Foreign artists as Malawi’s ambassadors


Hideous things must always remain unknowable despite that technological advancements have rendered that almost impossible.

Ironically for Malawi, there are a number of good things, notably Lake Malawi, that should, for all intents and purposes, be knowable but are not.

To Culture and Tourism Minister Michael Usi, this is because Malawi’s tourist attraction places have not been fully advertised to the world.


The solution, according to him, lies in intensifying awareness campaigns so that the world can get to appreciate Malawi and its plethora of attractive places.

For Malawi Tourism Council (MTC), the problem is not foreign tourists’ lack of interest in Malawi’s cultural heritage and other sites; the problem lies in systems being put in place to facilitate the entry of people into the country.

One of the challenges, according to the council, pertains to delays in issuing electronic visas (e-visas) to potential tourists.


MTC Executive Director Innocent Kaliati indicates that they have since penned the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services on the issue so that it can quickly come in and address the concerns.

“We hope this is something the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services can quickly fix. At the very least, we hope they can allow people to obtain visas at ports of entry while the issue of current delays is being handled,” he says.

However, as if to give Malawi temporary respite, South Africa-born singer Makhadzi, who was this year controversially snubbed by organisers of South African Music Awards, has literally decided to put Malawi on the world map by posing for pictures at Lake Malawi in Salima District.

Her dancers also posted pictures that depicted their experiences at Lake Malawi, pictures taken on Saturday, November 6 this year, after performing at Hangout Festival in Salima District.

When Makhadzi, real name Ndivhudzannyi Ralivhona, was being captured on camera along with seven other people [before the Lake Malawi pictures were later posted after she arrived in South Africa], she kept on saying: “This is beautiful”.

In fact, she took some 10 seconds without making any movement, apparently meditating, before signaling that she be captured on camera.

One consequence of that move was increased discussion of the Lake Malawi picture, which means art, again, has helped put Malawi in the limelight.

Not to be outdone, one of Makhadzi’s two male dancers posted a picture of himself with Lake Malawi in the background.

He then thanked the heavens for giving him “talent” and taking him to countries such as Malawi.

Makhadzi commented on the picture, encouraging the male dancer with words such us “you deserve it”.

The multi-award-winning artist is not just any other musician; she is a big name.

To prove this, just on November 9, she informed her followers that she had signed a mega deal, something she had been hinting at for days before the actual signing of the deal.

“When God’s timing is right everything falls into place, blessings come together and dreams become a reality. I am happy to announce that I have signed a R 120 million MEGA deal called Kokovha with @kickssportswear_sa to develop and create amazing products that will reflect everything that I am and believe in.

“Join me on this journey as I’ll be sharing more about this deal in the upcoming weeks. Shout out to the founder of Kicks @Sammymhaule for believing in me, @alfadestinycommunications as well as @openmicprodsa , @africori for being the corner stone of this deal and choosing me to recreate history. Ndialivhuwa nga Mandah

“Its more than just me. #Unbeaten,” she indicated.

It is not the first time that a foreign artist has lauded Lake Malawi.

Gramps Morgan, who performed at the Sand Music Festival in Mangochi District on October 3 this year, lauded the lake, which Scottish explorer Dr David Livingstone described as the Lake of Stars when he ‘discovered’ it in 1858.

“You have the most beautiful sunset in the world. Look at that! This is beautiful,” he said, interrupting his performance to watch the sun rise on the horizon right above Lake Malawi.

He went on to lecture Malawians to be proud of who they are.

“When you go outside the country, say in Jamaica or the United States, do not be ashamed to say that you are from Malawi. Look at this lake; where else can you find it? This is beautiful and you must be proud of your country,” he said.

While he fell short of posting pictures of himself with Lake Malawi in the background, he had pointed at the obvious [Lake Malawi], which is often taken for granted, especially by those who have developed a contemptuous familiarity with the natural feature that is Lake Malawi, formerly Lake Nyasa.

Veteran artist Lommie Mafunga of the ‘Baba Mica’ fame feels that time has come for the authorities in Malawi to engage local artists in marketing interesting places and features in Malawi.

“It should not take foreign artists to showcase Malawi to the world. Local artists can do it. All we need is support,” he says.

That way, Malawi could have a long turn in the sun of world acclaim

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