Mbabane: The Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga has advised artists to use the partial lockdown to reform their craft and look for innovative ways through diversification of their art.
Speaking at a press conference held at the ministry’s offices Bulunga said artists and associations should utilize this lockdown time to look for new ways of diversifying their art conception, designing the consumption and distribution of their craft to stay within the armpit of the global creative space and enhance accessibility and sales.
This follows the declaration of a National Emergency made by His Majesty King Mswati III and announced by Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini as well as a partial lockdown which was effective from March 27.
Bulunga urged all departments under his ministry to respect the decision taken by government and abide to the guidelines given all to enhance the fight to against the coronavirus outbreak.
He said the ministry recognizes and appreciates the collective efforts and endeavors from managers, artists, stables, culture institutions and practitioners in supporting government’s call to suspend all gatherings and activities that will compromise the safety of people.
With the partial lockdown artists were discouraged from hosting or attending any shows with a potential to draw crowds. This has led to the closure of entertainment and hang out spots across the country. It has also led to a number of big events and international gigs for artists being cancelled, something which has a negative impact on the income of artists due to of bookings.
Meanwhile, Bulunga said his ministry stands with all stakeholders in recognizing the extreme losses incurred by the sector as a result of these measures.
Bulunga then advised all artists, festivals and events organizers, affiliates and associations to utilize the partial lock down time to diversify the conception of art, designing, consumption and distribution to stay within the armpit of the global creative space and enhance accessibility and sales.
On the other note, Bulunga said his ministry has already started engaging the relevant sports, arts and culture bodies for collaborations with sports stars, officials and artists who will also help in the spreading of correct COVID-19 message.
Artists have huge following and influence in the society and so with their voice and craft they can be very much instrumental in helping government disseminate the correct information all to fight the spread of fake news circulating on social media. The minister said they will speed up the process and make sure that this is finalized soon.
“The ministry calls upon all Emaswati to ensure that they wash their hands with soap and running water frequently, cover mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, stay at home and follow every other advice coming from government and the World Health Organization,” said Bulunga.