Fuel crisis affects patronage at Senga Beach music festival

There was low turn-out at the three-day Senga Beach music festival which took place over the weekend at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Hotel in Salima.

Despite bringing together the country’s top notch artists, among them Lucius Banda, Black Missionaries, Skeffa Chimoto and musician of the moment Maskal, the music fest attracted low patronage.

The artists and organisers who spoke to Nyasa Timesattributed the poor patronage at the festival of giants to the fuel crisis that has hit the nation.

Mlaka: Performed at the Senga festival

“As the fuel shortage [in the country] gets worse, everyone is getting affected in a way or another,” Ras Ray Harawa, manager of the reggae giants Black Missionaries.

The Chileka-based reggae group, one of Malawi’s crowd pullers at music shows, were one of the organisers of the three-day beach festival which started on Friday and ended on Sunday.

According to Ras Ray, things were bad on the opening and closing days. Lucius Banda and Zembani Band as well as Mlaka Maliro were among the performers on Friday while Maskal and Skeffa Chimoto had their performances on Sunday.

“At least yesterday [Saturday] the turnout was better, but talking of Friday and today [Sunday] it was really poor,” he said.

Black Missionaries and Anthony Makondetsa were among the acts that performed on the second day of the festival.

Concurring with Ras Ray, Lilongwe-based Skeffa Chimoto, addressing the crowd in the middle of his performance, said: “We all know things are not okay in the country with this fuel crisis and let me thank you people [who are] here for the support, this just shows the love that you have for us musicians.”

“We have musicians who have come all the way from Blantyre, the Black Missionaries, Maskal, who have spent a lot of money to come here and your presence here means a lot to them,” said the Jamming Machine of the ‘Ndife Amodzi’ fame.

Chimoto went further to say “other people may want to interpret this to something political, I am not a politician, but someone who’s talking reality.”

Makondetsa of ‘Mbumba ya Abraham’, said Malawians have been suffering in silence but it was high time musicians started addressing socio-economic and cultural woes affecting the country.

There are fears that as the fuel crisis in the country refuses to die; the festive season will not be entertaining as it has been in the past.

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