AWARD-WINNING gospel musician Janet Manyowa has disclosed that the outbreak of the virulent coronavirus (COVID-19), which has led the country into partial lockdown, has forced her to cancel several shows and postpone the production of her forthcoming album.
BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
“We have not been spared the effects of the pandemic much in the same way as every individual and corporate body worldwide,” she said through her husband-cum-manager, Munyaradzi Manyowa.
“The crisis has affected our rehearsals and recording process for the upcoming album, and the release plans thereof.”
Manyowa said they also had to strike off several events on their calendar.
“Furthermore, the gathering restrictions and eventual lockdown have also led to the postponement and cancellation of several events,” she said.
The songbird said as musicians, they mainly relied on live shows, which made the impact of the COVID-19-inspired lockdown more devastating.
“It has been and still is a difficult season for us as artistes. The Zimbabwean music industry has been affected by economic factors; subsequently there is a huge reliance on live performances for sustenance,” she said.
The musician, however, said despite the loss, the restrictive measures were necessary to curb the spread of the rampaging virus.
“Though the opportunities lost are regrettable, it is vital and important that the authorities apply these measures to curb the pandemic and flatten the curve,” she said.
However, the songstress said they had other income streams such as formal employment, brand endorsements and other business interests which shield them from the negative impact of COVID-19.
“We are taking this time to plan, restructure and realign in preparation for when the situation returns to normalcy. We would not want to get out of this period clueless on the way forward,” she said.
The COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked havoc in various sectors of the economy and the music industry has not been spared, a situation which has left many local artistes stranded as they relied on live performances for income.
Many local artistes who spoke to this publication, including Killer T, Ammara Brown and Seh Calaz, have been urging their fans to stay at home and avoid gatherings in the spirit of fighting COVID-19, which broke out in Wuhan, China, late last year before spreading to other parts of the world.
It has forced many governments to go into lockdown and shut their borders.