Despite the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 unveiling enhanced prevention measures, including restrictions on public gatherings, artists have indicated that they will not postpone or cancel planned shows for the weekend.
Random interviews with various musicians in the country indicated that the creative sector heavily invested in the shows through promotion, hiring of equipment and venues; hence, it cannot just cancel them.
“If we cancel our shows for the weekend then we will be in serious debt. So, let it be understood that Black Missionaries will go ahead with its show at Motel Paradise in Blantyre tomorrow [today],” said Black Missionaries manager Ras Ray Harawa.
He faulted government for announcing new measures without consulting stakeholders, including musicians.
“For us performing and holding gigs is our livelihood. It was important to sit and discuss these measures before effecting them,” added Harawa.
In a separate interview, rapper Tay Grin said he will not be affected much as he only has one show left for this evening.
“I will hold the Grin’s Fire Friday at the venue, but it will be the last one for now until the situation changes and the measures are relaxed. But I know for most of my fellow artists will be badly affected by these measures,” he said.
In a separate interview, Musicians Association of Malawi secretary general Khuzi Rampi condemned the move to restrict public gatherings.
He said: “Government has a petition on their table from musicians complaining about lack of economic cushion in such times. Sports personalities and other Malawian families were given a little something in the past, but nothing for musicians.”
Rampi claimed that government has announced the strict measures after holding Independence Day celebrations where more than 300 people gathered.
“When coming up with these measures they should think of people like instrument players, stage actors and vocalists who earn their living by being on stage,” he said.
Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda on Wednesday announced new measures aimed at curbing the further spread of Covid-19.
Among others, the measures restrict outdoor gatherings to 100 people and indoor gatherings to 50.
In her statement, the minister further said bars are to open from 2pm to 10pm while restaurants shall open from 6pm to 10 pm. As of July 6, Malawi had cumulatively seen 37 366 Covid-19 cases which included 1 218 deaths.