By Staff Writer

US mega-stars Brian McKnight and Joe Thomas took to the stage with Zambia’s top local talent to wow music fans this weekend at the fifth edition of the Stanbic Music Festival.

Continuing the tradition of attracting international entertainers and the cream to Zambian stars, this year’s music festival featured top local artists Afro soul singer Wezi, Afro-Pop rising star Kiki; queen of Zambian R&B Salma Sky; and gospel sensation Esther Chungu.

There were also surprise appearances by James Sakala and Izreal, standing in for hip-hop star Chef 187, who could not perform due to bereavement.

“We can only be very happy with what we have done and what we have delivered to Zambia this evening. It’s about developing and creating an environment of culture, and developing arts in this country, and an event like this really goes a long way in developing that for the country.

It’s pleasing for us to say its Stanbic driving Zambia forward and we will keep them moving forward. It’s a great event,” said Stanbic Chief Executive Leina Gabaraane.

Minister of Tourism and Arts Hon. Charles Banda attended the event and called on the National Arts Council to engage with local artists to stage similar events regularly.

“This is a very wonderful event and I want to commend and congratulate Stanbic Bank for a job very well done. Through this event so many people have been able to gain a living out of it, because this is a big event where everyone has had an input in it: their competencies, their skills, their experience and their abilities. This is one way of making Zambia visible to the outside world,” he said.

Last year, the festival hosted award-winning Boyz II Men. It has hosted renowned acts including UK-based pop-reggae band UB40, Hugh Masekela, Oliver M’tukudzi, Mi Casa, Earl Klugh and Zonke and a host of top local artistes including gospel RnB sensation Abel Chungu Musuka, contemporary RnB singer K’millian, singer, writer and guitarist James Sakala and electric violinist Caitlin DeVille.



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