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Stranded entertainers finally get a lifeline

DJ Scandal

Dec. 4, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

THE Maluti Mountain Brewery (MMB) and Alliance Insurance companies have this week pledged a relief fund to the tune of M360 00 to resuscitate the local entertainment industry that has been rendered ineffectual by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since its inception in the country earlier this year, the pandemic has crippled nearly all sectors of the economy, among others forcing virtually all local performers to go to sleep on empty stomachs.

But this week, the news of the relief fund came as sweet music to the ears of most entertainers who were beginning to lose hope.  

The two sponsors have announced that the money will be used to host a profitable concert to organised in Maseru before the end of this month.

Frustrated musicians and comedians had at one point picketed at the gates of the National Covid-19 Secretariat offices, complaining that they had been sidelined when the government eased the health protocols by only opening business in sectors identified as ‘not super spreaders of the virus’.

For some deejays, musicians, and comedians who are regular anchors of events where they normally rake in thousands of maloti weekly, the last eight months have been extremely difficult, as their incomes stopped coming in completely.

Applauding the two sponsors for their noble gesture this week, the Minister of Tourism, Environments and Culture Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane said like everywhere else, entertainment in Lesotho has been rendered ineffectual by the pandemic.

“It is in this gesture that we as the ministry appreciate and applaud the two companies for achieving such a lifesaving initiative. The role entertainment plays in our lives is important for it is a stress releaser, good for rehabilitating people. We therefore thank these companies for opening doors for us when we cried on behalf of our entertainers who were struggling to make ends meet,” he said.

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Minister of Tourism, Environments and Culture Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane

Speaking on behalf of the funders, Seema Tšotetsi said, “We have now started supporting our artistes even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to turn this initiative into an annual event but not under the theme of the pandemic.”

Nevertheless, not all entertainers are content about the initiative, as some from other districts complain that it only focuses on artistes in show business and neglects individual stage characters who are also affected by the COVID-19 aftermath. 

“What does this initiative say about the rest of the DJs and comedians who are not even aware that there are entertainment associations in Lesotho?” asked DJ Scandal from Leribe, calling for an inclusive assistance to all performing local artistes.

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