The Likoma Summer Cultural Festival rolled to life on Wednesday with the inaugural Likoma Island Tourism Expo meant for stakeholders to exhibit their services and products to the world.
This was a side event of the festival which will climax on Friday with a cruise ship from Monkey Bay, Mangochi to the island, with stopovers at Senga Bay in Salima and Nkhotakota.
The event started with the Island Parade from Likoma Airport to Likoma Community Hall where the event was officially launched.
Thereafter, patrons were treated to some traditional dances, music performances and several other activities, as companies displayed their products.
Some of the traditional dances on display included Malipenga, Vetserani, Masewe, Visekese, Chilimika, Mganda, Chioda, Chibukutu, Likwata, Chomanga, Mashawi, Makhanya and Maganda.
The expo is expected to wrap up today to give way to the Likoma Summer Cultural Festival which will see patrons travelling from the mainland aboard the MV Ilala.
Spokesperson for the event, Patrick Chikoti, said patrons on the ship will be treated to live music performances on the top deck of MV Ilala.
Some of the artists expected to perform include Wailing Brothers, Limbani Simenti, Ankhoswe Frank Kaunda, Kaka (Kanthu Kalinda), Chipasula Project and Sangie.
Music performances will continue on the island where they also expect to have traditional dances for three days as the ship is expected to return on Tuesday.
“Our primary interest is to showcase the culture of the island to the world. No wonder, we have more than 12 traditional dances practised at the island performing.
“Our selection of musicians is also not a fluke. We have local artists that resonate well with the local community of Likoma and surrounding areas as these musicians are loved here on the island.
“So, we have to balance between culture and providing a memorable event for the locals. At the same time, most of these artists have a local cultural touch to their music,” he said.
Wailing Brothers band manager Buju Mlanga said the band is ready to rock and give patrons the best experience ever.
“Revellers should be ready for a busy weekend as we will be performing twice at the island. We will also perform live on the deck of MV Ilala on both legs of the cruise ship,” he said. n