Lifestyle

Impact of coronavirus on Creative Arts: stakeholders speak out

The Creative Arts industry has become dormant as of now following the directive by government to all unions and other groups to suspend their activities in the face of the outbreak of coronavirus.

The Director of Public Health of Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Badu Sarkodie who made this known at a press conference on Sunday, March 15, 2020, said the country had recorded about six cases.

Currently, the GHS has announced that a 9th person had tested positive of coronavirus.

In light of this, the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the night of same day issued some directives in an attempt to stop its spread.

In the directives, the government of Ghana suspended all public gatherings in the country and closed down schools with immediate effect.

The situation has led to the cancellation of this year’s Kwahu Easter festivities by traditional authorities.

Some entertainment industry players disclosed to The Spectator the level of impact COVID-19 pandemic had had on them.

Kofi Kinaata

The “Things Fall Apart” hitmaker disclosed that he had a show in the United States of America scheduled for March, however, due to the pandemic the event had been put on hold for now.

He said that other gigs during the Easter festivities had been seriously affected due to the situation, thus compelling him to cancel other bookings.

“Now if you go to the studio, you feel like sanitising the microphone before you start recording, due to the virus,” he stated.

Kofi Kinaata appealed to the public to adhere to the precautionary measures outlined, “for nothing is important than human lives.”

Fameye

Peter Famiyeh Bozah, known in the showbiz industry as Fameye told this paper that the directive in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic had led to a lot of shows being cancelled, a situation he believed had negatively impacted on the sector.

“Those who have booked you are demanding for refund, and  there are no new bookings due to the directive to prevent the spread,” Fameye said.

According to the “Nothing I get” hitmaker, it was his prayer that a vaccine be discovered quickly to bring things under control and urged all his fans to value their lives and follow the safety precautionary measures announced by the government

Akesse Brempong

Gospel musician, Akesse Brempong, in an interview also noted that those in the gospel ministry had been seriously affected, as churches where artistes got most programmes from, had been closed.

He said that campuses, had also shutdown, as a result of the social gathering ban to stop the spread of coronavirus.

However, he was optimistic that now that many people were at home, there would be increase in streaming among others, which would become the revenue for musicians.

He called all musicians to position themselves digitally to benefit from the increase in streams which is about to happen as a result of the pandemic.

In a Biblical inference to Psalm 91, Akesse Brempong was optimistic that God would be a shelter in times of challenges.

Abeiku Santana

On the impact on the tourism sector, media practitioner who is also the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) of Kaya Tours Company, Gilbert Aggrey, known in broadcast circles as Abeiku Santana disclosed that the pandemic had badly affected both inbound and outbound tourism.

He attributed this to the various measures taken by countries and companies, where flights, hotel bookings, among others had been cancelled and said that

all these, would invariably affect the economy, since, tourism had direct impact on transportation, accommodation, food, creative arts, trade and destinations among other areas.

Abeiku Satana further added that it was his prayer that the pandemic did not linger for long else, the negative impact would be catastrophic

Andy Dosty

Disc Jockey, and host of DayBreak on Hitz FM, Andy Dosty born Andrew Amoh, said that cancellation of events had also affected him as a DJ.

According to him, he was to play at a programme in Spain and other nations, but due to the pandemic, the event had been cancelled.

This notwithstanding, he called for calm among Ghanaians and the need for them to follow the preventive measures currently put in place.

He added that the adverse effect would be devastating if the mitigation efforts failed, and called on authorities to find a way to control the fear and panic, which had the tendency to create problems.

Freebody

Frank Mensah affectionately called Freebody, Manager of the sensational Ghanaian artiste, Patapaa, also told The Spectator that the pandemic had hugely affected their European and American tours.

According to him, they had about six shows in Europe but after honouring some of the shows, Europe became an epicentre and as a result, they decided to go to the United States of America to embark on another tour.

However, upon reaching USA, the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus a pandemic, which led to the cancellation of their shows,  they had returned to Ghana.

He said that similar measures had also be taken in Ghana against the spread of coronavirus, which had affected their plans for the year, adding that the team would meet to restructure their activities.

Peter Sedufia

On the movie front, Award winning Director, Peter Sedufia, who just hit the cinema with amazing “Aloe Vera” movie, said the COVID-19 fear and directive had affected production and the cinemas.

According to him, it had become difficult to go to a location with a crew to shoot because “one is not sure of the status of other people.”

He stated that premiering or showing movies too has been suspended due to the ban.

It was his belief that a vaccine be urgently found to return this abnormal situation to normalcy.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme

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