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Nkhotakota Music Fest opens up to everyone

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The two-day Nkhotakota Music Festival lived up to its billing opening up to all people.

The festival started on Friday and ended on Saturday.

Nkhotakota Cultural Centre Manager Anne Lene Østli said on Monday that the festival will come back next year.

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With most people failing to raise the entry fee of K5,000, the festival opened up with people being asked to contribute what they had.

“We wanted the festival to be open for all. So everyone was requested to contribute with what they could afford and they did. Some paid K20 and others K5,000,” Østli said.

She said this created a space where economic status did not matter once you entered the door.

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Established in 2014, Østli said the festival is still small but the presence of a huge audience and top artists indicates that it is growing.

The festival hosted by a youth and cultural centre in Nkhotakota brought people from all walks of life and from different countries, who appreciated arts and culture.

“This year, the festival took a step into the village. On Saturday we started off with a cultural walk that ended at a stage in Ngoma, with a stage by the Livingstone tree,” she said.

Musician Faith Mussa famed for the hit ‘Mdidi’ once again stole the show with his performance.

Other artists, who performed at the festival include Madalitso Band, Neil Nayar, Hear us Children and Mbanaye.

There were also performances from up and coming artist O’ta, who is signed to the newly established Ujeni Records.

Happy Family, a band consisting of essential festival staff also performed.

The band is made up of six young musicians and volunteers from Mozambique, Brazil and Norway from Music Crossroads Malawi and the music school at Nkhotakota Youth Organisation.

According to Østli, the audience during the festival was introduced to different art forms and in between all of the bands; the volunteers had prepared different short shows to entertain them.

Brazilian multi-artist and volunteer Elias Matarazzo performed a puppet show in cooperation with Malawian youth.

Mussa said the festival was on point and that the patronage was impressive.

“The support I received was great and the music was on point,” he said.

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