Two hundred SMP members came together on Saturday, October 5, at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for our annual gathering and AGM.
This year, in the run up to what is always our highlight event of the year, there was a particular buzz of anticipation, as we looked forward to welcoming two VIP guests – rising star of world music Lazarus Chigwandali from Lilongwe and Scottish Government Minister for International Development Ben Macpherson MSP.
Described by Madonna as ‘a powerful voice of a new generation’, former street singer Lazarus has been brought to the attention of the wider world by producer Johan Hugo who has previously worked with international stars Mumford and Sons, Lana del Rey and Baaba Maal.
In a breath-takingly short period, Lazarus has recorded an album, featured in a documentary film about his life and become a spokesperson for Africans with albinism.
On the day, Lazarus blew the audience of our members away with his performance alongside local musical talent from the Malawian diaspora in Scotland, Davie ‘Street Rat’ Luhanga and Brave Mnyayi.
L to R: Brave Mnyayi, Bob Kalin (sound), Lazarus Chigwandali, Spiwe Zulu (manager) and Davie Luhanga
We also welcomed Deputy Malawian High Commissioner Quent Kalichero and Dr Anne Phoya, the Chair of the Malawi Scotland Partnership, our sister network in Malawi, who gave an update on their activities over the past year.
Dr Ann Phoya, Chair of MaSP
Quent Kalichero, Deputy Malawian High Commissioner
The afternoon included the Scottish premiere of 'LAZARUS' the official documentary, executive produced by Madonna, which was launched at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and is winning many awards in the run up to the Oscars.
Ben Macpherson MSP, Scottish Government Minister for International Development
Ben Macpherson closed the afternoon by thanking all our members for attending who then mingled in the conference centre foyer, catching up with old friends and forging new connections.