an empty stage
Back when we could still travel, I learnt that people from other countries consistently know three things about South Africa:
1. Nelson Mandela
2. The Big Five
3. Our music. Germany loves Die Antwoord. Jeremy Loops is all over Europe. And the first time I heard Mandoza was in a taxi in Madagascar (the driver was very proud).
Our artists are incredible, worthy of international acclaim, and currently largely without income. They were the first to be affected, when large meetings were banned even before the lockdown, and they will be the last to be released. Without their Friday night gigs, performing artists (and those behind the scenes who make performances possible) are hard-pressed to find alternative means of income. And if you think a livestream show isn't your thing, here's a reminder that it probably isn't theirs, either. Support them anyway. Follow your favourite artist on social media, buy their album or at least stream it legally, purchase their merch or a ticket to a virtual show.
Imagine the concerts that could come out of this, out of these months of introspective song-writing and the unlimited practice time, out of the hunger we all have to connect again, to sway en masse at a music show or laugh in a crowd at a comedy. It's going to be so good. Let's show some soul for our artists.
Further reading suggestions:
Lockdown legends - livestream performance by loads of incredible artists in support of SA musicians: https://www.whatsonincapetown.com/post/lockdown-legends/
8 ways to support your favourite bands during lockdown: https://www.whathifi.com/features/8-ways-to-support-your-favourite-bands-and-artists-during-lockdown
"Music is saving us during lockdown, but is it hurting artists?" - an interesting reminder not to take music for granted: https://www.fastcompany.co.za/inspiration/music-is-saving-us-during-lockdown-but-is-it-hurting-artists-46931693
Arts, the orphan stepchild of covid-19 relief" - a candid and thorough article on the impact of global and local factors on the industry: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-04-14-arts-the-orphan-stepchild-of-covid-19-relief/#gsc.tab=0