The artists in fight against COVID-19 have said that their life as well as their fans’ matter in this period where Rwanda and the world at large is fighting against the pandemic unreservedly.
Their message at KT Radio, in a campaign supported by Mastercard Foundation last week, they said that they are artists because they have fans whom they intend to entertain.
With that in mind, the artists in the talk show who were represented by Peace Jolis and Andy Bumuntu, said that their fans, and the Rwandan community at large, should feel that they are concerned about what the country is going through, which affects them largely.
The artists recalls that, when it all started – March 14, 2020, everyone was surprised, including artists who wondered how they would sell without concerts and parties of all kinds.
“But luckily, we realized, that one can sell music on social media platforms,” recalls Andy Bumuntu.
Artists did their level best to proceed with their followers, singing, conducting some talk shows, and when vaccines started, it even boosted their business with the government relaxing some measures.
Peace Jolis on his side, said: “Despite all odds, we stayed there, posting songs on social media platforms, which, to some extent prevented the community from falling into depression.”
“Surprisingly, many artists emerged during that difficult period, and their messages, among others, promoted prevention of COVID-19,” Jolis says.
The campaign to fight against COVID-19 includes a popular collabo song – Tuzatsinda – we shall overcome, which was also sponsored by Mastercard Foundation.
The song has been and is still trending.
The artists in this song reached out to several corners of the country, including during the vaccination day, to give an important message to the community.
“With Tuzatsinda song, people felt encouraged. They understood that we were into this together, that we are not those guys who always go out smart,” Peace Jolis said.
“Initially, none would think that we could make a beautiful COVID-19 hit, but we did,” Andy Bumuntu supported.
While people think that artists are money driven, Bumuntu said: “Everything cannot be about money. We have businesses, but when we have troubles like these, we first deal with them all together, because we are part of the community.”
As far as children are concerned, Peace Jolis who has a special focus on them said, that for them, they were already versed into preventive measures, including hand washing.
“For the rest, we designed a specific message to them, and then they followed the movement like anyone else,” says Peace Jolis.
Even in other categories, tailoring the message on specific audience mattered a lot.
“During campaigns, they would ask us and we answered them. Every category felt that we are into this together,” Bumuntu said.
From experience, the artists believe that, reaching out to the community to show that they are supporting government measures is a big thing.
“I recall a day when someone in Nyamata told me that they didn’t want to take the vaccine, but when they saw me campaigning for the vaccine, they were convinced,” Peace Jolis said.
As for the artists who are caught in activities against COVID-19 measures, Bumuntu said, that artists should read by example, but if any artist happens to backslide, the public should not feel that much discouraged.
“They should only emulate good example among artists,” Bumuntu said.
The artists advise that the community should not loosen during the festive season.
“We are insisting on the message of prevention, including vaccine booster dose,” Peace Jolis reminds.
The artists say that it is important to keep spreading the message on COVID-19 prevention.