Three weeks ago, some notable celebrities spoke about the gains and pains of the COVID-19 lockdown. We bring you the concluding part of the interview on the sweet and sour sides of the lockdown.
Personal gains of the COVID-19 lockdown, for me, have been the opportunity to work closely with my writers on completing my own up-coming film project, which had been slower when I was much busier. We had one of the most-scarce resources, which was ‘time.’
Another gain for me is the higher hopes that this crisis in a country like Nigeria, for instance, will be a further eye-opener to the imminent dangers of poor infrastructure, corruption and mismanagement of resources.
The personal pain from the COVID-19 lockdown is how government was unable to manage some parts of the crisis. Every country is struggling to rise to the new economic demand this pandemic has brought, I don’t think Nigeria faired well in the economic regard, because we had the fortune of not being hit as badly as some other countries and look how many people stayed home without any relief. If we were hit very badly, what would be happening in Nigeria now?
I hope the needful will now be done, going forward, to help families, small and medium businesses and hopefully other usual lacking areas that Nigeria has always been patching.
For me, the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown has been both negative and positive. The industry, from production to exhibition, has almost entirely been shutdown, with the exception of aspects of the value chain that do not require congregating, and the result being a huge loss of income for.
However, the lockdown has been more positive than negative. I have had the opportunity to take a much-needed break from my hectic schedule to spend tons of quality time with my wife and children, as well as revisit some of my personal development and physical health goals.
Thankfully, I have non-industry related interests, brand influencing and a food-related venture, that have actually experienced significant rise.
I have also had the opportunity to unlock new global business opportunities for Silverbird Distribution, while planning ahead for local distribution once things get back to normal.
Let us start with the pain. First, I have not been able to move freely, which is everyone’s pain too.
Secondly, I have not seen adequate pro-active mitigation measures from government, especially with regards to the palliatives given to poor and vulnerable.
Also, the lockdown halted my plans and drained my finances, because I was spending and not making money in return.
So, the lockdown seems to have embedded a sense of social distancing, thereby making it not possible to shoot movies, because you cannot wear nose mask and gloves while filming.
However, the gain is having time to plan and restructure my life. Bonding with family and friends far and wide via various social network platforms.
The lockdown has also impacted on my spiritual growth. I also had more time to exercise and rest and to discover new and hidden talents.
The other gain is having more time to make delicious meals, pastries and cakes for my clients, because I run a kitchen and pastries outfit by the sides.
The lockdown afforded me time to reflect. I learnt a lot about life and I was able to attend a little course online. There were lots of opportunities for self-improvement whilst at home.
The biggest pain was that I wasn’t able to release my new movie, which I spent a lot of money on, as well as the fact that people were dying of the pandemic and we seemed helpless.
I pray this comes and goes, so that we can begin to think of getting our health system right.
Mazi Sam Uche-Anyamele
The pains are in the obvious, as activities, such as productions, auditions, travels, association, meetings, award ceremonies and others were and still are on hold, because our industry is people-centered and social distancing might become an issue.
As for the gains, it looks like we now have more time to be safety, security and health conscious; to rest and relax a little more; review past works, create contents for archives- shelves; edit existing works and plan ahead amidst uncertainties.
I really doubt how short this season will be, in terms of reality checks and balances of situation analysis, but one thing I am sure of is that post-COVID-19 era will come with its challenges, which we will overcome by God’s grace and mercy on each and everyone of us.
Andrea Chika Chukwu
The gains, for me, include the fact that my siblings and I have been re-bonding. We talk almost five times daily.
Also, I am teaching Brian (my husband) how to cook my favourite Nigerian food. He loves eating yam and plantain, as well as seafood and Okro.
Daily, I appreciate our health workers and all other essential workers and salute them for their efforts and sacrifices.
Still being able to afford food and other essentials is a blessing I don’t think I understood before this pandemic. I pray for an end to the pandemic, so that we can get back to our normal lives, start accepting scripts and performing both in the United Kingdom (UK) and in Nigeria.