The Festival, which will take place at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi, announced the move, calling it an ode to one of the “founding fathers” of Malawi’s music industry.
“Over the past year, we have lost so many legends, but none more important to our industry than the great Wambali Mkandawire,” said Festival Founder and Director, Lucius Banda.
Banda, who in many ways, can be considered in the same musical league as his now deceased musical counterpart, said it was important to him, personally, to honour Wambali’s contribution to the industry and Malawi as a whole.
From his days in the 80s to the mark he made across the continent and internationally, Wambali’s name earned him respect and credibility amongst musical peers synonymous with the status of legend, including, most notably his long term close personal friend, Oliver Mtukudzi.
“Wambali was a great friend to the Festival, and has been, since its inception.” said Banda. He continued: “For us as a Festival, Wambali’s influence transcended the industry and his impact continues to be felt across the musical spectrum.
“Our performing artists, for the upcoming edition of the festival, have a rare opportunity to give the late Wambali, the farewell he deserved, as many of us were unable to join the family in properly celebrating his life at his memorial, due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions.”
“The Festival team, said, it is only right to honour Wambali in this way, as a Man, as a Musician and most importantly, as a Legend, saying he understood their vision and always supported the proudly Malawian flag-carrying Festival.
“Over many years, Wambali inspired, motivated and delivered constructive criticism as required, to Sand Festival, as he did with many other aspiring artists throughout his musical journey, immortalising him as one of the Greatest of All Time, in Malawi music.”
Wambali succumbed to Covid-19 on January 31st .