Culture may be defined as the arts, customs, lifestyles, background and habits that characterise a particular society or nation. Others define culture as the beliefs, values, behaviour and material objects that constitutes a peoples way of life. Furthermore, culture is the conventional conducts and ideologies of a community. Also it is the system comprising of the accepted norms and values of a society. On the other hand, creative industry is any tendency to create things or having the ability to create, often, excellently in a novel, fashion, music, or any or all of these. However, both of the two are affected by the outbreak of Covid 19 or corona virus, hence these negative effects will be the focus point of the work below.
Covid 19 is a viral disease that attacks everyone regardless of race, colour, religion or anything of that kind unlike what was supposed in its early stages by many African nations that it attacks only white people. Covid 19 is a new respiratory virus that is spreading fast in some parts of the world. It is a virus that attacks the throat and the common signs are coughs, headaches, tiresome, problems in breathing among others. It moves from one person to the next through contact or sneezing. It spreads very fast in crowded places for example cities, towns, growth points, bars, restaurants or even at the work place. So to prevent the fast spreading, governments worldwide have introduced the system of lockdown. Lockdown is the confinement of people in their own homes as a security measure against the spread of Covid 19 or corona virus. More than 4 731 458 people are known to be infected and least 316 169 deaths have been recorded as of May 19, 2020. Zimbabwe has 46 confirmed cases of covid-19, including eighteen recoveries and four deaths.
To start with, the outbreak of Covid 19 has brought with it the system of lockdown which has banned social gatherings. This means people could no longer gather to do their annual celebrations, rituals and ceremonies, for example Independence Day in Zimbabwe on the 18 April 2020 was not celebrated. Also, religious rituals were not undertaken as per the norm, for example Easter holidays. However, the point here is that failure to do these celebrations and rituals pose a negative effect on culture since people will be deprived of their right to show their true salvation as in Easter holiday and their right to celebrate as in Independence Day. As was proposed by Charles Darwin, “Religion is the opium of people”. Therefore, religion must be always prevalent in any society. Furthermore, there are no church services thus some will forget about religion, while others will illegally consume beer. Thus it affects culture negatively as young people who are the future of this nation need guidance through practices, but when these things are not done regularly, they will think culture is of no significance in society.
The government will not have money to distribute to the culture and heritage of the nation since much money will be used especially on the health sector and food distribution hampers for the vulnerable communities. Furthermore, there is adverse effect on the education sector especially those who are pursuing culture and heritage studies of the nation. Loss of school hours especially children in the rural area with no access to internet and cannot take lessons online. Based on this evidence, one might conclude that culture is being affected because it lacking the all-inclusiveness in educating during this lockdown.
Covid 19 has contributed to the failure of people to gather and practice their rituals, for example circumcision ceremonies in Binga, rain making ceremonies in Murewa and sacrificial ceremonies in Mutoko. People in Zimbabwe had different traditions based on different backgrounds. However, when rituals had not been done, the society in particular will suffer misfortunes, for example, drought and diseases. Based on this evidence, it is clear that effects of Covid 19 are negative. One Zimbabwean scholar by the name Nisbert Taringa once stated that one cannot separate African people from their culture and traditions.
As a security measure, there is no hand shaking in order to avoid the spread of Covid 19. However this is very difficult for some in Zimbabwe especially in Mutoko where they recommend hand shaking because it shows or symbolises fitness, strength, good manner, humility and unity in the community. Failure to hand shake symbolises bad manners and a symbol of pride.
On the other hand, the creative industry is the other sector that is affected negatively. There will be no platform for showcasing. This is because the system of lockdown has it that people should not gather in greater numbers than fifty in order to control the spread of Covid 19. Furthermore, the banning of shows disadvantage even musicians as they will not perform live shows. The entertainment sector in Zimbabwe is affected greatly by piracy thus entertainers do not get money through the selling of compact disks (CD) or digital video disks (DVD).
For those in the fashion industry, for example, products will be expensive to advertise since it will be online advertisement which requires money and resources for using during the process. Also, there will be no or limited access to raw materials due to restricted movement, for example, Zimbabweans order raw materials for their fashion from South Africa and Mozambique hence they will not go there due to the closure of borders.
Furthermore, the art industry will not be competitive because they will not be receiving products from their stakeholders and/or shareholders because everything has completely stopped or slowed down due to lockdown. Again, people will ignore the art industry and view it of less importance. Loss of incomes or livelihoods might lead to people engaging in engaging in illegal and immoral practices, for example, prostitution brewing of illegal substances (kachasu) so as to raise incomes. Those who are self-employed in the creative industry or running small business are the most affected. Therefore, the creative industry will be affected negatively.
In summation, covid 19 has affected all sectors of the economy in Zimbabwe even the agricultural and the mining sectors. Worth noting is these are short term effects of covid-19 and that full effects will only be able to be assessed after the end of the pandemic. Art and culture complement each other thus as art is affected, so is culture. The essay has explored in great detail negative effects of covid 19 on culture and the creative industry.