Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) enters into its 6th year with list of local artists for the first time dominating the festival, which previously had been headlined by international acts.
The festival set for 1st to 5th October at Blantyre Culture Centre (formally French Culture Centre) in Blantyre is expected to open with a street carnival on Thursday morning with students from 20 secondary schools expected to showcase their acts.
BAF Executive Director, Thom Chibambo said this year the festival has been dominated by local artists as one way of providing the stardom for artists to graduate into international realms.
“We want to nurture our own thing to so that we are also recognised internationally. And the selected artists are those who once participated in the festival and we expect them to bring mature acts,”
Some of the local artists to mesmerise the audience include Chinamuluma Chakuda star Skeffa Chimoto, Piksy, the Black Missionaries, Ethel Kamwendo, Kwathu Drama Group, Nanzikambe Arts,
King James Phiri, Ndirande Angrican Voices choir, Solomonic Peacocks, Kamuzu Barracks choir and many more.
The festival expected to stage some international acts in the likes of musician Munya from Zimbabwe, Shishani from Japan, Soul Samvaad from India, Papa Fluer of Congo and others.
Chibambo disclosed that the Indian High Commissioner is sponsoring the Indian artists who will be performing in the country for the first time.
“There will be no concurrent of activities. We have designed our program to allow the audience enjoy every activity during the festival. We have learnt lessons from past shortfalls and we pledge one of the best festivals ever,” said Chibambo.
He however bemoaned lack of enough corporate support towards the festival, which he said could have helped to sell out the festival.
BAF is expected to be characterised by theatre, traditional dances, music, art display, workshops as well as film screening.