Lilongwe – The stage is set. Malawi’s lake shore district of Mangochi is bubbling with local and international tourists who have swarmed the shores of the world’s fresh water body to watch the country’s biggest celebration of arts that has attracted musicians, drama artists, cultural dancers, poets, DJs, Kung fu artists, comedians, and acrobats from all over the world to the southern African nation’s eighth edition of the Lake of Stars Arts Festivals. Festival organizer Will Jameson says he expects over 3, 000 tourists to attend the world acclaimed art feast “to showcase over 70 acts that will be displayed on three stages by African legends, international performers and Malawian giants.” Some of the headline artists include Baio, USA, Beverley Knight, UK, Foals, UK, Audiofarm, UK, Gemma Cairney, UK, Seye Adelekan, UK, Goldierocks, UK, Young Offenders’ Institute, UK, Fromtwo, France, The Very Best, Malawi/Sweden, DJ Phi, Japan, Leonard Eto, Japan, Coco, Malawi/Japan, Charmimg China Cultural Delegation, China, Thatch Roof Carousel, Malawi/Canada, DJ LBC, Zambia, Wasted Youth, South Africa, Freshlyground, South Africa, Dan ‘Chizi’ Aceda, Kenya, TONETiC, Namibia, Shishani, Namibia, Liz Ogumbo, Kenya/South Africa, Bateleur, South Africa, Sophie, Rwanda, LA. VI, South Africa, Holiday Murray, South Africa, Satori, South Africa, Jack Rooster, Kenya, and Malawi’s own Black Missionaries, Body, Mind & Soul, Dan Lu, Mafilika, Maskal, Young Kay, Lucious Banda, DJ Lomwe, Tigris, Theo Thomson, Tay Grin, ethnomusician Waliko Makhala, poets Q Malewezi, and Alfred Msadala and theatrical drama giants Nanzikambe Arts.
The festival has over the years gained reputation as a must attend annual tourism function that brings people from different walks of life to share their different cultures on a lake that was christened by European missionary and explorer Dr. David Livingstone as ‘the Lake of Stars’ because of its glitter under the day sunlight and night moonlight. Taking place for three days from September 30th to October 2nd, at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge, revelers can take their time out to visit the world’s first freshwater national park and a World Heritage Site which has over 500 diverse tropical fish species endemic only to this lake where tourists can feed the fish from their hands. The park includes a land area that has baboons, antelopes, hyrax and a fascinating birdlife including the fish eagle, comorant and hamerkops. An hours drive away to the south is the prime and famed Liwonde National Park whose game viewing is enhanced by the giant Shire River that snake out of Lake Malawi and crosses through the park. Its wildlife includes elephants, warthogs, antelopes, lions, leopards and most recently the black rhino. The Lake of Stars Arts Festival billed “the finest festival in the world” by Q magazine and is coined “truly global, naturally Malawian”.
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