Women get spotlight in Lake of Stars’ ‘Set It Off’


Women will get the limelight in the Set It Off show to be held on January 27 at Chancellor College’s Little Theatre in Zomba.
The free show, organised by Lake of Stars Festival, is part of a series of activities organised by the festival this year as part of its 15th anniversary celebration.
The other events are Lake of Stars London and Lake of Stars Scotland to be held on March 10 and 11, respectively.
The organisers have since released a line-up of the acts during the Set It Off show. They include Sangie, Annemarie Quinn, Hazel Mak, Lily B, Chitenje Changa, Kim of Diamonds, Lady Pace, Chanco Travelling Theatre, Phindu Banda, DJ Bubblegum, Creative Menace, Blue Note Band, Faith Kankhulungo and Masa Squads.
Lake of Stars spokesperson, Zilanie Gondwe, said yesterday that, with scarcity of shows in January, they decided to have a free event.
“After a one-year hiatus for the festival, we are back for our 15th anniversary and we have a range of events lined up. This new location and new theme seemed a great way to Set It Off,” Gondwe said.
She said that, through Set It Off, they want to show a diversity of successful, creative and powerful role models.
“Creative arts are a viable career for women in Malawi too. Set It Off provides a unique high profile homegrown event supported by Hivos,” Gondwe said.
She said that, in every performance, production, technical aspects and management of the show, women will be involved.
“Backstage and front stage, the spotlight is on the ladies. Set It Off has social impact considerations which encompass the environments in which women (artists) live to thrive whereas some live to survive,” Gondwe said.
She said there is a consideration of gender equality and issues affecting women.
“For example, Chitenje Changa is the Theatre for a Change and Blackmore production of monologues and, in this special edition, we feature monologue performances from Justice Zione Ntaba, Rina El generale, Beatrice Mateyo, the activist, myself and actors from Theatre for a change,” Gondwe said.
She said the event will be hosted by Rina.
Gondwe further said that Lake of Stars Festival, which in 2016 returned to its original home — Chintheche Inn in Nkhata Bay— has built a huge positive tourism profile for the country.
“The festival has helped drive tourism in the country and it has spurred the festival industry. Many artists are booked and hotels and lodges benefit. The festival also employs many Malawians. There is so much the festival is doing. For instance, we have produced creative platforms for student engagement such as Festival of Ideas,” she said.
The spokesperson said she has seen the festival grow, having been part of it since 2005.
After a one-year break, Lake of Stars Festival returns this year from September 28 to 30. The venue for the main event is yet to be announced.

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