By A Correspondent- Sungura musician Alick Macheso’s two concerts scheduled for this weekend in South Africa to celebrate his forthcoming 53rd birthday have been cancelled due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in that country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has since imposed a level two lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Macheso, who turns 53 on June 10, had lined up an early birthday treat with his fans in Johannesburg with a gig at the Germiston Lounge in Germiston on Friday and the following day at Newtown Music Factor in Newtown.
However, Ramaphosa on Sunday announced hard lockdown measures including a night-time curfew which will start at 11 pm while he also cut the number of people allowed to gather.
No more than 100 people can attend events indoors, while the number for those held heldoutside was halved to 250.
In the wake of the COVID-19 announcement, Xtratime Entertainment director Tongai Mbidzo confirmed the postponement of Macheso’s two shows.
“In the interest of public safety, band safety and in compliance with revised COVID-19 restrictions in South Africa announced by President Ramaphosa last night (Sunday) we have decided to put the event on hold until further notice,” he said.
“Computicket will refund all those who had purchased advance tickets. Any inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted. ”
The sungura king would have been supported by Zimbabwean musicians based across the Limpopo who include Dino Mudondo, Ras Bleds, Nox, Tyfah Guni and Paddy Watts.
Mbidzo said the gigs were meant to celebrate Macheso’s birthday in song and dance, something they used to do with the late Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi.
“Such shows aim to honour our legends while they are living. We used to do these shows with Mudhara Tuku meant to celebrate their days on earth through song and dance,” he said.
“With such gigs, we give our youngsters based here in South Africa an opportunity to share the stage with the legends.”
Macheso publicist Tich Makahamadze said: “We had done everything for the South African gigs, but we have to abide by the laws of that country especially at a time when everyone is fighting COVID-19.”