We are ready, says Baf
This is summer; time to have a feel of concerts and festivals in the country.
Last weekend, people had time to enjoy musical performances featuring local artistes at the Sound and Light concert organised by Team Entertainers at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima.
It is now time for people to experience yet another festival – Blantyre Arts Festival (Baf) — to be held at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) and Jacaranda Cultural Centre.
The festival returns after a one-year hiatus due to lack of funding. This year, though, Baf has received funding from Hivos through Cultural Fund Malawi.
Having had a break, people will be expecting nothing but the best from a festival which has, in the recent past, hosted top international acts such as Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi and Mali’s Salif Keita.
However, there have been concerns from some quarters over the use of the BCC, which they describe as being in a “poor state”.
But Baf Executive Director, Thom Chibambo, said Tuesday that the venue was ready to host the festival alongside JCC and that they have worked on challenges.
“People should not worry; we are ready and we have cleaned up everything. This year, we are not just talking but we are doing things on the ground. Those who have visited BCC now will attest that it is wearing a new face,” Chibambo said.
He said they have looked at issues such as power supply, and will have a standby generator to mitigate the impact of power outages.
“We are leaving no stone unturned. Electricians have been working on making sure everything is okay. Even the toilets are safe,” Chibambo said.
He said they would have two stages at BCC, one on the amphitheatre and the other one in the auditorium where they will hold a fashion show on Friday night.
“We do things professionally. All the artists we have engaged have signed contracts. We have also released the schedule for the festival,” he said.
The festival will start with a carnival on Friday. Chibambo said it would start from Old Town Hall in Blantyre to BCC.
He said the carnival would feature different activities to showcase the talent the country has, adding that there would also be Gule Wamkulu to show the beauty of the country’s traditional dances.
The festival will be headlined by reggae group Black Missionaries.
The other venue designated for the festival, namely JCC, will feature several activities, including an art exhibition, musical workshop and poetry.
Some of the artists set to exhibit their works include Ellis Singano, Prudence Chivasa, Gilbert Mpakule, Kenneth Namalomba, Charles Levison, Andrew Missi and Thandie Njima.
Vilipanganga Poetry Movement will dominate the poetry sessions with music coming from artists such as Malala, Jacaranda Cultural Troupe Snowden Ibbu, Waliko Makhala and German artists Masha and Arne.
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