WHILE various musicians have taken a stand against coronavirus (Covid-19), sungura musician and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society humanitarian ambassador Alick Macheso has become a leading light among artistes involved in the fight through consistent and tailor-made public education messages.
The musician, who was one of the first to comply with the ban on public gatherings, quickly announced that it was not business as usual after government announced the initial measure of not more than 100 people per gathering.
In an official statement on his social media platforms then, Macheso revealed they had put a stop on all public performances and called on citizens to comply with government measures to mitigate the losses from the pandemic.
“The Covid-19 scare is real and so is our love for you,” Macheso said in a statement then.
“We are putting all public performances on hold until further notice. Remember to get as much information about coronavirus as possible and avoid risky behaviour.
Even when government later on reviewed gathering limits to 50 people and eventually effected a lockdown, Macheso had long complied and was sharing constant updates on prevention and effective management of the virus through his public communication platforms.
Thanks to his relationship with the ZRCS where he has been humanitarian ambassador since February 2013 to date, Macheso has also aided efforts to educate the public on Covid-19.
“I am the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society humanitarian ambassador and two weeks ago, I was recording public education messages on coronavirus thanks to a partnership between the organisation and one of the media houses with interests in both print and electronic media in Zimbabwe,” Macheso said.
“The message is all about preventing the spread and making sure that those with symptoms are diagnosed and assisted in time to prevent the spread.”
Macheso is this week expected to record more public education messages on coronavirus to be flighted on both radio and TV as well as published in the print media. “We are doing the best we can under the circumstances and we hope we will be able to manage this crisis and mark a return to normal life,” he said.
“This week I hope to record more messages to help emphasise the need for compliance with the national lockdown.
“The virus doesn’t move, but it’s people who move with it and I believe with better education and improved hygiene we will win this fight.”
ZRCS head of communication and corporate affairs Stambuli Kim confirmed that they had partnered Macheso for an aggressive Covid-19 awareness campaign. “In the wake of the national lockdown, we have devised innovative information dissemination initiatives through use of the social media as well as the mainstream media such as newspapers, radio stations and television,” Kim said. “Our humanitarian ambassador and celebrated musician Alick Macheso is actively engaged in this initiative as we strive to mass-disseminate and appeal to people to heed the national call to stay at home and maintain social distancing.”
Other artistes and celebrities who have used their influence to fight Covid-19 include Nicholas “Madzibaba” Zakaria, Selmor Mtukudzi-Manatsa, Godfrey “Chief” Koti, through his podcasts on travel and tourism, as well as Dendera crooner Tryson Chimbetu, among others.