MIRI: The second edition of the Miri AfroLatin Fiesta (MALF) is hosting more than 100 participants from 17 countries.
The four-day event, which kicked off yesterday, coincides with the ‘Visit Miri Year 2018’ tourism campaign.
Event founder and organising chairperson Dr Safrina Othman said she was very happy by the overwhelming response to this edition.
“We are very lucky to have these top international artists here, such as Sara Lopez from Spain and Kristofer Mencak from Sweden, who is also famous for teaching Kizomba,” she spoke at the press conference yesterday, where Miri Mayor Adam Yii, Bintang Megamall general manager John Teo, as well as performing artistes Guspon Pierre from Canada and Theodore Wolashie Awadzi from Norway were also present.
Both Lopez and Mencak admitted that they knew nothing about Miri before Dr Safrina called them two years ago.
However, both dancers expressed their delight upon being a part of MALF 2018, adding that the event could help promote the city ‘to the world’.
“If you know someone from that country, you will have different view of that country – this, I think, will promote peace. If everyone knows people across all countries, it would be a different story,” said Mencak, whose ‘kizomba’ classes are present in 55 countries.
“Coming to a dance festival has a far-reaching impact – we not only teach, but also know the people and the places that we are in, and by posting our pictures on social media, this can reach out to many people,” said Lopez, who currently has over 500,000 followers on Facebook, and 130,000 on Instagram.
In his remarks, Yii congratulated the organiser of MALF 2018.
“We welcome all of you to Miri. We hoped that you will not only enjoy your stay here, but will also be our ambassadors in promoting Miri,” he said.
Meanwhile Teo, who also spoke, encouraged all delegates to explore not only the city, but also other areas including Mulu National Park.
Activities under MALF 2018 include workshops on ‘kizomba’, ‘salsa’, ‘urban kiz’, ‘bachata’ and ‘pachanga’.
The key organiser is La Danza Fitness & Dance Studio Miri, with support from Miri City Council, Sarawak Tourism Board, Sarawak Convention Bureau and Metritz Hotel Miri.