COVID-19’s impact on the creative arts industry across the world may take a while to be quantified but its immediate impact is being felt so greatly.
A ban on public gatherings means no concerts, no album launches, no award shows, film premieres, comedy shows and by implication, a halting of a steady revenue stream for creative people.
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The picture may look very gloomy with no end in sight but for rapper Okyeame Kwame, there are some positives to be drawn from the COVID-19.
According to him, this was the best time for creative people. “As creative people, we need a problem to solve, that is when we are at our best and we need the quiet to think of solutions.
"However, we are often unable to get that time because of the many commitments we have.
“You may be called into meetings and you are pulled in different directions but now, we are all home and this presents the best opportunity for creative people to think.
“If you are a comedian, this is the best time to write new jokes, if you’re a musician, this is the best time to write new songs, if you’re a painter, this is the best time to paint, we need to see the positives in this COVID-19 pandemic,” Okyeame Kwame told Graphic Showbiz recently.
For Okyeame Kwame, although the situation was very difficult, creative people could use the pandemic to their advantage and come out on top when all of this was over.
“The coronavirus is resetting the world’s economy and it is important for us to prepare our minds for the change to come and help to change Africa’s economy.
“Creative people must go into strategic partnerships with people, especially those in the IT fields because IT is the future. Now, we cannot have physical meetings but we can use Instagram DMs and other channels to reach individuals and companies.
“As an artiste, I am trying to increase my revenue streams and position my brand in the right place; for creative people, this is the best time to monetise content,” Okyeame Kwame explained.
Okyeame Kwame, like many others said he had been affected by the pandemic. “It has affected me on many levels. Economically, as an artiste, it means that half of my revenue is gone.
"Due to the ban on public gatherings and social distancing protocols, there are no shows so a revenue stream is gone.
“On a personal level, I am home with my children and I am getting to know them better. I now have much more respect for their teachers because we go and ‘dump’ them in school and the teachers have to deal with them.
"For instance, I didn’t know how difficult it is to get them to sit down to do their homework etc and it is been interesting.
“On the other hand, this has increased the level of love I have for my wife; it has made me appreciate how hard she works.
"During the lockdown, our househelp was at her house so my wife cooked, cleaned and took care of all of us; she could clean like 10 times a day and I tried to help but it wasn’t not easy.
“Again, I have had a lot of time to reflect on a lot of things, including my relationship with God and I find myself asking a lot of spiritual questions,” Okyeame Kwame said.
Okyeame Kwame said he had been thinking about how to impact the life of entertainers and this period had led him to develop a new streaming portal which he would launch soon.