Staying at home amid the coronavirus lockdown is no doubt the best way to ‘flatten the curve’, and artistes are not exempt from doing their bit and practicing social distancing.
However, that doesn’t mean they have stopped trying to entertain us.
DJ Miller, real name Virgile Karuranga, is, for example, still on the decks entertaining Rwandans, who could be home bored, thanks to social media.
“Since the only way right now is to stay home, I am trying to make live mixes on my Instagram feed, and my fans really love it. Otherwise, there is no other way I could have reached my fans,” he said.
His viewers, he added, had reached to 300 Instagram users at press time, a number he never anticipated, given that Rwandans are not familiar with live DJ online entertainment.
For David Tuyishimire, a local music producer and CEO of Future records, staying indoors has not stopped him from working. Although it’s not as effective as his place of work, the isolation, he says, has given him more time to work on unfinished projects as well as revise my other projects.
Feeling fulfilled by the decision to lockdown the country, the producer urged Rwandans to step up and to do their part to stem the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This pandemic is scary and life threatening, but God shall help us get through. We all have to play our part in fighting it and soon enough life will resume to normal,” said Tuyishimire.
Some artistes are also not just sitting at home, but have been working on their music projects to spread awareness of the virus and its preventive measures.
Among them include Paccy, with her song ‘Corona’, featuring Alto, as well as ‘Turwanye Coronavirus’ by Jaba Star featuring Mani Martin and Jay Polly.
For Paccy, she is using this time not only bond with her family, but also promote her song on social media and work on her upcoming album.
Hilde Cannoodt is a dancer, choreographer, and yoga instructor, despite cancelling all her live classes has been taking inspiration from her friends around the world, who are using live classes via zoom and working on a donation basis.
Although she has not done that yet, she is thinking of something similar so that her students can pay what they can afford, for her online classes.
“There’s a sense in my community that everybody wants to support the donation initiative that is a decent amount to support artistes who don’t earn an income online.
Even though some of us are lucky to use Internet, some cannot but we all cope in the way we can and try to redefine our work as artists. My feeling is that this not going to be just two weeks, this is going to be a few months of re adjusting so I’m trying to prepare myself for the months to come, she said.
Besides dance classes, Cannoodt also teaches mathematics as a side job and is using her skill to earn an income during this time on Skype.
“It’s not as easy as teaching live,” she said, “but it’s also not too bad as long as we have a good Wifi connection so that gives me a little bit of income to keep me afloat.”
With yoga, she added, she has opted to teaching daily classes and posting them on YouTube.
‘It wasn’t really an intention to earn a living for me, it was just to keep me sane because I’m stuck in the house like everybody else so it gives me something else to do.
“However, I’m thinking of more content for my videos, maybe even after this pandemic is behind us, to start up some online classes on Patreon.com, a site for artists earn an income without putting in the extra work,” she said.
On his part, Deo Munyakazi, a singer and Inanga player, fighting against COVID-19, is certainly a battle we never anticipated this year, a time when everyone was ready to grow their passion.
“We have to think big, accept the challenge and get new way of pushing our music to heal the world. I am making new music and other different projects, relaxing, and follow online updates.
I am hosting online shows as well, on my Instagram live, Facebook live and with the hope that it’s giving positive vibes to other people. Normally this is a good time for artistes to get better version of themselves as they reflect on their work,” he said.Follow https://twitter.com/sharonw91