The three-day Sunbird Sand Music Festival held at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima ended on a high note on Sunday with a surprise package of reggae group Black Missionaries collaborating with Lucius Banda aka Soldier and Ghanaian saxophonist Steve Bedi.

The performance was not on the line-up as the afternoon belonged to gospel musicians but the organisers decided to sneak in Black Missionaries to perform for the second time having also performed in the early hours of Sunday.

Blacks took to the stage after veteran Paul Banda backed by Alleluya Band had treated the sizeable audience to his vibes including ‘Malilime,’ and ‘Chimwemwe ’ which left them on their feet throughout.

The Chileka based reggae group led by vocalist Anjiru Fumulani treated the audience to their reggae songs from their Kuimba albums but it was the song ‘Sitizagwada’ which ruled the whole act as Anjiru collaborated with Soldier.

The two using free style linked up well in the song attracting cheers from the audience and they were in for more surprise when Soldier invited Bedi, who is the ‘Protect the Goal’ Goodwill Ambassador for Ghana.

The saxophonist who left on Monday  and was in the country alongside Ghana national team captain Asamoah Gyan for the ‘Protect the Goal’ campaign, was not part of the line-up but he found himself in Salima and decided to show his musical skills.

Bedi was great on the saxophone and he jelled in so well oiling up the ‘Sitizagwada’ hit.
The Ghanaian musician who also performed with Lilongwe based musician Skeffa Chimoto at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre and also performed at Chameleone in Lilongwe alongside locals Owen Mbilizi and Jazz Café Bandon Friday said he was impressed with Blacks and Lucius hence joining them.

“Malawi has talented artists, I have loved Blacks and Lucius and that is why I joined them. I did the same with Skeffa. I had no idea of this festival but it was just great although for a short time. I am looking forward to working with Malawian artists,” he said.

Soldier heaped praise on Bedi and Blacks saying they did not rehearse but being musicians they connected.

“We teamed up right on stage, there were no rehearsals and I am impressed with the Ghanaian musician. He is very sharp because he just listened to the song right there but he mastered it so well with the saxophone. It was a perfect gift for the audience although the act was not on the line-up,” said the ‘Mabala,’ creator who also performed on Friday with his Zembani Band.

All the equipment hitches which affected performances on Friday and Saturday were erased on Sunday and all the acts on the day kept the audience on their feet.

Some of the other musicians who performed on the afternoon of gospel include artist of the moment Lawi, The Great Angels and Thocco Katimba.

“I have enjoyed my weekend especially today, I loved all the acts and the collaboration was just super. I just wish companies came up and supported these festivals. There were some problems here and there but the organisers did well,” said Kondwani Jere.

Lucius hailed fans for the support but he bemoaned support from companies.

“Our appeal is to companies let them support such initiatives. Some of the companies benefited in that there products sold out but they did not support the festival. For it to grow we need help,” he said.

The cold weather also affected the show to some extent as some people could not brave it to stay up late to watch the performances especially on Saturday.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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