Zimbabwe: Live Shows Reprieve for Artistes

Senior Reporter

Government's decision to ban artistes from holding musical shows was meant to protect them from contracting Covid-19 but they are now free to hold concerts within the threshold of 50 people in attendance, President Mnangagwa has said.

He said the artistes should ensure that they comply with the number of people prescribed by the law because it is consistent with Government's desire to contain the Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed lives of people in the country and globally.

President Mnangagwa said this at State House yesterday at an event to handover musical equipment that was donated by Youths, Sport, Arts and Recreation Deputy Minister Tinoda Machakaire to two musicians as part of a fulfilment of a pledge he had made to them.

The two artistes who received full sets of musical kits are contemporary musician, Andy Muridzo and Chief Hwenje, born Admire Sanyanga Sibanda who made the popular "ED Pfee" song.

"Deputy Minister Machakaire promised these musicians in my presence that he would buy them a full set of musical instruments and he has done so now.

"This set is his (Muridzo) and that one is his (Chief Hwenje) and they are saying they are happy. It is all modern equipment. You should see them play.

"What is important is to protect them during Covid- 19, after Covid-19 they will play. If they die from Covid-19 they will not be able to play. So we are protecting them so that they will play after Covid-19.

"But so far they can have shows but not in excess of 50, if they can manage to do it, but it is for the purpose of protecting them," said President Mnangagwa.

Deputy Minister Machakaire welcomed the decision by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa to relax the restrictions on holding shows.

He said he promised the two artistes the equipment in 2019 but could not do so early due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As what has the President said we promised these artistes but we have been delayed by Covid-19.

"But today we want to thank the President for accepting to hand over the equipment. We want to thank the President for relaxing the restrictive conditions for artistes.

"We also welcome what he said that all artistes are free to hold shows within the 50 people threshold as prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care with respect to Covid-19 protocols. We urge artistes to abide by that directive," said Deputy Minister Machakaire.

Both Muridzo and Chief Hwenje said they were equally excited by the donation, adding they would do justice to it by working hard to entertain their fans.

They said they were happy by what President Mnangagwa said that they could hold shows within the prescribed conditions, adding that they will abide by the directive.

"We are happy with these instruments, this is what oils our work, it's a burden that has been removed from us.

"The equipment will help me in polishing my upcoming 15-track album that I will launch next month.

"More importantly we are happy that President Mnangagwa said we can hold shows under the clearly set out conditions," said Muridzo.

Chief Hwenje had this to say: "Many people have had unfulfilled promises, but in our case the Deputy Minister lived to his word. We have been patient. It is a lesson that we would want to share with others.

"We are equally happy with the decision allowing us to hold shows under these conditions. This will go a long way in helping us and we pledge to abide by the conditions," he said.

The instruments include Public Address system, mixers, drum set and guitars.

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