Artistes should help soothe coronavirus-hit souls

Lift lockdown in phases

THERE is no doubt that the world is going through a lot of stress, with billions of people under lockdown in their houses amid despair and hopelessness due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has upended the world as we know it.

NewsDay Comment

In this gloomy environment, artists have a critical role to play in such times of emergencies and disasters as music has long been used as a tool of communication and as a means to spread awareness and heal distressed souls.

In a bid to monitor the COVID-19 spread, many countries including Zimbabwe imposed lockdowns, minimising movements and physical contact among people.

In such difficult times, in fact in a lonely world that has pushed many into unease, musicians should step up and play their role of soothing depressed souls.

Music’s unique healing effect is most sought-after to heal the troubled souls.

Just like during the liberation struggle, particularly in Zimbabwe where artistes like the late Dickson “Chinx” Chingaira, Thomas “Mukanya” Mapfumo and many others played a part, this is the time for artistes to stop bemoaning lost revenue opportunities, but psyche up the masses through music.

Instead of crying over their misery while leaving people in despair with no spiritual upliftment from their music, musicians must be proactive as music is therapy for the soul.

Why not a COVID-19 theme from musicians across genres like what they did during the days of Copac and STEM? Is it because the budget for those projects was irresistible?

The situation has reached another level the world over and Zimbabwe has not been spared. The fight is real, but the silence of guitars makes it even worse.

Demand for entertainment is on high particularly in this 21-day lockdown period. The deafening silence from the artistes is cause for concern.

Kudos to some artistes who have taken the initiative to compose songs carrying the message of hope about this deadly COVID-19 which has brought untold suffering globally.

Among the artistes who have so far composed something related to COVID-19 are Afro-jazz singer Ashton “Mbeu” Nyahora who released a song Totangira Payi yesterday — an emotional track that reflects on how people were hurting from losing their loved ones and how the pain was being felt across humanity.

The track, however, goes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to bemoan human loss due to floods and other natural causes, among them the Cyclone Idai that claimed hundreds of lives in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique in March last year.

Another upcoming Afro-jazz artiste Thabani “Jah Tee” Ndlovu also recently released a single called Zvirwere Zvinongonyukanyuka, in which he implores God to protect Zimbabwe and Africa from the pandemic.