MEMORY MANINGA, Lusaka
AIRTEL Zambia has become the latest corporate entity to partner with Stanbic Bank Zambia for the September 22 – 22 Music Festival to be
headlined by Boyz II Men.
This is the fourth edition of the festival, which started out as a jazz festival with the likes of Earl Klugh, Zonke, Hugh Masekela and Oliver Mtukudzi performing at the event alongside local acts.
Last year, the festival was headlined by UK-based pop-reggae band UB40. With the festival now being headlined by Boyz II Men, an American rhythm and blues outfit, it is not clear as to what the direction the festival is taking.
But that is a story for another day. In the meantime, Stanbic chief executive Charles Mudiwa is happy that the festival is attracting the support of like-minded and progressive corporates to give a boost to an event that supports local arts, culture and tourism.
“We are happy to have Airtel on board in sponsoring this prestigious event. This event is our way of creating a legendary event platform that offers a unique artistic event that contributes to our culture and local tourism,” Mudiwa says.
“For us, this year, it all about the local artists and giving them a platform to share a stage with an international act.”
He says they have been in Zambia for over 60 years during which they have been part of the country’s growth story.
“Part of our commitment and investment in Zambia has been focused towards uplifting local communities through sponsorship of arts and culture,” he says.
“Due to the diversity and quality of performances slated for the festival, we have built a platform with variety of local artistes who will take the stage with Boyz II men; local music talents that offer their unique music genius to this legendary event whose profile keeps growing with every annual hosting of the festival. It’s also an opportunity to enable Boyz II Men sample Zambia’s music and culture.”
And Airtel Zambia managing director Peter Correia says they are excited about this partnership and believe that this year’s festival will be even bigger than the previous years.
“We have always had a good working relationship with Stanbic and consider this partnership as the beginning to even more collaborations between the two entities,” Correia says.
Airtel Networks Zambia Plc has pumped in K500,000 to be the platinum sponsor of the music festival.