NEWS | MUSIC | HEALTH | LIFESTYLE
By Elijah Mbewe
The ugly side of a global village. What is believed to have originated from the People’s Republic of China in 2019 as Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)- in Wuhan City has had serious repercussions in all sectors countrywide. Malawi is party to that. In the entertainment circles, the local music industry has been severely panel-beaten.
Among others, the Malawi government enforced a 100 people gathering limit to assist in putting this virus in check. Healthwise, this was the way to go…to a local urban musician however, this meant nothing but catastrophe.
The not-more-than-100-people gathering means that musical concerts, the main source of bread and butter to most local musicians, are also restricted. Technically. No wonder, there’s been loud outcries from musicians on how they are expected to be earning a living with such a restriction. As expected, there’s been no official response.
Ofcourse, a few weeks close to the Fresh elections, a number of urbans music concerts were staged, defying the restriction. Ofcourse, back then, the political wind was totally different from the current new men on the block. Also, realities of Covid 19 in Malawi is now sinking in with a spate of related deaths now almost every two days
Why are local musicians crying foul over the restriction of the gatherings?
Over-dependence on a single source of income. Musical concerts!
Most local musicians solely depend on music concerts. This is problematic. In times like these, other musicians elsewhere are still reaping from their sweats via online music sales. Online music stores like iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Tidal and OnlyFans are some of the platforms these musicians are using on a daily basis.
Like what other quarters of the society have opined, “Malawians have to learn to live with the pandemic.”
True, saying no more concerts is too brutal and unrealistic to the country’s already low earning recording artists. However, there has to be a way to ensure safety of the audience too. In this case, one may decide to go ahead with the live concerts of not more than a 100 people. But then, one may have to think of the corresponding price and a spacious venue as well.
Keeping that in mind, event organizers must always make sure to bring clinical officers at shows so as to measure body temperatures of all attendees. This would ensure fun seekers enjoy to the full for they would know there is no one suspected to be carrying COVID-19 among their number.
Individual concert goers must also take care of themselves beyond measure. They would, among other ways, take caution not to touch each other anyhow and wear face masks the entire showtime. If this is possible anyway.
To sum it all up, COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Restricting musicians not to hold shows is a violation of their right to earn a living. Live shows may resume but precautionary measures must be followed religiously.