Sand Arts Festival in Malawi


Impakt Events, the organisers of the renowned Sand Music Festival, have recently announced the launch of their newest festival, the Sand Arts Festival.

Unlike Sand Music Festival, the new festival will centre around the various disciplines of the art sector, such as visual arts, comedy, music, poetry, and drama.

Lucius Banda, Director of Impakt Events, said they decided to introduce the festival to cater to other artistic disciplines that are somewhat excluded at Sand Music Festival.

The new annual festival will see both emerging and upcoming artists sharing the stage.

Robert Chiwamba, President of the Poetry Association of Malawi, expressed his gratitude to the organisers of the festival for including poetry.

“It [the festival] is very important because it will give a chance to poets to showcase their work to the audience rather than just presenting on radio and television.

They will have a live performance experience but more importantly, they will get something out of their performance,” Chiwamba said.

Chiwamba expressed his belief that the organisers of the festival are experienced, and thus capable of delivering an exceptional experience to attendees.

Visual Artist Tapiwa Mlinga commended the organisers for introducing a festival that embraces the entire arts sector.

She expressed excitement that the festival will focus on upcoming artists and saw this as a great opportunity for them to showcase their talents.

However, both Chiwamba and Mlinga suggested the need for balance between upcoming artists and established artists.

Responding to the issue, Banda expressed worry about some upcoming artists’ tendencies.

“Majority of the upcoming artists once they hear that it is a festival, they are charging us very high. You have an artist who does not even have a band; when you contact them, they are charging more than a big artist,” Banda explained.

The veteran musician noted that although they intended to provide support for young and emerging artists; however, this challenge may lead to the booking of more established artists.

He emphasized that if upcoming artists are cognizant of their status, they will incorporate them accordingly.

Banda invigorated the anticipation of festival-goers, promising a remarkable experience and a commitment to making the event renowned around the globe.

He emphasized that the upcoming festival will be a game-changer for tourism, similar to the impact of the Sand Music Festival.

Banda said: “These efforts that I make to establish these activities on our lake, are not meant to benefit me. No one will travel all the way from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, [or] Zambia to see the lake which is dormant. We need to put activities on that lake and it should be the responsibility of all of us to make that lake to be a busy place.”

The theme of the festival for this year is ‘Mental health matters’.

Banda said they decided to address mental health at the festival to combat the alarming surge in suicide rates among young people.

Banda asserted that they believe in people opening up and sharing what they are going through.

Artists will share on stage their stories of resilience and perseverance during difficult times, highlighting how they were able to survive and thrive.

According to Banda, the aim is to encourage people not to resort to suicide when facing difficulties.

“We are looking at a situation where I go [on stage] and speak about my poverty in my youth, how I mopped public toilets without shoes just to survive but I did not think of killing myself. Why should one kill themselves for the simple reason that a girl has turned them down?” Banda wondered.

In her reaction to the theme, Mlinga hailed the organisers of the event for their choice of theme.

The artist was quick to commend the organisers’ commitment to raising awareness about mental health which she said is a pressing issue in the nation.

Chiwamba also concurred with Mlinga and said that although he is unaware of which poets have been selected for the festival, he is confident that they will create poetry that addresses the theme of mental health.

The two-day festival will be held during the Easter weekend on 8 and 9 April at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge Leisure centre in Mangochi.

The Tickets to the event are available at Puma stores for K15,000, with an at-the-door fee of K20,000.

The event is set to be a star-studded affair, with a host of diverse and talented artists already confirmed to perform.

Fans can look forward to seeing dancehall musician Malinga Mafia, rap sensation Phyzix, and renowned comedian Che-Mandota amongst many other artists.

Furthermore, an acclaimed international musician will be topping the bill at the festival, providing a spectacular performance for all in attendance.

Most importantly, attendees will be allowed to listen to artists as they share their experiences, providing insight into how they navigated their struggles and found strength in their resilience.

Hopefully, through these stories, attendees will be able to gain a better understanding of how to cope.