BY SIMBARASHE SITHOLE/CHELSEA MUSAFARE/FREEMAN MAKOPA/TAFADZWA KACHIKO
SEVERAL artistes have decided to join the campaign to conscientise the public about coronavirus following the death of broadcaster Zororo Makamba as part of measures to lock out the pestilence that has wreaked havoc in many countries across the world.
Although Terry Mbofana — popularly known as Terry Afrika (pictured) — supported rhumba artiste Madiz during a show at Mzansi Bar in Mvurwi on Friday despite a presidential order of cancelling shows, he appears to have had a change of heart and has embarked on a campaign to raise awareness of the disease in the streets of Harare.
Mbofana is moving around the streets clad in synthetic gloves and a respiratory mask while informing passers-by to remain calm and to follow counsel from health experts and other authorities.
“I have seen that the COVID-19 pandemic is real and people are not taking it seriously, hence l have decided to raise awareness in the streets of Harare where we recorded our first death in Zimbabwe,” Mbofana told NewsDay Life & Style.
The musician has since suspended all his shows lined up this month and is currently penning a song on the pandemic.
“As I am meeting people on the streets, I am also trying to understand what they think of this virus and all their thoughts will be included on my forthcoming project which I am currently writing about COVID-19,” he said.
United Kingdom-based gospel songstress Nursel Light Mandiopera has also indicated that she would soon release a song online urging people to take precautions. The artiste said music was a powerful tool as it played a significant role in disseminating health-related information.
Nursel also promised videos which she said will help uplift people’s spirits during these difficult times and educate them on how to handle the disease.
“By releasing old-time hymns and choruses, I am doing these videos to encourage someone to call the name of the Lord because the Lord is our saviour in times like this,” she said.
“I wish to remind people that God is our refuge in times of trouble. Life is not as we know it due to COVID-19 having taken away a number of us already and affecting normalcy.”
Another songbird, Gemma Griffiths, recently released a track titled Titungamire, off the Rematare Riddim by Chillspot Records, which is dedicated to people living in uncertainty following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Gemma said the song’s purpose is to give solace and inspiration to people who are now hopeless in their lives.
Zimdancehall chanter Seh Calaz has urged the government to do more in educating people about COVID-19, especially in high-density suburbs because many of them lacked knowledge.
Seh Calaz said apart from adhering to the stipulated rules, the situation needed God’s grace.
“I personally think in Zimbabwe we need to do more to prevent the disease, although we need to have faith, but God helps those who do something,” he said.
He said the high levels of unemployment in the country, where people were now self-employed “in the streets” would mean the majority were likely to die of hunger should they close shop.
“Some of the ghetto youths I have interacted with still think the virus is not yet in the country and others even believe it’s a disease for the rich,” he said.
He had earlier posted on his Instagram page expressing concern that many churchgoers, hustlers and imbibers had defied the public gatherings ban. Seh Calaz said it was difficult to exercise social distances in highly congested neighbourhoods where the majority lived.
The chanter, however, encouraged people to observe high levels of hygiene and habits likely to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
“Coronavirus is real, haasi mafaniz kwete (it is not a joke). Muchengetedzwe na Ishe nemuzita raJesu (may the Lord keep you in Jesus’ name). Amen,” he posted.
Meanwhile, Jasen Mpepo Little Theatre closed its door on Saturday with a play about marriages, Bleeding Out.
Theatre co-ordinator Caroline Magenga said after the staging of the play directed by a young director Nobert Makoche, they were shutting down.
“This (Bleeding Out) was our last play. We have just stopped showcasing productions in the interest of public safety and health. However, we will keep on communicating and sharing any updates through our Facebook page, Jasen Mphepo Little Theatre/JMLT,” she said.