Though government has not officially eased restrictions on public gatherings as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19, many artists in the country have returned to the stage hosting live shows bringing together hundreds of people.
From the biggest music acts to up-and-coming artists, music shows and other entertainment gatherings are back in full force.
In Blantyre last week, Black Missionaries Band held a show at Zinziri Club in Chileka. A week earlier the outfit had another gig at Ozone in Machinjiri. During both shows, social distancing and other preventive measures were hardly observed.
People danced the night away in close proximity and it was obvious that the fear and consciousness that people had for the illness is slowly fading.
During Mother’s Day on October 15 there were various activities lined up to commemorate the day. One of the events was a live music show along the beaches of Lake Malawi at Sunbird Livingstonia where artists such as Janta, Saint and Macelba entertained masses.
Again, social distancing was not a thing that was being observed.
One of the patrons who attended the event, Mary Chiringa said the numbers of infections have gone down in Malawi; hence life must go on.
“The mask is hot and now with the summer, it is harder to wear a mask while dancing. That is why my friends and I as well as many other fun seekers never wore masks during the event despite being reminded to do so,” she said.
In Lilongwe, the story is similar. People have slackened in wearing masks. The trend was conspicuous at some events at Kamuzu Palace where a number of patrons attended the activities without wearing masks despite being provided some.
However, there was no enforcement once inside as some patrons immediately took the masks off or did not put them back on after eating.
During the launch of First Lady Monica Chakwera’s Shaping Our future Foundation (SOFF)at Kamuzu Palace two weeks ago, all dignitaries that showed up for the event without a mask were given masks before entering the Banana Room.
However, by the time the event kicked off, everything had changed as most of the patrons had taken off the masks. By the time the night was over, only few of the over 100 plus guests were still wearing masks as some did not put them back after eating.
At the recent Mother’s Day Ball the First Lady threw for women from all walks of life, the situation was the same as everyone walked in with a mask, but few kept them on till the end of the programme.
However, what stood out at these two events was the fact that Madame Chakwera, the Vice President’s spouse Mary Chilima, former president Joyce Banda and other high-profile dignitaries wore the masks throughout the events save for the time for food.
The past three weeks have seen Latitude 13 hotel hosting a number of events, including the launch of the lingerie line Boudoir by Doll Mabel and a gig on World Mental Day.
While the gate minders were strict on allowing only patrons wearing a mask to enter during the Doll Mabel event, most patrons took them off afterwards.
During the event on generating conversations on matters on mental health, the organisers handed out cloth masks to every guest.
It was a must to wear them throughout the event, the organisers moved around the audience encouraging those that have taken off their masks to wear them.
One of the artists that has held a number of live shows is Lulu and he said the question whether one sticks to the recommened Covid-19 protocols is an individual call.
“This is a disease that will be in our midst for long. We cannot pause our lives for good but we have to find ways of surviving through it,” he said.
Director for one of the popular venues in Blantyre Club 24/7 McDonald Soko admitted it has not been easy for their patrons to completely follow the Covid-19 guidelines.He said as event organisers they have to continue doing their best.