Our journey to Mangochi: Lake of Stars


Written by Timothy Ntilosanje

It all started with Karaoke at Chameleon in Lilongwe, as my team (Daniel Mtombosola, Timothy Chikupeta and Francesco Mpambe) and I danced and sang throughout the night on the Thursday. We were killing time, as we waited to go to the airport and then start off to cover the festival of the year, Lake of Stars.

As we cruised to Kamuzu International Airport at dawn, you could feel the happiness and the warm anticipation for Lake of Stars. At around 2:30am, we welcomed MAPP Africa ambassador from Mozambique, Uitnei Chamusso, and 2 of our winners from South Africa, Didintle and Kgosietsile Ntsie, who got lucky in MAPP Africa's LOS competition.

The winners were thrilled to be in Malawi, for the first time, and to attend such a celebrated festival. They kept asking questions about the festival, and they took many selfies. I can't blame them for their excitement, since the festival is an undeniable cookie.

Just a few miles away from Khwekhwerere Bends, we stopped to enjoy the view of a beautiful sunrise. As we reached Khwekhwerere, we took some more pictures at the one the most remarkable gorges on the road. By 7am we were all basking in the sun at the lake.  

As we reached our cottage, we met up with Eventful Malawi, a team from Kenya spearheaded by Tawina Mbeza, a Malawian creative. Eventful Malawi organized a road trip from Nairobi all the way to Mangochi for the festival.

The first day started off with some yoga lessons lead by Francesca. While some of the males were with their spiritual drinks, exchanging ideas and jokes. We got ready for the drive up to the actual festival venue at Sunbird Nkopola from our cottage in Monkey Bay.

With performances on the 3 different stages, we enjoyed numerous local and international acts. It was Uhuru who woke the crowd up with their melodies and had the crowd singing along like a choir. They were followed by the riveting performances by Toya Delazy of South Africa and Gwamba from Malawi.

We met a lot of lively people, excited to learn more about MAPP Africa and download the app. Our high energy and good vibes were contagious, making everyone eager to join MAPP Africa's interactive app. 

Our ambassador from Mozambique and the winners’ flight was at 2pm on the Sunday. We were up and back on the road to Lilongwe by the morning, even though our hearts remained behind to finish the festival to its last beat. According to our photographers that remained to capture the last performances, the Scottish group "Young Fathers" started with a chill moment but left the crowd hyped-up. Sonye closed the festival with "Tsika", the anthem that was left on each tongue as the festival slid to an end. Our trip to the lake was one of a kind, and worth it...

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Timothy Ntilosanje is a Malawian freelance writer, poet, social media guru and arts enthusiast. He specializes in art, music, tourism, culture, entertainment and youth empowerment.




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