The coronavirus epidemic continues to disrupt life across the world. The disruption is gathering steam in African countries that have recorded cases as compared to for example Italy where the entire country is almost in a lockdown.
The impact on gatherings is an area that most African governments have moved to control. Kenya has barred public gatherings after recording its index case. Uganda and other countries are calling for less gatherings.
Our main coronavirus hub is seized with major developments around the epidemic. This piece will focus on the impact on entertainment and other cultural events.
Tanzanian rapper tests positive
One of Tanzania’s most popular rappers, Mwana FA, says he has tested positive for coronavirus. Mwana FA, whose real name is Khamis Mwinjuma, said when he had returned from South Africa he started developing a fever and symptoms of the virus.
Tests confirmed that he had Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. In an Instagram post in the Swahili language to his more than 3.3 million followers, Mwana FA said: “I’ve decided to record this video message to tell you that this disease is real!”
He appealed to them to follow expert advice on washing hands and keeping a social distance from others – and not to panic if they caught the virus. Mwana FA signed off with the plea: “Let’s take care of each other.”
The manager of Diamond Platinumz, another one of Tanzania’s big music stars, has also revealed that he has been diagnosed with coronavirus. Known as Sallam, he assured his one million followers on Instagram that he was doing well. “Be safe everyone out there. This too will pass,” he said.
Places of worship – churches and mosques – have been in the middle of government instructions for people to stay away from groupings.
Whereas most religious entities have expressly asked worshippers to say their prayers at home, there are some instances across Africa where religious groups are protesting the orders.
- Rwandan churches closed last week on government orders
- An annual Easter event in South Africa has been postponed
- In Congo Brazzaville mosques have been closed since a government order on Wednesday
- Some bishops in Ghana said government needed to consult before closure orders
- Ethiopian churches asked to regulate service
- Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Sierra Leone ask churches to scale down crowds sizes
- Kenya places of worship shut down
- Senegal ordered all places of worship be shut, orders complied with
— Jamia Mosque (@jamia_mosque) March 18, 2020