All eyes on us
This is how Bulawayo must be feeling this week as local and international exhibitors converged on the city, not to mention artistes that are also gathered for the Intwasa Festival; it is indeed a spring affair. Traditionally when a home has visitors, the children are expected to be at their best behaviour for the good of the family name.
It is against this background that these two events are being held in the city. There is no way that we will fail to make mention of the Covid-19 scourge that has affected all areas of our lives and terribly tampered with our calendars for many events, in some cases, as in the case of last year, led to the cancellation of events.
It has been long since we have seen people gather but it is important to note that this is being done under strict Covid-19 protocols. As individuals in the city, and those visiting the city of kings, we should not expect some age-old school principal, stick-in-hand monitoring. We need to be responsible enough to know what is expected of us so that we do not turn the Intwasa Festival and the Trade Fair into super spreader events.
It is crucial that we use experiences from these events to further refine our strategies on how we can slowly but surely head towards some form of normal events under the current circumstances.
When we sit down and evaluate the measures and effectiveness thereof after the events, we should be able to smile and pat ourselves on our backs that we did well.
We can only do that if we all pull in one direction and never attempt to cheat the system, throw caution to the wind or literally throw the mask into the bin! Prevention is better than cure.
We encourage everyone to social distance, sanitise and mask up at all times, and do the requisite tests, and be vaccinated, to protect yourself and others.
If we prove to the authorities that such events can be held safely without any regrets afterwards, this would help in building confidence towards opening up other areas so that we rebuild sectors that have been badly ravaged by Covid-19 due to lockdown regulations. It is not the regulations that will bring about the respite but our collective behaviour as a people.
Bulawayo is already showing the way in vaccination uptake.
Let us also demonstrate beyond doubt that we can also stage events safely in the Covid-19 era.
May all our visitors enjoy their stay, and to the hosts we urge you to be hospitable within the confines of the regulations, or rather ensure the visitors and investors are safe enough so you can continue to do business with them in future.