Youths, artists urged to take up COVID-19 relief funds

BY ZBC Reporter

Youths and artists have been urged to take up COVID-19 relief funds meant to assist athletes and artists that have been affected by the pandemic.

Only 113 of over 1 000 artists from the entire province of Matabeleland South have applied for the COVID-19 relief fund which is meant to bail out players in the creative industry who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the sidelines of an awareness programme on how artists and sports personalities can access the COVID-19 relief fund in Gwanda this Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Dr Thokozile Chitepo said it is disheartening that Matabeleland South Province has the least number of applicants.

“In this particular province, there is still more work to be done, we have not received a sufficient number of applications particularly from artists, yet we know that this province is endowed with a lot of artists and we are concerned.”

On the same note, the Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Abednico Ncube encouraged youths to take up government-sponsored initiatives which are meant to improve their livelihoods.

“I want to urge all of you to apply for this fund, let’s work together as a province. Many times you hear people peddling lies that artists are not recognized by the government, yet you don’t take up these programmes.”

Artists who confirmed receiving funds thanked the government for its timely intervention saying it will go a long way in helping them stay afloat during the pandemic.

“We depend on live shows for survival and with COVID-19 we were left handicapped. We are happy that the government has remembered us at least now we can survive. Sadly, some of our comrades did not apply and we want to urge them to enquire from authorities than to listen to rumours.”

Government has availed at least 20 million Zimbabwe dollars through the relief fund for sport and arts sectors.

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