Arts sector pleads with government

by | Dec 3, 2021 | Entertainment, Local News | 0 comments

 

By Pretty Manyewe

 

Players in the entertainment industry have pleaded with government for a waiver to be allowed to perform this festive season.

 

In an online petition addressed to the Minister of Youths, Sports, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry, the artists are seeking a review of curfew hours to allow them to operate late into the night.

 

A representative of the entertainment Industry, Osborne Matengenza, started the petition which he says is in solidarity with players in the entertainment industry whom he says need a chance to earn a living.

 

“We are writing to you as the entertainment industry. Firstly we would like to commend government’s efforts in keeping the country safe from this pandemic. As you might know already, our industry has been most affected by these lockdowns. We had a really tough and dry year as an industry,” said Matengenza in the petition.

 

He highlighted the plight of performing artists whom he says have been hard hit by the lengthy lockdowns which have effectively driven them out of business.

 

According to Matengenza most of their members have been rendered homeless as they can barely raise money for rentals.

 

“We continue to respect lockdown regulations but we feel that the entertainment industry has been on the receiving end because of it’s nature which always clash with curfew regulations, thus we plead for an extension of curfew hours,” he continued.

 

The entertainment industry has been one of the biggest casualties of the Covid-19 containment measures due to it’s nature which demands that venues operate through the night. This however makes it difficult to enforce the regulations.

 

“December is our one chance this year to at least earn some money to save it for next year. We cannot afford to not operate in this month as we also have families to feed. We kindly request you to pass our request to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, and plead on our behalf. We need to operate at night to earn a living. We will be observing all other lockdown regulations,” he continued.

 

Unlike other industries which operate during day time, the entertainment industry remains one of the most difficult to regulate, thus the hard reality of prolonged closure.

 

The pandemic has adversely affected the entertainment industry since the first lockdown of March 2020.

Of late restrictions had been relaxed to allow the resumption of events.

 

However due to the newly discovered Omicron variant, government was prompted again to impose restrictions in order to curb the spread of the virus.

One of the measures was the re-introduction of a curfew from 2100hrs to 0600hrs.