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Lake of Stars Festival

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South Africa’s music group Freshlyground on Saturday performed at the Lake of Stars Festival held at Chintheche Inn in Nkhata Bay where they put up a spirited performance leaving the audience begging for more.

The group performed on the second day of the three-day festival where they gave the audience a surprise package by collaborating with unknown local talent of brothers Shaibu and Pitani Pitilosi from Mchinji and Boniface Mdzanja and Lewis Jonas from Mangochi.

The local artists, who did well on the night backed by Freshlyground performing a song each, came to link up with the South African group through a project known as Wired for Sound.

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This is a project which aims at unearthing talent from the rural areas and saw the artists being identified through their local community radios.

Freshlyground has since produced a 17- track album of the Wired for Sound project featuring songs from different local artists including Shaibu and his brother Pitani and Boniface.

“We never knew we would one day perform on such a big stage with Freshlyground which is a top group. We are excited and raring to go with our music,” Shaibu said after the performance.

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Boniface also said he was happy to have been backed by Freshlyground.

After their collaboration with the local artists, Freshlyground continued with their performance and they proved that they were good and deserved to be international headliners at this year’s festival.

This was Freshlyground’s second outing at the Lake of Stars Festival having also performed in 2011 led by female vocalist Zolani Mahola, they conquered on the night where Karonga-based Lusubilo Band also sparked.

The group from the Rainbow nation dished out songs such as Doo Be Doo and closed the chapter with Waka Waka, the official 2010 Fifa World Cup song which they collaborated with Colombian singer Shakira.

Earlier on, Zolani told the audience that their guitarist from Congo had not travelled with them because of visa problems.

She said this has been the biggest problem for them and that the guitarist from Congo “wanted it very much to be in Malawi and be part of one of the biggest festivals in the world.”

Zolani called on African governments to free up the borders for people to move in freely in the continent.

Freshlyground may have sparked on the night but Lusubilo Band also proved that Malawi has mature sound.

The Karonga-based group’s scintillating performance left many people satisfied while others kept on wondering as to whether the group was from Malawi.

From the word go, the group showed they are serious with music as they took the audience on a roller coaster journey dishing out songs from their album Afrika Inuka.

Their songs such as Mwana Mpina are in Nkhonde, but people related to all their songs which were cemented by their energetic dancing.

After finishing their set, the audience could not let them go as they shouted one more! one more!

There was no choice from the organisers but to allow Lusubilo do one track and they did offering a folktale song titled Kachitsa.

The group which last year performed in South Korea is expected to perform in Germany next month alongside Ulimba group from Nsanje and Andromeda Mega Express from Germany in a project known as What Boundaries?

Unlike on the opening day on Friday where the line-up was not that rich and the performances were not that tight except a few including Patience Namadingo and Piksy, the second day brought some best performances.

Some of the performances on Friday included Zambia’s Roberto famed for the hit Amarula, who featured General Ozzy and Young Mandela, Mibawa Band and Sonye.

The performances on Saturday included Faith Mussa, who did well sparking with songs such as Pamudzi Pano and Mdidi although he slackened in his performance, Theo Thomson, who also lost his temple, Tay Grin, Amahoro Dancers, Anita Zengeza, Timo Maas, Beating Heart DJs, South Africa’s Native Young, Mbanaye, poetry session and Nkhata Bay- based Paka Town Band.

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