Bigwigs undeterred

THERESA Ng’ambi on stage during the Lusaka Music Festival at Woodlands Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday. PICTURE: SHIKANDA KAWANGA

FOLLOWING the low-key affair of what was to be one of the biggest events dubbed Women in Music Festival held in Lusaka recently, the Lusaka Music Festival sponsored by the Lusaka City Council to celebrate Zambia’s Independence equally had a low turnout on Saturday.
One may wonder why some events featuring local artistes, including the bigwigs, have low attendance compared to those headlined by foreign artistes.
Could it be that Zambians do not appreciate their own music big shots or the events are not properly marketed?
Even though the event was graced by the best of local artistes like Angela Nyirenda, Cactus Agony, JK, Sir Jones, Maureen Lilanda, Bflow and Kings Malembe, the festival started late with only a few people in the audience after 19:00 hours.
Organised by Lusaka City Council with the aim of donating proceeds to the underprivileged, the show was opened by Liya Taps, an up-and-coming artiste from Kitwe, who performed with her three backing vocalists alongside Sir Jones and his band.
Later the event saw Chico Wise embrace the stage with impressive dance moves displayed on the stage. Theresa Ng’ambi, commonly known as the Wild Dove, took to the stage with traditional music, mostly in Kunda, Chewa, Ngoni and Tumbuka.
At that point, the few spectators in attendance, including Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa, had to move closer to the stage to show their support to the artistes.
Organising committee member Peter Kabwe explained that tickets for the event were sold out but mostly to cooperate entities.
“A lot of companies bought tickets for the event but only a few people turned up. The companies were buying for individuals who maybe decided not to show up,” he explained to the Weekend Mail during the event.
Later Kings Malembe Malembe stormed the stage with his Nimwe Lesa and his energetic performance made the audience dance. After that, Cactus Agony performed his ‘You’, a song that saw the audience singing along.
And Mr Sampa, who seemed not disappointed with the low turnout, said the music festival would become an annual event whose proceeds would be channelled to charity.
“All the proceedings of the event will be given to charity. We will continue with this event because we are killing one bird with one stone – supporting our local artistes and helping out the needy,” Sampa said.
A performance that wowed the audience was Angela Nyirenda’s. Clad in her usual long and beautiful traditional outfit, Angela brought life to the show with her dancing queens when they went on stage with the song Ngoma.
Probably the best performer for the night, she sang her old songs like Chikondi and Amulungu which brought memories to many in the audience who sang along to each lyric.

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