SEVERAL artistes across genres and arts promoters have accused government of neglect, plunging them into abject poverty through the strict COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
The ban on live music concerts as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus has disrupted most livelihoods including artistes’ capacity to generate income.
Musicians usually cash-in on live shows they stage every week from Wednesday to Sunday at several joints, but the COVID-19 lockdown has kept them off the stage.
While some artistes have been doing virtual shows and connecting with their fans, others have not been able to stage performances as their projects were put on hold.
Seasoned Afro-pop singer Jeys Marabini (pictured) yesterday joined artistes who voiced concern over what they described as the continuous ignoring of their plights.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Marabini implored the government to consider the welfare of artistes under the circumstances.
“We wish the government could allow artistes to perform at least once or twice a month so that they can survive,” he said.
“Most artistes survive through performances so if the government looks at the situation and tells us how we can make a living through this era the better. Churches are allowed to operate and a certain number is required to attend, why can’t the same happen in the arts sector?”
Marabini said it was their wish to be allowed to perform for the same number as that at churches, adding that they and the fans would strictly adhere to COVID-19 regulations.
“At least 100 people, observing COVID-19 regulations must be allowed at a concert just like in churches,” he said.
Marabini said he was lucky to had taken part in a few national events, but felt for a number of musicians who were not as fortunate as their situation remained dire.
“I then get to think of other artistes and some up-and-coming ones who did not stage a single show this year. It is really difficult for everyone including the music industry,” he said.
“We also need to know how to survive through this COVID-19 era and music must go on. There should be ways whereby artistes can make money and also a living using their talents. Not that artistes should work for free, producing albums and people are not being paid.”
Marabini said music was a career just like other professions such as engineering or teaching hence it was their wish that the government would look into their plight.
Follow Sharon on Twitter @SibindiSharon