Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango on Saturday hailed the organisers of the Lake of Stars Festival, which started on Friday through to yesterday at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi, for helping in promoting tourism in the country.
Mhango made the remarks after officially opening the festival on Saturday.
“I would like to thank Lake of Stars organisers for this wonderful festival. I am impressed with what I have seen. This festival has helped a lot in promoting tourism. I, therefore, would like to welcome all those from outside, welcome to Malawi the Warm Heart of Africa and enjoy,” he said.
Before he officially opened the festival, the minister visited Chipoka village which is closer to the festival and appreciated some of the outreach programmes spearheaded by Lake of Stars Festival partners.
Lake of Stars admitted that it has not been doing enough in terms of helping the community surrounding the festival and that starting this year, they are doing more including supporting some schools.
True to their word, the Lake of Stars organisers, this year engaged the community in several projects aimed at growing the area including propelling village art and also identified some of the people who need assistance in the area especially the elderly.
During the visit, the minister and other officials were taken to the house of an over 80-year old woman Abiti Shaibu whose house is in bad condition.
Touched by the plight of Abiti Shaibu, the minister donated K50,000 while Lake of Stars also donated K50,000 with the Principal Secretary Justin Saidi donating K20,000.
The minister also asked the District Commissioner to help Abiti Shaibu by considering her for the Malata/Cement subsidy.
After touring Chipoka Village where he also sampled some traditional dances, including Gule Wamkulu, Mhango then opened the festival during a cocktail which was sponsored by MultiChoice Malawi through DStv.
MultiChoice Malawi, as one of the Lake of Stars partners, donated an Explora decoder to the organisers and also gave out several items through Lake of Stars during the media awards ceremony.
The media awards saw Lake of Stars rewarding the local media for playing a greater role in uplifting the festival.
Several media houses and individual journalists were rewarded and they included MBC’s Geoffrey Kapusa and Times Group’s Gregory Gondwe.
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