Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
THE recent detection of a new Covid-19 variant called Omicron has thrown a spanner on the arts industry with some music promoters being forced to postpone or cancel shows.
One such show is the “TXC One Night Only” show that was supposed to feature South African female DJs Tarryn and Clairise at The Boundary last night.
Emmanuel “Manu” Mahaso who was organising the event told Chronicle Showbiz that in the wake of the new Covid-19 regulations announced on Tuesday, the show had been postponed until further notice.
“The TXC show has been postponed indefinitely and this is due to the new Covid-19 measures which stipulate quarantining at own cost for days recommended by WHO, even if those coming into the country present negative PCR test results.
“This has made it hard to continue with the show. Further communication will be made in due course,” said Manu.
On Tuesday, President Emerson Mnangagwa announced new Covid-19 measures meant to shield the nation against the impact of Omicron that has been detected in the Sadc region.
It was clearly communicated that all returning residents and visitors would now have to be quarantined for days recommended by the World Health Organisation.
This means that SA artistes who were intending to come and perform in the country will no longer be able to do so unless if they travel 10 days prior to their shows, which is impossible considering that most have plenty of bookings over the festive period.
Among the new regulations which will also affect the arts industry include the new curfew times which now start from 9PM and end at 6AM. Event organisers have resultantly been urged to ensure that their shows end by 8PM.
However, following a meeting between the ministry of health and national stakeholders in Harare on Wednesday, it was agreed that “persons designated as business travellers” would be exempted for quarantine requirements.
As a result, some promoters have approached Government with the hope to have their visiting artistes exempted as the shows had already been cleared.
Among those with high hopes to have their show go on are organisers of the Blaq Diamond show that was scheduled to take place tomorrow at BAC Leisure.
But a statement issued by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe on Wednesday gives little hope to music promoters as they urged them to abide to the latest extra Covid-19 measures.
“. . . all clearance letters already issued for shows shall be subject to the enhanced protocols and promoters should stand guided.
The NACZ implores players in the sector to take heed of the new enhanced restrictions and enforce them accordingly at their venues and shows so that their operations do not impede on the Government’s efforts of reducing the spread of the deadly disease,” NACZ director Nicholas Moyo said in a statement.
Moyo, however, said they will keep on engaging the Government to ensure that the Covid-19 restriction measures do not work against the positive strides that have been taken to re-open the sector which is still reeling from the effects of the different lockdown regimes implemented over the past two years.
After having been treated to a series of South African performances last month, revellers were hoping to continue with this trend over the festive period.
Music promoters were also beginning to recover from losses incurred two years ago when shows were cancelled abruptly due to Covid-19.
It seems like their only hope is on hosting local shows as the hosting of shows is still permitted. – @eMKlass_49