WITH the lockdown being eased gradually, party life is going back to normal. But how long until nightlife — a big driver of tourism in urban districts — goes back to normal?
Sept. 18, 2021
3 min read
No booze, no fun - DJ Luzit
Local DJs are feeling the pinch due to the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Nightlife has died in all urban districts
- DJs worried about not getting answers
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Disc Jockeys working as residents and freelancers across party hotspots are worried a lot as they have no answer to this question.
The government has since closed nightclubs as they are perceived super spreaders of the COVID-19 infections, said to be much fueled by consumption of alcohol at such places.
However, Local DJ Luzit is of the view that entertainment and booze should go together for a dance gig to be successful.
But this is in contrast with the set up stipulated by the government via its National COVID-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC), which allowed usage of alcohol only at family settings, as of Friday, September 17.
"Even if we forget about nightlife and perhaps shift our focus to day events, it would still be impossible to gain profits because most people attend our gigs basically for booze and music. Alcohol makes people happy and via its sales we benefit too. We get paid.
"We were hoping the government would this time around be considerate of these life challenging factors on our side but alas!" DJ Luzit.
Nightclubs have been closed from the time restrictions were imposed in the entertainment industry. Also initiation schools and parks remain closed while only allowed performances are to be staged on weekends and before 7pm with usage of alcohol prohibited.
"We do not deny the fact that the COVID-19 is real and kills but contend that it would be best for people to be allowed to learn to live with it," DJ Luzit also said.
From being busy six days a week to no work at all, the capital Maseru's booming nightlife came to a halt in mid-March 2020 and DJs haven’t worked since then. Most of them were unprepared for this.
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DJ Darling K says: “I’ve been deejaying since I was 19. I’ve worked as a DJ for almost two decades, but now I’m starting to feel the pinch. I can imagine how the newcomers must be managing.”
Not just freelance artistes, even resident DJs have started feeling the heat. DJ Timber, who works as a resident DJ at a party spot in Hlotse, Leribe says, “Right now I am a bit worried as I don’t have a secondary income.”
DJ Tsepza, resident DJ at a popular nightclub in Mohale's Hoek, adds, “Earlier, I would perform four five times a week, but the lockdown has put a complete stop to it. The lockdown was absolutely necessary, but I hope nightlife could also function too."