed the festival during the official opening.

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