Veteran musician Patrick Simakweli is struggling to make ends meet since he has not been holding shows due to Covid.
The artist relies heavily on live performances to make money but due to the pandemic he is not doing anything.
And, just last week, his house in Chilomoni Township in Blantyre collapsed due to heavy rains.
Life is tough for him in the absence of live performances but yesterday he was all smiles as Blantyre-based theatre group Solomonic Peacocks donated foodstuffs to him as part of Covid response.
Solomonic Peacocks, with funding from Segal Family Foundation through a partner in United States of America, has been donating foodstuffs as part of supporting artists this time that many creatives are struggling to support their families.
Their support yesterday to Simakweli follows another donation they made last week to other artists.
“Life is difficult at the moment for artists since they cannot hold performances. Solomonic Peacocks has been engaging partners to support artists.
“We started off with donating masks and now we have this Covid response for artists where we are giving them a package which has, among others, maize flour, rice, salt and beans,” Solomonic Peacocks Director McArthur Matukuta said.
He said their target is to reach out to 100 artists and that so far they have managed to donate the foodstuffs to more than 50 artists.
“We are donating to every artist and this is why we are supporting Patrick Simakweli today. We heard from colleagues that he was struggling and that his house collapsed and so, we thought of helping out,” Matukuta said.
He called on well-wishers, the government and the corporate world to assist artists during this time that they are not holding any events.
“For instance, as Solomonic, we closed our offices last year and we are working from home. Our colleagues in other fields are being supported and we need help too,” Matukuta said.
Before the donation to Simakweli, Solomonic Peacocks also donated Covid response packages to artists such as actors Tame Mwawa and Madalitso Kamwendo.
Simakweli, who has starred with several musicians and currently performs at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre and Kwa Haraba Art Gallery and Café, hailed Solomonic Peacocks for the gesture.
“I didn’t see this coming but praise God that I have got support from Solomonic. I didn’t have food but Solomonic has helped me on this. My call is for players out there including the government to assist groups like Solomonic to reach out to us; otherwise, we will die of hunger since we can’t make money in the absence of performances,” Simakweli said.
Showing his excitement in receiving a package, Simakweli gave out an acoustic performance that saw him offering a Covid awareness track.