By KELVIN KACHINGWE
LEGENDARY South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela arrived in the country on Thursday afternoon at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport aboard South African Airways plane ahead of his performance at the Stanbic Misty Jazz Festival at Levy Business Park in Lusaka today.
Hugh is returning to Lusaka for the first time in six years, but for him, it will always be home. He was a regular visitor here during the struggle against apartheid when he used to visit his sister who used to work for the African National Congress (ANC) and attended university here.
In fact, on Thursday night, he was planning to have dinner with one of his longtime friends where he said he expected to have nshima and kapenta. One suspects it could be seasoned diplomat and politician Vernon Mwaanga as they belonged to that circle that included Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte.
Meanwhile, for the next two days, the top-deck car park at Levy Park in Lusaka will change its complexion as it hosts the Stanbic Misty Jazz, a first of its kind in the country that will be headlined by legendary Brother Hugh and Zimbabwean music maestro Oliver Mtukudzi.
Other musicians are South African Afro-soul singer Zonke and locals Maureen Lilanda, Pompi, Uncle Rex and Mumba Yachi.
Within the first month the festival, whose tickets are priced at K200 for ordinary, K350 for VIP and K800 for VVIP, sold by 60 percent within the month of going on the sale.
Ordinary and tickets for two will have reserved parking and security for vehicles as well as a raised sitting platform, food court and private cash bar.
For VIP, the hospitality festival package includes welcome cocktail, reserved parking and security for vehicles, exclusive access with red carpet and close stage sitting area and includes beverages.
On the other hand, the VVIP hospitality festival package includes beverages and snacks, welcome cocktail, reserved parking and security for vehicles, exclusive sitting selection with dÃ©cor next to the stage.
Otherwise, a food court and private cash bar will also be available to the public in order for them to have a variety of choice.
â€œWe are thrilled to be receiving Hugh Masekela and Zonke this Thursday. They have confirmed arrival and will attend to several commitments that have been lined up during their stay in the countryâ€, says Stanbic Bank communications manager Miriam Mwale.
â€œBy hosting the festival, we are have pulled together all the necessary ingredients that will make this festival a resounding success and make it a top festival in the country.â€
By KELVIN KACHINGWE