The eruption of the Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees as it forced nations into national lockdowns as the world tried to contain the China-originating virus.
In like manner, the Lesotho economy was ground to a halt and this included the showbiz/entertainment industry which saw no events being hosted from March, meaning no income for perfomeres.
In the wake of the aforesaid, life insurances provider Alliance Insurance joined hands with the national brewers Maloti Mountain Brewery to rescue the situation by co-funding a local-acts-only event penciled for later in the year, to be headlined by about 80 of the country’s artists spanning different genres including musicians, comedians and Djs at Manthabiseng Convention Centre grounds, in Maseru.
The announcement was made in a media briefing that was held at the Alliance Insurance gardens in Maseru this week. Speaking on behalf of the two companies, Tšotetsi Seema pointed out that they noted the negative impact the covid-induced lockdown had had on the entertainers hence deicided to chip in and assist.
“As the two companies, we have an obligation of serving and giving back to Basotho and when we realized that a lot of Basotho entertainers were dealt a heavy blow when events and other activities were suspended since earlier this year, we found it necessary to come to help improve the livelihoods of Basotho,” said Seema.
He added that the event also is a tool to promote other businesses of Basotho such as street vendors and other informal sectors of entrepreneurship.
“We also would like to see other businesses come in and help us make this an annual event because such an event has the potential to promote local business, especially the informal sector,” he added.
Speaking at the same event, Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture Advocate Lekhetho Rakuoane indicated that his mandate was mainly to thank the two sponsors who decided to make a show of love and patriotism.
“We thank the two companies for their patriotism with this gesture of meeting halfway the entertainers in the music industry of Lesotho through the festival during this time when they were badly impacted financially by the effects of Covid-19,”Rakuoane said.
The minister reiterated that his ministry is the most affected by the Covid-19 since in trying to reduce the infection rate of the virus, events and other services provided under it were suspended.
“Even now when restrictions have been eased across all sectors, we are still not in the clear due to the limitations and the guidelines set by the World Health Organization and the National Covid-19 Secretariat,” he said.
Entrance to the two-day event will be free, however, it will still be in line with the covid-19 regulations where a maximum of only 2500 revelers will be allowed in for both Saturday and Sunday. It is sponsored by a sum of M320 000, with the two main sponsors coughing out M160 000 each.
The performers of the event will be paid from the M220 000 while the M100 000 is being used for logistics towards the success of the event.
In an interview with this publication the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Lesotho Music Rights Association (LEMRA) Ramosa Bosiu said that his main desire is to see artists benefit from events.
“The two companies have outdone themselves, so my biggest desire is to see the artists benefit from this gesture. It has always been our plea that companies or individuals who say they love this country must show it by investing in the arts because that is where the economy can thrive,” Bosiu said.
Speaking on behalf of Djs, Daverts said that they have been knocking on a number of doors and in particular thanked the minister also for his support and asked other Basotho for support. “