Entertainers of all shades are pleading for the government to get the curfew relaxed as they are hardest hit by the state’s public health emergency regulations, declared by President Bio in March as part of measures to contain the COVID 19 pandemic.
Those in the industry say they are being badly affected in terms of financial gains. But with some of the restrictions lifted by the government, such as the inter-district lockdown, they say seven months into the State of Emergency declaration, they now want the government to take a softer stance on the curfew by also lifting it.
The curfew is pegged from 11 pm to 5 am at night. With the bulk of the night hours stolen from them, they say they cannot simply organise events which are mostly nocturnal.
Leading this campaign plea is Linda Samai, one of the leading female artists. Popularly known as Star Zero, Linda recently released a one minute fifty–four seconds’ song titled ‘End Curfew’ in which she passionately appeals to the government to see a reason to lift the curfew enable them to organize events for their livelihood. Entertainment is big business, she notes in a snap with Salonejamboree on her curfew release; saying getting busy with music brings in income to ‘feed our families.”
Linda says it’s not about opposition to the system. “I am not forcing issues or trying to oppose the government. We only feel that the government needs to lift the curfew time. We are ready to fully comply with the other regulations such as social distancing and wearing of masks. We will also entreat on our fans to mask up during events,” she remarked.
Nearly everyone in the entertainment industry is in agreement with this campaign plea, including the CEO of Lake Entertainment.
For Alhaji K Tarawally, the ban is hitting harder. “We are greatly hit by the ban on public gathering and closure of entertainment centres. We were supposed to host an event this past April bringing in Kiss Daniel as the guest performer but the opportunity slipped out of our hands because of the ban.”
The CEO of New Skol Award Director is also in accord. Salam’s New Skol Award event was supposed to be held on the 28th March, 2020but could not be held because just a week into the event, the coronavirus measures came into effect, including the curfew.
“Government really needs to lift the curfew because it has cost the entertainment industry billions of leones,” Salam comments. He says for the last show that was cancelled, they spent three hundred million Leones to put things together, adding that the ban brought a great loss to the organisation. He says there is still time to reschedule the event once the restrictions were eased.
To give a ‘Nike’ to the campaign, Kao Denero posted some photos alongside a flyer in support of the campaign. He also called on leaders to be supportive and accountable. “Accountability in government is a good thing, past, present and future. Those entrusted with public trust be aware!”
Musicians are now using Star Zero’s songs to give meaning to their voices. “Government needs to lift the curfew now! We need to have a way to make a living. We have families to feed; we can’t be seen as idlers just because of not having enough to take care of ourselves and families,” says Lamson P.
This campaign is being supported and popularized by several others and popular actor, Lyord Zachy, who happens to be the Secretary-General of Actors Guild Sierra Leone says “things will get worse than they are now if the government does not try to lift the curfew now.”