COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China towards the end of 2019 and has since spread to many other countries in the world. After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, countries around the world implemented preventive measures to combat its spread.
In Rwanda particularly, the Ministry of Health urged all public institutions and private business owners to avail hand sanitizers or soap and clean water at all times. The City of Kigali went the extra mile and banned all social gatherings and events. Event organizers expressed concerns given that even the event which was scheduled on the day the notice was issued were cancelled.
Mashariki Film Festival
The annual cultural event which brings African films to an African audience and offer a workshop and masterclasses to filmmakers was scheduled from March 21st to March 27th, 2020. Screening sessions had already been published but the organizing committee recently announced the film festival was cancelled until further notice.
Seka Live Festival
The two-day stand-up comedy festival brings together renowned comedians in the region. The latest edition which was held on February 29th, 2020attracted talents such as Nigerian Otolorin Kehinde Peter commonly known as Kenny Blaq and Ndumiso Lindi from South Africa.
Although no announcement has been issued by the organizers, the monthly comedy festival is highly likely not to happen.
Kigali Jazz Junction
The monthly music gathering where Jazz meets other music genres might also be affected. In February 2020, Kigali Jazz Junction had on stage, Nigerian singer, Joeboy and Rwandan Davis D attracting crowds of revelers.
This month’s edition is expected to host Nigerian Singer, Inetimi Alfred Odon, known as Timaya on March 27th, 2020. RG Consult, the organizing team has not yet spoken about the social gatherings ban.
Africa in Colors Festival
The event which puts forth the promotion of Africa’s creative industry is expected to be held at Radisson Blu and Convention Centre in Kigali between March 26th and 28th, 2020. The festival brings together African creatives to share, trade and market opportunities for African entrepreneurs in the creative industry. Due to the social gatherings ban, it might also be cancelled.
Some social events which were cancelled since the ban are ’Ikirenga mu Bahanzi’ which had on the lineup, famous Rwandan Singer, Cecile Kayirebwa. Fans who had already bought tickets were requested to keep them for future use although no other dates were communicated.
On March 8th, 2020, the day the ban notice from City of Kigali was issued, Adrien Misigaro, a Rwandan gospel singer had planned a concert but resorted to making a live session of his concert on his YouTube channel.
On March 10th, 2020, Igor Mabano, a Rwandan singer was expected to launch his first album titled ’Urakunzwe’ but announced the concert had been suspended due to Coronavirus.