Lengthy wait for Diamond


A remarkable audience on Saturday endured a long wait for award-winning Tanzanian artist Diamond who performed at the Sand Music Festival at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima in the early hours of Sunday.

While some could not afford the stretched delay and went to sleep, many feeling hard done by the entry fee of K25,000 on the door for three days and K20,000 for National Bank’s Mo 626 and TNM’s Mpamba service braved the wait.

The Tanzanian star according to a programme schedule was expected to jump on stage at midnight and bow out at 2am but instead he jumped on stage at 4:54am and left at 6:30am.


Diamond with his 16-member team came to the backstage for the show when the equipment on the main stage was still being balanced.

The artist stayed for a while at the backstage while singer and guitarist Lulu and his Mathumela Band were on stage but could not perform because the equipment was not balanced.

In fact Lulu, who was billed to perform at 11pm up to midnight only, dished out two songs to pave way for Diamond as people could not extend their wait any more.


Some even started shouting at Lulu to move out of the stage as he was still doing sound check and he had to reason with them that it was important to do the sound check to clear the way for Diamond.

On stage apologised to the audience for coming on stage late and attributed this to rains and heavy winds that came up.

“I just want to say thank you for the support you have given me and I don’t take this for granted. I was supposed to perform at 12 but there were rains so it was difficult but still more I stayed on to do it even if it is now morning,” said the artist.

He went on to tell the audience that he would perform all the songs they knew and those they did know as the mammoth audience cheered him on.

And true to his word, Diamond delivered an omelette of a performance that was flavoured by his sleek dance moves and there was a moment when he also jumped off stage to interact with the audience closer.

He started off his set with some songs which were unfamiliar to the people including Mapenzi before moving on to playing some of the well known renditions that had people singing along.

Diamond sang with power and with his dancers showed their energetic dance moves.

The artist, performing for the first time in Malawi, even engaged a young lady in one song and then four ladies in another song bringing them to the stage and danced with them.

By public demand, Diamond, who wore a black hat, also performed the song Nana twice. Some of the songs he dished out include Kidogo, Number One and Moyo Wangu.

It was a performance that was worth an international headliner and when he bowed out people could only nod their heads in appreciation.

“Thank you Malawi for the support. I have enjoyed performing in front of you,” said the artist.

It also took time for the artist, who was expected to hold a press conference later yesterday to go to his room as people mobbed him to take photographs.

Although some people were tired and sleepy having stayed awake all night, Lulu performed after Diamond followed by Black Missionaries.

The day on Saturday started with high hopes from people having been disappointed with the first day when some performances ended prematurely due to power problem.

The main stage’s roof also was low as it was only built on the opening day which irked fans.

But the main stage was fixed later and looked presentable but power shortage forced it not to hold performances and this started with veteran Paul Banda and Alleluya Band, who were shifted to the smaller stage.

And despite being pushed to this smaller stage, Paul, Coss Chiwalo and Paul Subiri did well with their performances that had the audience on the dance floor from start to finish.

Several other acts which were set to take place at the main stage including gospel stars Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Thocco Katimba and Great Angels Choir, Tay Grin, Zambia’s Organised Family and Dan Lu among others were pushed to the smaller stage where the sound was not up to scratch.

It was during the time people were enjoying performances on the smaller stage that rains and winds started followed by power going off.

The heavy winds actually blew off some of the tents.

“I am satisfied with Diamond although I am sad he came late. I would forgive the organisers for the delay because there were reasons but they missed out big time on a lot of areas. Last year it was better but this year there was no improvement,” said a fan Gerald Tembo.

Shyreen Mlenga, who was frustrated also pointed out that as a festival there was no clear programme on the artists performances and that people kept on playing guess work.

“So many things were not done well from power shortages which they could have handled well. They surely need to improve otherwise I am happy Diamond performed,” he said.

Other acts which performed on Saturday on the smaller stage include Galang’ombe Boys Band and Dali.

Performances were expected to continue Sunday.

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