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Lake of Stars Fest starts line-up announcements

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

ON THE MENU—Hazel Mak

The organisers of Lake of Stars Festival, which this year is dubbed Lake of Stars Discovery, have started making line-up announcements, with the first acts including South African Music Awards (Sama) winning afro-soul star Bongeziwe Mabandla.

According to the organisers, Mabandla will be making his Malawi debut.

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Lake of Stars Festival last year was held at Kabumba Hotel in Salima but this year’s event returns to its original home in Nkhata Bay but at a new venue – Kachere Kastle.

The three-day event will be held from September 27 to 29.

Having made a call for applications which was expected to close Sunday, the organisers wrote on their Facebook page that Mabandla would perform at this year’s event and that alongside him, is a trio of the country’s women blazing trails in their fields, including award-winning artist Hazel Mak.

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Hazel Mak made history for the country last year when she grabbed the Best African Act in Diaspora Award for her track ‘Jaiva’, in which she feature Zambia’s Roberto and Tay Grin in the All Africa Music Awards (Afrima).

She is also set to perform at this year’s Mzuzu Fashion Week to be held in October.

The other acts are Forbes Africa 30 under 30 nominee and storyteller and poet Upile Chisala and DJ RJ the DJ.

Lake of Stars spokesperson and head of media, Zilanie Gondwe, said recently that this year’s festival is taking place in Nkhata Bay District, in keeping with their tradition of moving the festival around the regions to showcase the diversity of the country and ensure that the economic benefits are realised by more than one community.

Gondwe said, this year, they are offering a unique adventure for festival-goers and that Lake of Stars Discovery will be held in a stunning lodge built in the style of a Moroccan castle set on rolling white sands by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Malawi.

Last year, the festival celebrated its 15th anniversary with a line-up that included Sauti Sol from Kenya and United States of America megastars Major Lazer.

“We are excited about the direction we are taking Lake of Stars to this year. Our new discovery edition will offer a unique adventure for festival goers in an unparalleled, intimate setting. Lake of Stars has always been about more than the big names. It’s about creating memories and shared experiences,” Gondwe said.

She said their vision was also about uncovering and promoting new artists alongside established talent.

“And, in 2019, we are amplifying this by shining a light on amazing rising stars in new music and art in Malawi, Southern Africa and beyond. I invite everyone to join us on this journey of discovery to hear the sounds and experience the creativity of the Warm Heart of Africa,” she said.

Gondwe added that, for 15 years, Lake of Stars project has been on a mission to promote Malawian music, culture and tourism.

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