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COVID-19: Comedians achieve clarity with hilarity

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A look at the hilarious means of spreading the message to combat the spread of COVID-19. We say leave it to the comedians!

GOSEGO MOTSUMI

The spread of the COVID-19 is downright scary. But even with such a serious threat to human health, local comedians are using quirky but informative videos to educate the public about how to stay safe in the face of the coronavirus.

Creatives have taken heed of the Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ message at a press conference at Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino two weeks ago. Doctor Malaki Tshipayagae’s was an appeal to creatives to spread the gospel of the protocol to stop the spread of the pandemic. Some local comedians were soon going viral with quirky quips full of all the essential ingredients of combating the coronavirus.

Mjamaica, Jujuvine, and DONA BW took to social media platforms with comedy skits that urged hand-washing, social distancing and other best practices to combat the deadly virus. In his series of videos, Junior Sekolokwane better known as Jujuvine, is pleading with Batswana to practise good hygiene and care. In another video that was shared last Friday, the comedian urges people to stand together in prayer to heal the world. Over the years, Jujuvine’s online videos have garnered a large following locally and in neighbouring countries. He started comedy as a past time but soon realised that he was impacting lives.

When sources of false information and fake news flooded timelines about Botswana registering its first case of the coronavirus over the past two weeks, the Ministry of Health and Wellness moved swiftly to clarify that the country had not reported any confirmed cases of the coronavirus. “Information attributed to the ministry circulating on social media, particularly Facebook and WhatsApp, should be treated with caution,” the ministry’s spokesperson Doreen Motshegwa said in a statement. “Official correspondence is written on a letterhead, bears current date and signatures of government officials, their names and positions.”

New kid on the block, Kefentse Ntshekisang, famously known as DONA BW, reiterated the same message in a video, dismissing the claims made by fake news sources. Famed for making up stories and his ability to turn lies into truth, DONA works with his childhood friend, Gofaone Lentswenyane, also known as Cater in his comic videos that have gone viral online.

Many people around the world in recent weeks have begun working remotely and gathering places shuttered. Major events were called off, including national and international sporting events and religious pilgrimages in an attempt by governments to achieve social distancing by citizens.

Comedian Thabang Lowani, better known as Mjamaica, shares videos that uncover the brutal realities of quarantines and total lockdowns. His storyline is centred around the lengths that people can go to to create their own sources of entertainment while in quarantine or under lockdown. In his latest video, the comedian exposes the hilarious reality of being in quarantine with grandparents who won’t stop sharing side-splitting childhood stories that should remain in the past. Mjamaica exploded onto the Internet scene with a bang when one of his videos got up to over 5 million views in 2017 and he has been a hit since.

The coronavirus has stirred a global panic. People are clearing shelves and stockpiling supplies even though governments keep emphasising that the best way to protect oneself from infection is through thorough hand-washing with clean water and soap. Public education is essential at this point, and to try to get the messages across more effectively, more artists have become creative with hilarious results.

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