The festive season carries with it one peculiar and pleasant characteristics especially for people who are outgoing.
This is a period where one is never short of options when he wants to spend time away from his home confines whether as an individual or as a family. During this time there are plenty of entertainment activities that are lined up across the breadth and length of the country.
As per tradition, the catalogue this year is filled and very appetising with events laced from Christmas Eve all the way into the New Year. I can’t even count with my fingers the events lined up within this period that have come to my attention.
As someone working on the arts desk such situations bring with it a pleasing feeling because I am assured of unique stories, beautiful imagery and insightful experiences at the end of the engagements. It means loads of stories to flood the inbox of my boss come Sunday.
In a year where entertainment was paused for over eight months due to the public gathering restrictions effected in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of fun seekers have been looking forward to finish the year on a high.
In the ending year at some moments it appeared nothing was working out. The life patterns of most people were completely turned upside down worse still halted completely. For many, seeing the back of 2020 as soon as possible is what they wish for.
But it appears there won’t be any fanfare as we bid 2020 farewell. The end of the year has coincided with a second wave of the pandemic. Yes! There is a fresh upward surge of the Covid-19 cases here in Malawi and around the world.
The status quo has forced the government to move in and yet again install fresh measures to try and contain the new strain of Covid-19. On Tuesday afternoon the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 announced in Lilongwe the measures which will be in effect in the next 14 days.
Among sealing of the borders, government has also banned gatherings which exceed 100 people per seating. This has effectively meant the so many events that were scheduled to take place between now and the next two weeks have been outlawed. A tough one.
We have been at this point before. And the response from both the public and the event organisers were not uniform. There were moments when it appeared people were complying with the measures and some moments what we saw was a total breach.
It will be exciting to see how the two divides will react this time around. The motivation to go out there and have a good time is so huge considering the season of the year. And for event organisers, some of their events were planned long time ago and by now a good monetary investment has already been made into their shows.
Will people see the sense to stay home in view of the rising Covid-19 public health threat or they will go on as business as usual? Will the event organisers respect the law and avoid tempting fun seekers by scheduling events during this period?
It is quite disheartening for the local creatives, who after suffering for long this year, at least had hoped to rake in a few kwachas during this period so they can send their wards to school come next January even so bring a decent meal at home on Christmas.
I wish there was a little breathing space for the creatives who have already suffered enough. But as it stands it appears there won’t be that privilege and I will not get that beautiful story that I wanted to submit to my editor. Let us pray!