Artists Joy Short-Lived As Chiwenga Suspends Activities

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

ARTISTS have found their joy short-lived after government suspended all public gatherings barely hours after President Emmerson Mnangagwa had given them the greenlight to host live shows.

This comes after Vice President and Health Minister, Constantino Chiwenga, Saturday announced stricter lockdown restrictions banning all gatherings amid fears of an imminent third wave of the corona virus in the country.

Chiwenga’s announcement reversed Mnangagwa’s decision to allow artists to host live shows but with not more than 50 people in the venue.

In a statement, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NCAZ) informed artistes that any events that attract gatherings have been banned, encouraging them to make use of virtual shows.

“The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NCAZ) would like to advise its stakeholders in the sector of the immediate suspension of arts public performances in compliance with the statement, outlining renewed measures to curb surging Covid-19 cases in the country,” the statement.

“The suspension signals the deferment of events that appeal to the general public to attend for the consumption pf cultural goods and services offered by the sectors.

“All events which attract public gatherings are therefore suspended. NACZ encourages the sector to utilise digital alternatives to reaching out to the general public.

“However, day to day office work by artists for continued production and creation of new arts shall align to the 8am to the 6pm work routines as enunciated in the new Covid-19 containment regulations,” reads part of the statement.

Zimbabwean artists have not been spared by the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Without live shows they do not earn much from their music careers.