Swaziland
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STANDARD BANK LUJU 5TH EDITION SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED

MALKERNS -  The theme for this year’s Standard Bank Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival launch is ‘Design Gastronomy and African Fashion Folktales in the Fashion Arena.’

The theme was announced by Culinary Curator Nozipho Thorne at the launch that took place on Friday at House on Fire. The food and fashion festival is set to take place on August 4-5 this year at Malandela’s lawn. The launch kicked off just after 7:30, and the programme directors were Phila Dlamini and Anele Tshabalala, while on the decks for the evening was DJ Tibza. Thorne took the podium and shared about this year’s theme, the Hive concept, and also shared the recipe for the sweet and savoury elements of the Luju Culinary Programme. She also mentioned that this year the focus will be on Mozambique.

Expression

‘A Return to the African Future’ finds expression in the two main themes this year. Of course, we’ll be celebrating our African heritage in style! This will be an event to dress up for, and we can’t wait to see you in your finest,” said Thorne. She went on to say that they hope patrons would join them on the weekend of August 4 to 5 to eat delicious food, sway to talented artists from all over the region, and love the fashions on display. This is a lavish two-day feast of culinary exploits, high-end fashion, connoisseur-led showcases, and Afro-centric music. It’s also worth mentioning that the unique and sophisticated African-vintage-styled celebration of the local, the wholesome, the creative, and the delicious - the spirit of this festival - is encapsulated in the Luju Ethos of ‘A Return to the African Future’, which celebrates Africa’s beauty and style, from the past to the present and onwards to the future.

Next after Thorne was Fashion Curator Philippa Thorne, who spoke of the theme of what to wear at this year’s festival. She then introduced the models, who showcased interesting designs on what to wear and interesting hairstyles. After the fashion show, there was a live performance by local singer and songwriter Sarnilo, who will also perform at this year’s festival. She sang two songs. Dignitaries who were in attendance at the launch were; the Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga, the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs Moses Vilakati; Lobamba Lomdzala MP Marwick Khumalo; Standard Bank Chief Executive Mvuselelo Fakudze; members of the Diplomatic Corps, Indvuna yeNkhundla Lobamba Lomdzala; and Mphiyakhe Fakudze.

The Standard Bank Chief Executive took the stage and welcomed the guests and dignitaries who were in attendance. He said, “You will recall that after a hiatus in 2020, the Luju Festival was the first major event to open up the Eswatini Arts and entertainment sector in November 2021. We believe that Eswatini is our home, and we drive her growth. We will always be grateful for the faith His Majesty’s government placed in the festival during that time.

Manner

“Standard Bank, together with our partners, is committed to continuing to support the local creative economy in a sustainable and inclusive manner.” He further said this is why they are intentional about growing the Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival footprint regionally. As they are committed to collaborative and cross-cultural initiatives that will empower artists and artisans. Fakudze said this year they have invited their counterparts from Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa to also showcase their creative entrepreneurship and brands at the festival. Fakudze went on to say that in the growth of the festival into a truly aspirational event, they have taken note of the diverse needs of their Luju audiences and their clients.

He concluded by saying that they were once again excited to partner with House on Fire in bringing a festival that has put the country on the map and brought together thousands of attendants in previous years from across the country and beyond our borders. House on Fire Sales and Marketing Manager Bongani Dlamini reminded the public that Trader Applications for Luju close today. Dlamini was followed by Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture CEO Stanley Dlamini, who shared that his job of the night was to introduce the Minister of Sports, Culture, and Youth Affairs, Bulunga.

Bulunga shared that the Government of Eswatini was proud to see the growth of the festival, which is now in its fifth year. The minister told the patrons that no jeans would be accepted, but everyone must get their designers to make something special for the festival. He also touched on how the festival had grown from being a local event to a regional one in Southern Africa. Bulunga also shared that the government was still committed to the growth of the 2018 Copyright Act.

Directors

The programme directors concluded by playing a video of the official line-up for this year’s festival, which included South African artists Big Zulu, Mango Groove, Sun-El Musician Mandisi Dyantyis, Tlale Makhene, DJ Teedo Love, and Lenna Bahule (Mozambique). From Eswatini Dusty and Stones (SWZ) (ZAR), Lwazi Dlamini, Sarnilo, a Vuma Levin, Master P (SWZ), Mapumba Cilombo (DRC), Dato Seiko (BWA), and many more artists. Tickets to the festival are already available from outlets open in Eswatini, at Standard Bank Eswatini Corporate Place, Mbabane, and Standard Bank branches in Ezulwini (The Gables) and Manzini, as well as Dala Spaces at Malandela’s Lifestyle Centre. Camping tickets are available online at lujufestival.com, as are festival tickets. Tickets can be purchased with cash or debit cards at outlets or via EFT or credit card online. For Corporate ticket packages please contact House on Fire soon, while stocks last.Tickets will also be available from the CCMA in Maputo, Mozambique, starting next week.