Arts sector readies for reopening

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AS the government continues to ease coronavirus national lockdown measures, artists are hoping they will be the next industry to be given the green light to resume their activities, the Daily News on Sunday reports.
This comes as the government has announced the dates for the opening of schools, a development that has revived hope in the artists who were among the most affected sectors in the country.

“It is our hope and wish that we be allowed to operate. They can start with 500 people per venue and some big venues like Harare Gardens can be allowed up to

1 000; at least we can try to recover because as it stands our industry is suffering.

“As the interim Promoters Association chairperson, we have since written to National Arts Council of Zimbabwe requesting for commencement of events. We highlighted how we would do it in accordance to Covid-19 rules. We believe in safety first before anything else and am sure they are working on that issue as we share the same view that our arts industry must open,” veteran music promoter Partson ‘Chipaz’ Chimbodza said.

Joy Centre proprietor David Mudzudzu concurred with Chipaz saying it is high time the arts sector is opened. “Following the announcement of opening dates for schools, we are now positive the entertainment sector is next in line. Artists have suffered due to the lockdown and we hope it is now time for them to resume their work.”

Promoter Elton Kurima was equally optimistic saying he has already lined up music concerts to be held after the lockdown.

“I have a number of high profile gigs featuring top musicians such as Benjamin Dube from South Africa, Nigerian’s Burna Boy and local Urban Grooves among others which I have lined up. I am just waiting for the government to lift up the lockdown,” he said.

Veteran entertainment manager Yasin Dhala said the dwindling cases of Covid-19 is a positive move to the arts sector. “I foresee the arts sector opening soon and it will be good news to those in the entertainment industry.

“Remember the tourism sector was recently opened and chances are high the arts sector is next in line. We are happy with the cases of Covid-19 which have gone down over the past weeks and it is a good move for us in the arts sector. As an industry, we are ready to follow health guidelines that will enable safety of entertainment fans and players.”

Sungura musician and lawyer Panganai Hare was equally optimistic of the re-opening of the arts sector.

“I hope and wish that the Arts sector will also be opened soon. Obviously if this is to happen there has to be massive education required for all the arts practitioners to adhere to WHO guidelines and what our authorities tell us.

“Sooner or later the arts sector like all other sectors will be opened but let’s respect health issues. A lot of the artists have been pauperised by this Covid-19 induced lockdown. It’s high time the sector is opened too but with strict guidelines being adhered to. Magitare ekuona online haambofi akafanana nekuita attend a live show,” Hare said.

Zimbabwe Musician Union chairperson Edith Weutonga said if the arts sector adheres to the health guidelines there is no problem with opening the sector.

“We will be guided by how the schools will manage it when they actually open. For the arts sector, it will be good to start with big venues where people can sit while observing social distancing. This will save us from the pandemic as health comes first. If we practice all the necessary precautions, then we will be good to go,” she said.

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