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Lulu festival to focus on mental health

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Concerned with the rise in suicide cases in the country, musician Lulu says this year’s free-of-charge Mathumela Music Festival, set for Masintha Ground in Lilongwe on December 10, will focus on mental health.

The artist, who recently launched his latest album titled One More Time, said yesterday that he is there to educate people and bring about change.

“It is sad to hear all these stories about people committing suicide and young people are in there. So, I thought of talking about this and sensitising people not to take their life,” he said.

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Malawi Police Service (MPS) told The Daily Times recently that 58 people committed suicide in October alone this year, a rise from 44 cases during the same period last year.

Lulu said they were engaging various people to talk about mental health during the festival, now in its third edition.

“People out there need to be told that challenges will always come and go and that taking your life is not a solution to solving problems. We need to save lives and when you have people committing suicide, it is worrisome to us because it is these very same people who support our works,” he said.

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The multi-talented artist said he was inspired to create the festival by preachers and other events at Masintha Ground.

“It is all about showcasing our talents as well as giving a platform to up-and-coming artists. It is all about interaction between artists and the audience and it is also about thanking God for the gift of life,” Lulu said.

The artist said the festival is also part of his galaxy to inspire more youths to dream big.

“We use this festival to talk about many issues in life and every year we have different themes and, with the rise in suicide cases, we thought of looking at mental health,” Lulu said.

Some of the artists set to perform at this year’s festival include Skeffa Chimoto, Madalitso Band, Neil Nayar, Temwa, Macelba, Gresham Nyambo and Wailing Brothers.

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