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FMB ambiguous on courting international acts

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It was amazing how easily FMB brought happiness on the faces of entertainment-seekers when it flew into the country British multi-platinum and Grammy award-nominated singer, Joss Stone.

The date was December 1, the venue was Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, and those who worked behind the scenes to bring Stone to Malawi were FMB and event organising firm, Qoncept Creatives.

The audience was, among other items on the menu, treated to a mix of the singer’s most popular songs in genres such as R&B, blues and reggae. Malawi’s own George Kalukusha also shined under the giant shadow of Stone.

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FMB’s Managing Executive & Head GIO, Patrick Kabambe, said the event provided an ideal setting to interact with and show appreciation to their customers.

“We wanted to end the year on a high note with our customers and the Joss Stone Concert was a great way of creating a unique customer experience for our clients. We always meet in a business environment but the concert enabled us to put aside business this evening and just have a great time together,” Kabambe said, speaking after the pre-concert cocktail.

However, it remains unclear whether such events would become a fixed calendar in Malawi.

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This is because a statement released by FMB is full of ambiguity.

FMB Head of Marketing and Communications, Sylvia Mataka, said the bank made a decision to support Qoncept Creative in bringing Stone to Malawi as a way of providing their customers and Malawi in general with a memorable leisure experience.

“We tested the waters with Qoncept Creatives on this venture and we are pleased with the results. The event was well organised and ideally positioned for the target audience.

“As a brand, FMB will continue to seek opportunities that build the local arts and entertainment industry and also provide a platform for our local artists to become visible to a wider audience. We also hope that going forward we can continue to provide our customers will [sic] similar unique experiences,” Mataka says.

This means the bank has failed to boldly say whether Malawians should look forward to the bank bringing another foreign act. Instead, it expresses mere “hope” which is, in itself, not a tangible product.

Ironically, Mataka claims in the statement that the bank has observed the lifestyle of Malawians.

It might not be, or so it seems, since FMB is making no concrete promises in its post-concept statement!

“We have observed the lifestyle and entertainment industry in Malawi and believe that there is need to support the industry in order to raise the bar for our entertainers and artists in Malawi.”

During the BICC event, Kalukusha opened the act.

Kalukusha is no stranger to the limelight. In fact, his sounds have so impressed that they have helped him get the platform locally and internationally. These include BBC Introducing, BBC Scotland, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, TEDx Lilongwe and the Lake of Stars Festival, Voice of America [USA] and Bloomberg TV [Germany].

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