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I am making progress on fundraising—Poet

Poet Julius Jules Banda, who came out recently seeking K2 million to attend Lake of Stars Festival in London, to be held on March 10, has said he was making progress in his drive.

Banda took to social media recently to reach out to the public on the need for sponsorship.

“I am required to get sponsorship that will cover visa, air tickets and other travel expenses. This is a great opportunity for me and an honour to represent Malawi as a poet,” he said.

The poet also provided details guiding well-wishers on how they could donate the money for the trip.

But his move saw some quarters criticising him for stooping low by going on a begging mission.

And asked why he came out to ask for support and yet he has been invited, Banda said:

“I am supported but not financially because this is the first time they are having such [an event] in the UK. Their sponsorship is open to artists in the UK and a few headliners from Africa,” he said.

The poet insisted that he would manage to raise the K2 million.

“So far, I am at K500,000-plus in cash and pledges. I will also be having a fundraising show,” he said.

The poet is expected to hold a show on February 3 at 1 Five in Lilongwe.

The show is dubbed Poetry Matters: Support Julius’ trip to Lake of Stars (UK).

He also said that he has an online funding set up.

At the moment, Banda has no poetry album but was quick to point out that he would be working on it.

“People are becoming more and more interested in the initiative and me and, so, I am optimistic,” Banda said.

Lake of Stars Founder, Will Jameson, said recently that the artists are being paid but that they have already selected artists to come from Malawi.

“Faith Mussa and Zaluso Arts will be representing Malawi and are the ones who were selected. Other artists will be based in the UK,” Jameson said.

Lake of Stars Festival, which returns to the shores of Lake Malawi this year after a one-year break, recently also announced that its Glasgow, Scotland, event would be held on March 11 2018.

Ahead of the main festival in the country from September 28 to 30, Lake of Stars Festival has indicated that it would hold a series of events.

Jameson said that Lake of Stars Festival Glasgow will be for a day and that it would be held in partnership with Scotland Malawi Partnership.

He said, as part of their 15th anniversary celebrations this year, Lake of Stars Festival would also hold another event in Zomba tomorrow and Lake of Stars London on March 10.

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