Trust Khosa and Shingirirayi Mugodi
PLAYERS in showbiz have complied with President Mnangangwa’s directive that gatherings of 100 or less are now recommended to avoid the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Covid-19 was on Tuesday declared a National Disaster by the President who called the nation to unite in fighting the pandemic.
However, showbiz chiefs and artistes said it would be difficult for some of them who had lined up events and incurred costs to prop up their shows.
The most affected are top artistes like Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah, Winky D, Suluman Chimbetu and some Zim dancehall artistes who pull big crowds wherever they perform.
Already, Jah Prayzah’s album that had been slated for April 3 and Burna Boy’s shows on Independence’s eve were called off.
Zimbabwe’s biggest crowd-puller – Macheso – said they had no option but to comply with the order since Covid-19 is now a global problem.
Speaking through his publicist Tich Makahamadze, the Orchestra Mberikwazvo camp said they would comply with the order.
“Of course we are going to issue a detailed statement tomorrow but we have suspended shows with immediate effect.
“As you know, Macheso is a crowd puller but we can’t afford to defy the ban and put people’s lives at risk.
“Covid-19 is a global issue and we are going to map a way forward when we meet on how we can moot a way forward,” he said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by the Zimbabwe Music and Arts Promoters chairperson Josh Hozheri who conceded Covid-19 was a global issue.
“We are going to comply with the directive because it doesn’t only affect Zimbabwe but the whole world.
“Of course top artistes like Macheso, Selmor, Jah Prayzah, Winky D and Sulu are the worst affected by we urge them to resort to option B.
“To some of my peers (music promoters), we have just postponed the activities until the situation improves.
“We will cooperate as music as we can since it a global issue,” he said.
- BOSS SPENCER
Motor Action proprietor Boss Spencer Madziya who attracts hundreds at this venue on Sundays said they will take heed and take precautions.
“It is important to take heed of this recently declared National Disaster.
“His Excellency made it clear that this is a serious issue and as an entertainment entity, we will scale down and provide a party with less than 100 people.
“These would be strictly by invite, we have put measures and engaged a reputable company to provide hand sanitisers, and we will be raising awareness of this deadly virus on all our parties and social media platforms,” he said.
As an employer with a leading construction firm which has invested in show, he added:
“As an employer our whole group Tiles for Africa has embarked on an awareness to all employees and have engaged a health official who has been training all heads of department to equip them to be able to disseminate information on this virus and necessary precautions to take.”
- MUDIWA HOOD
Similar sentiments were echoed by charismatic rapper Mudiwa Hood who urged the public to take heed of the President’s directive.
“I do believe it is a very good idea to pave a way forward.
“Social gathering banning is actually good because it reduces risks of infection.
“He has been advised by authorities that know what is best. We are rallying behind him and support him because he know what is best for everyone,” he said.
On his role as a public figure in creative awareness against the spread of COVID 19, he said:
“I am adhering to what we are being advised to do. I am also trying to avoid the public to avoid being caught by the virus.
“As artiste, we are also cancelling shows and also postponing shooting videos.
“I pray that all those affected be strong because noting come to stay, this virus has come and it will go. We post a lot of awareness posts and engage in conversations with our fans on our pages.”
He also expected the role music should play in this fight against the spread of Covid 19.
“The truth is recording right now recording is hard. We are putting out the message on social media instead of recording.
“I have been working from home now but given the chance I would actually record something in relation to that so people can listen in the comfort of their houses,” he said.
Mudiwa also urged the public to complement their efforts in spreading awareness.
“Life is not a rehearsal, the public should listen to authorities. This helps a lot of people not get affected. We are conversing with them so that they understand the messages we put in our posts,” he added.
One of the affected musicians Sulu said they will take heed of the President’s directive.
“We all need to take precautions and follow what is being said by our leaders. We can’t afford to defy them but simply cooperate as a nation.
“Where gatherings will be taken, we need to put in place serious measures but what is important at the end of the day is the safety of people.
“This is the right time we need to unite as a nation and pull in the same direction in fighting this pandemic which has been declared a National Disaster by the President,” he said.
Some of the popular joint in the capital Mashwede Village, KwaZindoga, Family 24, Chikwanha Gardens, KwaMereki and KwaFatso are likely to be affected if measure are not taken.
If they are to continue operating, then serious precautions will have to be taken.
Zim dancehall street parties known as Passa-Passa have also been affected as they are known to attract big crowds.