Late Indian philosopher –Mahatma Gandi once say that a nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
It was in March 2020, when The Gambia government declared a state of public health emergency in response to the covid-19 pandemic, which has hit the country just as it has on the rest of the world.
Businesses and other activities deemed non-essential are ordered to halt activities during this period.
One sector that has been left to suffer is the entertainment sector, as all concerts, bars and clubs are short down as part of broader measures to curb its spread.
It’s against this backdrop that a meeting was recently convened as a communication platform for artistes to communicate and express their views on the state of the culture and creative industries which led to the formation of the Resiliart Movement in The Gambia.
Hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture through the National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC), the online meeting was fully supported by the UNESCO office in Dakar.
One of the measures designed to curb its spread, is social distancing and to avoid overcrowded places. A good number of our youths are involved in this sector either directly or indirectly. So what this state of public emergency mean for these people?
As one of the worst global pandemics in human history, covid-19 will continue to hamper lives and livelihood because the business it disrupts will be the same again.
We all know how small businesses suffered when it comes to making profit much more entangled with low sales aid lockdown.
Artistes who planned their concerts and shows are all cancelled, while some are about to embark on tours.
Therefore, the coming of this online meeting is a blessing in disguise. The meeting did not only avail artistes the opportunity to clear a roadmap for an intervention especially those active in the arts and culture sector. But it also helped them to highlight their concerns.
So we hope that concerned institution and stakeholders would act swift to salvage the plights of our hardworking artistes. We must bear in mind that arts and culture industry is central in any nation's development.