Glamour, glitz and better describes the 2016 Malawi Achievers Awards, improving every year since their inception. This time held outside its birth city of Leicester in a spacious CSN Arena in Birmingham, the Awards were a truly celebrity event worth memories of all time.
At the main entrance Okongola Creative Team marshalled by Justin Malewezi Junior was at hand to give lasting memories to the guests, dressed to kill, smiling to murder and ready for a fun filled long night.
The red carpet was the first call for the night’s events.
Piksy and Sonye let fans took selfies and others posed with them on the carpet.
The two guest artists did not even have a chance to enjoy the dinner as they were in high demand for pictures throughout the night.
The men dressed in all manner of attires, formal tux led by the Chairperson Martin Guga, his deputy Thom Chiumia, patrons such as Richard Gondwe, to variety of fashions. The other notable names of Malawian community also did not disappoint.
Kondi Munthali Bowoyeke, Miss Malawi UK organiser turned up in a red-chinese collar printed shirt, while coordinator Felix Banda opted a Hamburg hat with white jacket.
Event organiser Spiwe Zulu was in a printed all red-and orange chilundu tailored jacket designed by Dama Fashions.
Head judge and Mvelani music sharing platform director Dumisani Kapanga wore a light blue suit and tie that spoke of European design. Tony Mkandawire’s tux was rare eastern print blue.
The DJ Pee Gee turned up in all white long casual shirt modelled on Indian mens shirts but collarless. Dark glasses were all part of the majority of men.
DJ Graham Nice of Power Global Radio turned up in a three piece navy blue suit. Manchester based Edmond Ghambi brought in his checked grey/red lined suit which was outstanding on its own.
The artist too wore something different, Sonye turning up in blue jeans and slim fit jacket and white t-shirt, Pisky went for all black, a gold chain and red shoes. The backstage was well done, with stars on black background that added ambiance to the occasion.
The ladies dressed to kill too. Starting with Phiona Guga’s deep blue gown, armless and latest trend that fitted well with a blessing ‘bump’.
Dama Phiri the designer made a patriotism statement, she turned up in her own design of black red and green, the Malawian national colours.
Face of Malawi Sheila Banda Tobie organiser came in all white attire but in a red/blue hair, while Pastor Elizabeth Kalonga opted for angelic white long dress with white and gold heavenly hair.
The Derby Malawi Association ladies turned up on stage with glamour when they were named for the Best Association Award. There were three black long gowns each with unique fashion, two red long dresses and one armless purple and a star glazed grey, that made them look like the nights best dressed group.
If there were fashion Police, Councillor Getrude Chirambo’s ivory and white attire could have be named the attire for the night but Malawi Queens delegation to the stage upstaged every other dressing award, with the ladies who outnumbered the men, killing the night with the attires that shone in the dimly lit hall.
Ellee Moesha ‘killed it’ with a sexy short black dress styled in traditional attire but exhibiting her beauty.
Annette BC wore a long blue gown perfectly fitted while Sandra Jumbe looked stunning in black figure-hugging dress.
The room décor was stunning, the VIP section colours were gold and white, the other side red and white with all white table cloths that could have been as well as any Hollywood Award night.
The bar stocked Malawian brandy and Malawi Gin. The Indian curry dinner was delicious for the third edition.
Coordinator of the Awards Felix Banda expressed satisfaction only screaming “Behold, everything was Arsenal” when asked for a comment.
It was a better night of glamour for the Malawian diaspora.
One of the patrons Mzondi Lungu posted his critique of the event on Facebook. Here is what he wrote:
What made Malawi Achievers weekend exciting was mostly Kanda Bongo Man entertaining crowd with his Kwasakwasa lyrics, he is simply the best at what he does. He doesn’t age, he was on stage longer than I thought. Yes we had Malawi musicians but as for me Kanda Bongo Man stole the show. He engaged with the audience superbly than our own musicians. I could not be satisfied that the other one travelled all the way from Malawi and only performed for ten minutes singing Tsika msungwana Tsika then disappeared, we were left wondering maybe the organisers should have played his CD version, at least there is a chance to rewind as the musician’s brief appearance left people in suspense!
Coming back to Kanda Bongo Man, his superb performance made the attendees forget the miserably made meals, not worthy the price of £60 per head. An auspicious occasion like that people expect to have something tasty to remember but alas it was a meal of poorly cooked rice with Indian fried pieces of chicken and some unMalawian veggies. On that note almost everyone wondered why coming to the show hungry hoping you will have a fantastic dinner only to have a meal even in high Street can’t cost £3.50. The menu was poorly organised as the same food on starter is the same food that was on main meal, but such is life as Kanda Bongo Man made us forgive and forget and move on. Imagine the difference between those who paid 60 and those who paid 40 was only the price but everything was the same and I think that’s where people felt something was not right.
Coming to the conduct of the show I thought it was well done. Peter Makossah made very good MC and that also spiced up the event but hey; the price ceremony beautiful and it was great seeing people as stars of the night getting what they deserved to get. That was beautiful.
But there was something boring about the show and that was almost everyone who was in the committee of organisers was on the program to give the speech and some went for the sake of being seen speaking, I think one person speaking was enough the crowd doesn’t need to listen to all organisers. Once Thom Twee opened the event with his colourful speech there was no need for organisers to crowd the program with speeches for the sake of being seen were in an organising committee.
The venue was excellent and spacious.
Overall the show was great and we were greatly entertained and I hope my view is not mistaken as a personal attack on anybody but as a yardstick how we can make things better for ourselves.
Meanwhile, organisers are calling on feedback from the public to help them in preparing for next year’s event.
The public will also give out their views on which city the fourth edition of the Malawi Achievers Awards UK should be held in 2017.