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Government pledges support to festivals

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Culture and Community Development Patricia Kaliati has said festivals play a crucial role in promoting the country’s arts and culture as well as tourism through international interaction and exposure.

Kaliati said this on Friday when she officially opened the three-day Lake of Stars Festival at Chintheche Inn in Nkhata Bay.

The festival this year returned to its original home where it started in 2004.

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People from different countries including Japan, China, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and United Kingdom patronised the festival despite others complaining that Chintheche Inn was very far compared to Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi which hosted the festival last year.

The audience was dominated by foreigners which implored the minister at some point to say that Malawians need to take time to patronise this festival.

The audience was not that big on the first day but there was an improvement on the second day.

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Kaliati said the government will continue to support all festivals in the country as well as artists.

She hailed the organisers of the Lake of Stars Festivals for continuing to propel event.

“This festival just like other festivals is important for the cultural sector in the country as it provides the much needed platform for the development and promotion of Malawi’s arts and tourism in particular and the cultural industry in general,” Kaliati said.

She said the contribution of Lake of Stars Festival to social-economic development of the country cannot be overstated.

“I am told that in 2015 alone the festival registered an attendance of over 800 tourists. I am sure that these generated a substantial amount of revenue,” Kaliati said.

While the previous festivals have featured three stages, there were two stages this time around.

Lake of Stars Founder Will Jameson said on Friday that they were excited to hold the festival at Chintheche Inn as part of promoting the Northern region.

Business people also cashed in during the event selling different items including artworks.

Others had even time to try out different foods including nsima made from cassava flour popularly known as Kondowole in Nkhata Bay with its relish being fish from Lake Malawi.

People enjoyed different arts activities and with mornings without anything to do and very hot, many enjoyed swimming in the beautiful waters of Lake Malawi while others played soccer and volleyball.

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