Soldier Lucius Banda to spice up Essex Malawi Association’s Independence Day celebrations

* This great son of Malawi is greatly celebrated and many people have already bought their tickets

* Also on board is Wendy Harawa, the acclaimed Malawian gospel artist who also performed with Lucius Banda in the past

* Day’s events include Malawian traditional games of Fulaye, Rounders, Phada, Bawo, traditional dances and much much more

By Duncan Mlanjira

In collaboration with the Office of the High Commission in UK, who have been hands on and very supportive with the interests of the Malawians in diaspora, Essex Malawi Association is set to hold its annual Independence Day celebration.


Angela Zamaere-Smith, chairperson of Essex Malawi Association, said among other activities that have been organised for the day is a gala night where the legendary Soldier Lucius Banda — who has been invited by the Malawi High Commission in his official capacity as presidential advisor on culture — will perform.

“This great son of Malawi is greatly celebrated and many people have already bought their tickets so that they don’t miss out on the occasion,” Zamaere-Smith said.

“In addition, the organisers have also managed to get Wendy Harawa, the acclaimed Malawian gospel artist who also performed with Lucius Banda in the past.

“The re-union of these great artists is not to be missed,” she said, adding that some Malawian artists in the UK will perform as supporting acts including MBL and Wiza Kaunda.

“Well loved DJ Hannie G will play international and local Malawian tunes at both the day event and at the evening event.”

Malawi High Commissioner Dr. Bisika (left) with President Lazarus Chakwera when he visited the UK

On his part, Malawi High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Thomas Bisika applauded the organisers for keeping alive the tradition of celebrating the auspicious occasion, joining the rest of Malawians back home.

“Malawi Mission in London is indeed working with Malawian community in the United Kingdom on preparations for the Independence Day Celebrations,” he said. “Lucius Banda’s presence at this year’s event will bring a Malawian touch to the celebration and we are all look forward to welcoming him to United Kingdom.”

The evening summer ball dinner & dance will be held in The Grand Ballroom Suite of the Mayfair Venue, Romford Essex, RM6 4BD — a red carpet event with strictly black tie for gentlemen and ball gowns for the women.


Zamaere-Smith said: “Tickets are selling fast and Malawians are being encouraged to secure their tickets now so that they don’t get disappointed, as there are limited tickets available.”

She added that the tickets for the dinner & dance — that will offer a three course meal — are at £49 singles, £90 couples and £20 for children under 10 years, whose payment is to be made to the Malawi Association, UK bank account number: 00230353 (Sort code: 30 99 02).

“Once tickets have been paid for, the guests are expected to contact Tiffany +447597936369 or Henry +447849285785 to give their full names,” she said.

“For the first time this year, we are also inviting non-Malawians to join us as a way of putting Malawi on the map and to support tourism in our beautiful country,” Zamaere-Smith said, adding that the day’s activities will take place at Marshalls Park Academy, Pettits Lane, Romford, Essex RM1 4EH.


“The celebrations will start with prayers at 11:00am and followed by an Independence Day football tournament to kick off at 12 noon, which has become a mainstay during the Independence Day celebrations.

“There will also be Malawian games for women and children to participate in such as Fulaye, Rounders, Phada, Bawo, traditional dances and much much more.”

She further said the event will also help  expose their children to their culture and get them involved in more of the association’s activities.

Essex Malawi Association is a chapter of Malawi Association UK (MAUK) and each year, the chapters rotate to hold the celebrations alongside those back home.

The Independence Arch at Chichiri in Blantyre

“The celebrations are national in nature and aim to bring together Malawians across the UK and Ireland to commemorate our Independence Day,” she said.

“The celebrations are hosted by different MAUK chapters, affiliated associations and organisations. Last year, they were hosted by Leeds Malawi Association and this time it is the turn of Essex Malawi.”

She added that the organising team is made up of the Essex Malawi executive committee supported by the MAUK — with total support from the Malawi High Commission.

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She thus encouraged Malawian businesses to sponsor the event and “in return, they will be able to get space at the venue to advertise as well as showcase their products and services”.

“For the first time, they will also be able to sell their products in their booths which will be set up in the foyer of the venue. Some will also be able to speak about their products and services on the night —depending on sponsorship amount.”

She added that all businesses wishing to sponsor the event should contact Gertrude +447923460664 or Henry +447849285785.