Musicians ready to resume performances

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PERFORMING artists are ready to hit the ground running once government lifts the Covid-19 national lockdown on their sector.

Most bands spoken to by the Daily News said they have been practising during the lockdown while some have new offerings which they are eager to share with their fans.

Jah Prayzah’s manager, Keen Mushapaidze, said the band is ready for the stage.

“We have been practising since the lockdown started and we are now itching to deliver what we were practising all along. There are so many ways of curbing the spread of Covid-19 during live concerts and these include maintaining social distancing and sanitising people at all times. There is a need to fumigate the halls and to limit the number of people who attend the concerts.

“While inside, people can sit in sections and there is also need for musicians to keep reminding fans while on stage to stay safe, hence observing Covid-19 regulations.”

Mutare-based sungura musician Hosea Chipanga concurred with Jah Prayzah’s manager.

“We are praying every day that the government will lift the ban on arts and entertainment activities. The lockdown has suffocated us and we are happy that we are at the end of the tunnel and the light is showing.”

Jah Prayzah

The Kwachu-kwachu hit maker said while they understand the rationale behind the lockdown, it is high time it should be lifted up.

“It (national lockdown) was good for everyone but considering that the numbers of new cases have drastically dropped, the authorities should now allow us to get back to work. Stakeholders must, however, adhere to lockdown regulations including enforcing the wearing on face masks and the use of hand sanitisers among others to continue curbing the spread of the virus. As an industry, we are ready to start working as early as yesterday. We are more than ready,” Chipanga said.

Alick Macheso publicist Tichaona Makahamadze said: “We miss the stage. We are more than ready for it. The fact that most sectors have been opened has given us hope that we are going to be the next in line. What is needed is for us music bands and stakeholders to continue observing social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment during the concerts.”

Zora musician Leonard Zhakata told the Daily News that while musicians are ready, it is still risky to stage concerts in closed venues.

“As musicians we are ready for the stage but I think it is still difficult to adhere to Covid-19 regulations during the concerts. Our fans want to be happy and entertained. In the process they get drunk and that is where they end up failing to observe recommended social distancing and putting on face masks. At the entrance it will be okay but inside it will be tricky,” Zhakata said.

Diana “Mangwenya” Samkange said it is high time that authorities lift the ban on the performing sector.

“The sector has suffered enough and it is high time the authorities consider the arts sector. If fans and musicians continue to adhere to Covid-19 regulations such as observing social distancing and wearing face masks then I do not see any problem with opening the sector to cushion the suffering musicians.”

Sungura musician Panganayi Hare said the opening of other sectors of the economy is a good sign for the performing sector.

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

“Sooner or later the arts sector like all other sectors will be opened but let’s respect health rules. A lot of 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. Online gigs will never be the same with traditional gigs,” Hare said.

Romeo Gasa believes if the venue is well fumigated, gigs will be safe. “We are ready for the stage and there is a need to sanitise and fumigate the joints before and during the concerts. This will help a lot.”

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