Nkwichi Blog

Choir Festival lights up the Lake of Stars!

What better way to start off our first entry than by celebrating one of Nkwichi’s greatest annual events; the Manda Wilderness Choir Festival!

13 village choirs with over 300 voices, were watched by thousands of vociferous supporters raising the roof of Cobue cathedral in a gospel extravaganza.

“One of the most thrilling parts of the Choir Festival was to see so many people gather together; that is something to be appreciated,” gushed Bernard Matifalo, choirmaster of Chicaia village, now proudly bearing the third place Manda Wilderness Choir Festival ribbon this year.

Organized by the Manda Wilderness Community Trust, based out of Nkwichi, this year was our first year of collaboration with the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, who have happily agreed to fund the lakeshore’s biggest music festival for the next 5 years.

With the help of Rhode Island Guest Choir Director Mark Conley, who has been trekking through the area giving lessons to each of the 15 villages, the event was a huge success. Chigoma village won 1st prize, taking home a shining new set of choir robes, and all choirs which attended will have a chance to record their music. With Malawian Reggae band Body, Mind and Soul, entertaining the crowd at the end, the celebrations carried on into the night, lighting up the Lake of Stars for yet another year!