Soldier closes Sand Music Festival in style


After over nine months without performances due to illness, Soldier Lucius Banda returned to the stage Monrday and closed the curtain for the 11th edition of Sand Music Festival held at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi District.

Lucius offered a short performance that excited the audience that remained until late on Sunday to see the festival off.

The legendary musician performed on the Wambali stage, which on Gospel Sunday also featured acts including Marlyn Chimombo, Great Angels Choir, Billy Kaunda, Princess Chitsulo and Gloria Manong’a.


Before the performance, which came after an electric dance routine from Salama Dancers from Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa District, Lucius hailed players for the support to the festival this year.

He jumped on stage with the track ‘Nthawi’ and served other songs including the latest ‘Ndinu Yemweyo’.

“It feels good to be back on stage. It’s been a while but God has been faithful. I would like to thank people for the support to me, my brothers Paul and Francis. We are all getting better,” Lucius said.


He, as usual, interacted with the audience as he performed and also danced in some moments before bowing out.

Some people wanted him to perform more numbers but he indicated that he would be doing it gradually.

Backed by Zembani Band, the other songs he dished out include a mash-up medley in which he collaborated with Sam Smack before finishing off with ‘Mzimu wa Gadama’.

“I have to follow doctor’s advice but I am thankful to God to perform today after a long time,” he said.

Lucius described the festival as a success, with the presence of over 50 local artists and seven international artists.

“Our budget was over K100 million and we would like to thank companies and other stakeholders who assisted us including Standard Bank, TNM, Castel and Kentam. This festival is for Malawians; we still need more support and, if we can generate more money, we would be able to pay our local artists better,” he said.

Lucius also zeroed in on the issue of perks for local artists, saying there will always be a difference.

“Let’s admit that there will always be a difference in fees and that is why there are contracts. In football, for instance, there is no way Chiukepo Msowoya can earn more than Ronaldo and it is the same in music. Every artist has a fee,” Lucius said.

He also said many artists were only concerned with monetary issues and had no interest in linking up with some of the top artists they bring.

“I will say it here that no artist has approached me to say they wanted to meet these foreign artists and work on something. The idea of this festival is to give them the platform so that they can go far and not only target Malawi,” Lucius said.

On Saturday, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi touched on the same issue during the festival’s official opening and indicated that his ministry would be engaging stakeholders.

Having shifted from Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima District this year to Sunbird Nkopola, Lucius said, for now, they will stick to Sunbird Nkopola

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