Poet fails to travel to Lake of Stars London

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Poet Julius Jules Banda, who came out seeking K2 million to attend the Lake of Stars (LoS) Festival London, failed to make it to the event.

LoS Festival London took place yesterday with performances coming from, among others, Faith Mussa, Zathu Band and the Netherland-based star Dan Kalima.

Banda, who took to the social media to reach out to the public on the sponsorship, said yesterday that he failed to travel.

“There was hope that I would make it to the point that I made a flight reservation with Ethiopian Airlines but some of the potential sponsors, who made pledges, withheld their support due to other commitments,” he said.

Banda said he had conversations with Lake of Stars Festival founder, Will Jameson, and agreed that he should use some of the funds he collected to get him to the 2019 edition.

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“I will start preparing now for the 2019 edition. To me it is bigger than travelling and performing. I come from a background and an upbringing that believes in standing up for something,” the poet said.

He added that, even though he had not made it to the festival, he had been able to resonate with fans, family and friends.

“Their support has kept me and the entire team strong. I have, however, been treated unfairly by some companies but that has not and will never hold me back,” he said.

The poet said there is hope that poetry is important and that people need to pay attention to it.

Asked why he was targeting 2019 instead of the main festival, which will take place in the country from September 28-30, he said:

“My eyes are on that too. I have been looking forward to that for years but the 2019 one is also crucial and it is good, especially for growing my base. I have invested so much in this and I will continue to. With no doubt, I can say that my performances can stand any stage and audience in the world.”

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The poet also hinted that he would continue to fundraise and thanked those who contributed.

“In the meantime, I am focusing on my EP and album that I plan to release this year and people should be on the lookout,” Banda said.

But how much did he raise?

“I raised about K500,000 in cash.”

Some quarters have, however, hit at the poet saying he knew he could not manage to raise K2 million and that he just wanted to have money in his pocket.

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“It is absurd to think so. I cannot just wake up and ask for money. I work hard as an artist and, much as I realise that I did not have the capacity to raise K2 million on my own, I had to call from support to fans, friends and well-wishers,” Banda said.

The poet received an invitation from the festival but was not supported financially, hence asking for support.

LoS is this year celebrating 15 years and has lined up a number of activities which started with a Set It Off show in Zomba in January and then the LoS London and Scotland on Saturday and yesterday.

Meanwhile, Kalima and Mussa have said they had a good experience at the LoS London on Saturday. They were expected to star again at LoS Scotland Sunday.

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