WHILE there are no available statistics on how the coronavirus has impacted the creative and arts industry, the facts on the ground indicate that it has been greatly impacted.
This was the opinion of the Chairperson of the Namibia Arts Council, Patrick Sam, at the COVID-19 communication centre where he was one of the panellists today discussing the COVID-19 impact on the arts, culture and the music industry.
According to Sam, collectively, artists, art educators and art consumers have been affected by the pandemic.
“In terms of the GDP, tourism has been crashed but in terms of statistics, it is a fact that markets in Okahandja and Kavango are closed. It is also a fact that the craft centre in Windhoek is closed. These are markets where people would traditionally trade. We might not have statistics because we are not prioritised in terms of national development, however, in terms of the response there is a clash between where the stats and where the facts are,” Sam said.
He added that the industry is one that requires people to come together, which does not go hand in hand with the lockdown regulations.
“We cannot have a sector if we do not have people. We know how to bring back the economy but we do not know how to bring back lives. Our sector would fundamentally be a threat towards the spread of the virus,” Sam noted.
The cancellation of the NAMAS, the value chain from the organisers, the people buying the tickets, hairdressers, hospitality and the range of other multiple benefits is another indication of just how badly the industry has been affected, according to Sam.
Meanwhile, The CEO of Nascam, John Max, has called on the national broadcaster to play at least 70% of local content.
Commercial radio stations, he said, should be able to play at least 50% of local music while community radio stations should play 80% of local content.
He also urged government to allocate a grant to the industry.
At the same event, Deputy Minister of health and social services, D Ester Muinjangue? said that so far, 7 recoveries have been made, with 9 active coronavirus cases, of which all of them are clinically doing well.
No new cases have been reported in the country apart of the known 16.