The Director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Mr Nicholas has urged practitioners in the Cultural and Creative sector to be vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 disease to add weight to calls for the reopening of the entertainment sector in the country.
Speaking to journalists after leading over 33 Artists, promoters and staff to be vaccinated at Wilkins Hospital in Harare, Mr Moyo said artists need to be vaccinated against the deadly disease which has claimed the lives of over a thousand Zimbabweans.
“We started calling artists this week and encouraged them to get vaccinated. Some said they had done it privately while others agreed and they are joining us here today” the Director said.
Mr Moyo said the gesture by the artists who agreed to be vaccinated was a sign that the sector was serious about preventing the spread of the disease and called on the government to consider reopening the sector to allow the hosting of live shows.
“I am happy that artists have taken part in creating a safe environment in the arts sector. I am confident that Cabinet will consider our request for the reopening of the arts sector”, he said.
The vaccination comes amid clamouring for the reopening of the entertainment sector which has been closed since March last year as the government instituted lockdown crowd control measures, affecting performances.
Artists who got vaccinated include, NAMA legends, Daves Guzha, Dominic Benhura, Ben Mahaka, Irene Chigamba, Fradreck Mujuru, Nakai Matema and Chirikure Chikure, Music Promoters Patson Chimbodza and Macdonald Kachingwe, Musicians Actress Kesia Masona aka Muchaneta.
NAMA legend Daves Guzha said it was important for artists to get vaccinated.
“As an artist and public figure, I can make a difference and encourage each other to get one. I am grey-haired, it is also an encouragement to the young artists that I have done this and I am still alive. We should not fear this vaccination,” he said.
Actress Kessia “Muchaneta” Masona welcomed the vaccination adding that artists must think about the safety of their clients amid the clamour for the reopening of the sector.
“This is a first step ahead in the entertainment industry I know we all want the sector to be opened, but we must think of safety first. This was long overdue and we should all get vaccinated before they open our arts sector,” said Masona.
Poet Chirikure Chirikure said vaccination would rebuild confidence in humanity and encouraged people to be vaccinated.
“I am doing my part to contribute to the well-being of the nation. My advice is that people should be vaccinated. The process is fast and friendly and the environment here is conducive. This is an opportunity, let’s make use of it,” he said.
The COVID-19 disease has had a serious impact on the Cultural and Creative Industries in Zimbabwe with many artists losing their source of livelihood as the different lockdown regimes implemented by the government over the past year have had stringent limits on gatherings affecting the ability to hold live shows.