Friday, 19 August 2011


Dan 'Chizi' Aceda will be the first ever Kenyan act to play live at Lake of Stars Festival, Malawi’s annual international arts festival. In a year of firsts, Lake of Stars will also be screening Pumzi, Kenya’s first science fiction film by Wanuri Kahiu, in the festival’s cinema area.
The festival takes place from 30 September to 2 October on the palm fringed shores of Lake Malawi. The line-up cements Lake of Stars’ reputation as a truly global, naturally Malawian event with dozens of Malawian acts being joined by talent from across Africa and beyond, including Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, France and the USA.
Launching the Lake of Stars 2011 line up, festival founder Will Jameson said “It’s hard to imagine a better festival than last year- our biggest and best to date. But this year we’re going to be taking our best ever line up of talent, featuring African legends, new international acts and the best of Malawian talent, as well as theatre, spoken word and dance.
Introducing some of the headline acts, Jameson said: “This year we are really excited to have one of the world’s greatest live acts, Foals, headlining the festival. Foals are fresh from playing a selection of the world’s most prolific festivals this summer to incendiary reactions, so it’s only natural their next stop should be what Q Magazine has described as the ‘finest festival in the world’.

“We’ve also got Freshlyground performing their first ever public Malawian gig. They have been on Lake of Stars radar for a number of years, so we’re proud to provide a platform for their first ever public performance in Malawi. Plus we’re privileged to be welcoming back Black Missionaries, living legends of the Malawian music scene who have rocked Lake of Stars whenever they have played”.
“Baio, the bass player of New York band Vampire Weekend will be keeping the crowd going after hours. Baio’s DJ sets have rocked clubs across the globe from Ibiza to Paris and Sydney to Seoul, but this will be his DJ debut in Africa.”

Hot Secrets caught up with Chizi and threw a few questions his way...

How did you get involved with the festival?
Well, this year the goal was always to play a lot more concerts outside of Kenya so my team and I were actively looking for such opportunities. So we applied to the festival and through my manager Buddha Blaze (the best in the business) and sent in my music and clips. The festival organizers loved it and that was that. They offered us the opportunity and we grabbed it quickly! Blaze worked tirelessly to put this together, I am very grateful to him.

Do the Malawi fans and market have a feel of your music? Have they heard any of your singles?
That’s an interesting question. Now with the internet it’s much easier for us to share the music internationally and so I am sure that Malawi has heard a few songs. In any case if they haven’t then this is our chance to introduce them to it. Besides all that, over the past year we have worked really hard to get the music into the international circuit so I am not worried about that. All we have to do when we get there is play a good show!

Is this your first major continental performance? if not please tell me about the others.
Yes this is the first time I will play so far away from home. I mean I have been a part of productions that have toured other countries but this is the first time I am going on tour on my own merit.

How does it feel being the first ever Kenyan to play live at Lake of Stars
You know I actually had no idea that I was to be the first Kenyan to LOS, so it was quite exhilarating. It’s an honor to stand before any audience to perform but if you then become some kind of ambassador for your country then the honor is doubled. To tell you the truth, Im still reeling from the reality that I will in a sense be “carrying the Kenyan flag” to a festival. And I may never get over the fact that I will be sharing the stage with big African acts such as Freshly Ground and The Foals…

You will be donating the Mabawa Initiative charity supplies soon. Tell me what the plans are in place and what the feeling is on the ground about the initiative.
Well, the actual date is First week of September because the kids are on holiday right now. The plan is to get a Caravan of cars filled with books to deliver these books to Mungoiya Primary School in Kiambu County. Simple as that. I am very grateful for all the support that the Mabawa Project has received so far and look forward to the future with optimism. People are handing me books while in traffic! It’s really encouraging. As soon as we can set up formal drop off points we will be able to increase efficiency. If we keep going like we are now, we may oversupply the kids very soon!