Senior Arts Reporter
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Nicholas Moyo yesterday led a group of local artistes in getting their first Sinovac Covid-19 vaccination jabs at Wilkins Hospital in Harare.
At least 33 artistes, who included theatre practitioners, promoters, musicians, actors and filmmakers joined the NACZ staff as they received the vaccine.
Also on the list were the 10 recipients of the recently held National Arts Merit Award (NAMA) Legend 2021.
The arts practitioners arrived at the hospital at 10am and after being inoculated, they waited for each other to get selfies.
They described the process as fast, efficient and easy.
Moyo said they made a call for artistes to join the rest of the nation in getting vaccinated.
“We started calling artistes this week and encouraging them to get vaccinated. Some said they had done it privately, while others immediately agreed and joined us.
“Some even said they were still sceptical, but there is nothing to be afraid of and they should not listen to some of the conspiracy theories as world over, especially artistes, are at risk of getting the virus, hence it was necessary for them to get vaccinated.”
Moyo, who was the first to get the jab together with his wife Tsungai, warned the local artistes that they could be left behind if they resisted the vaccination roll-out, although it was still voluntary.
“The world is changing and look how some countries are treating the jab, especially in the entertainment industry. It is a choice and we should make the right one. We should not be left out, but have faith and believe that we can conquer this as a team.”
Moyo said by yesterday, more artistes were confirming their participation.
“When I got in touch with the Wilkins Hospital staff telling them we want to bring the artistes, they agreed, they even said we can start with the first batch of 50 artistes and we then made calls,” he said.
“Then by end of day yesterday some artistes said they will go even on another day and we are happy with that.”
NAMA Legend 2021 recipient in the theatre category, Daves Guzha, said it was vital for artistes to get vaccinated.
“I travel all over the countries and have seen it necessary to get the vaccination,” he said. “For my profession, I have been always up and down and it is important to receive the jab because there are going to be countries in the future which will say that without any vaccination you can’t enter even in the shops.
“As an artiste and public figure, I can make a difference and encourage each other to get one. I am grey haired, it is also an encouragement to the young artistes that I have done this and I am still alive. We should not fear this vaccination.”
Multi-talented actress Kessia Magosha said the vaccine was more than welcome.
“This is a first step ahead in the entertainment industry I know we all want the sector to be opened, but we must think of safety first. This was long overdue and we should all get vaccinated before they open our arts sector,” said Magosha
“Imagine, I am an actress and master of ceremony at weddings and parties, now I am free and happy since vaccination, I can perform my job well.”
Magosha said she was scared to hug and take selfies with fans because of Covid-19.
“It was hard and difficult, moreover scary, whenever you meet people at a function and they ask for selfies or they want to hug you because you are a celebrity. They will think you are an arrogant and pompous person if you refuse, but no, we all know the times we are living in.
“Now I can perform my duties well and I also want to thank the NACZ and Government for pushing this initiative.”
Sculptor Dominic Benhura was happy to receive his first jab and said:
“I felt that it was very important for me to receive this vaccination. I travel a lot and I needed to protect myself as an artiste. I encourage others to join the bandwagon.”