By Emmanuel Hove Mhike
The government should make use of Arts in it’s quest to promote covid-19 vaccine uptake at all levels, Community Voices Zimbabwe has established.
A research conducted by Community Voices Zimbabwe shows that songs and poems released by locally known artists has huge impact and influence on the covid-19 vaccine uptake.
A Zvishavane based artist David Makoni popularly known as Datler released a song that promotes vaccine uptake last week. The song ‘Makabaiwa here?’ ( did you get the jab?) is receiving fair airplay at Zvishavane Community radio station, Ya Fm and in the streets of the small mining town as well.
Speaking in an interview with this reporter Datler said the song targets specifically the youths that getting the jab is harmless.
“The song was a response to the Ministry’s call for content to locally promote covid 19 vaccine uptake. My song alerts and educates the nation that the covid 19 vaccine has no harm to human life but it actually protects people from the pandemic.
“Everyone should be vaccinated for us to get back to normal life. I’m so impressed by the reception of the song, I was always sure that this song will have a positive impact to the community because of the content and also the fact that it’s public knowledge in Zvishavane that I myself got the jab,” he said.
One of the singers popularly known as Super B (stage name) told this publication that he was also motivated to get the jab after listening to Datler’s song.
“I listened to the song and was quite impressed by the artist’s message. I called my girlfriend and together we got the jab at Mandava clinic on Friday. The song is already popular in the streets. The song also challenged me to compose my own song promoting vaccine uptake and I’m sure it be out by end of next week,” said Super B.
Edward Jaya, a Zvishavane Arts Officer from the Ministry of Youths, Arts, Sports and recreation said they made the call to complement government efforts to inform the nation about the importance of getting vaccinated against Covid 19.
“On our side as ministry we felt there is a role artists can play in promoting the uptake of the covid vaccine by giving the community information on the benefits, how, where, when and who can be vaccinated. We invited artists to compose songs and poems to promote uptake of the covid vaccine and Datler’s ‘Makabaiwa here?’ is one of such productions, some are still working on their assignments. The song is very inspiring and we hope it will also push someone out there who has been hesitating to go and get vaccinated,” Jaya noted.
“The pandemic has greatly affected the entertainment industry which is still under shut down with no shows permitted. This is despite the fact that artists need to be at the forefront in promoting the vaccination program so that things can get back to normal,” he said.
Vaccine uptake has been reportedly slow in small towns and rural areas. The idea of using locally known role models the community can relate to is effective in the drive to get everyone vaccinated against Covid 19.
Datler is a fast rising Zimdancehall artist based in Zvishavane. He once did successful collaborations with prominent artists such as Tocky Vibes and the late Zim dancehall star Soul Jah Love.