SA events to go ahead as planned despite virus

Minnie Dlamini-Jones will host the Viewers Choice Awards.
Minnie Dlamini-Jones will host the Viewers Choice Awards.
Image: Minnie Dlamini Instagram

Panic over coronavirus has rocked showbiz with upcoming high-profile social events under threat amid health and travel concerns.

But organisers for the DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards and Yvonne Chaka Chaka founded Backing Vocalists and Session Musicians (BVSM) say they will cautiously continue.

The DStv awards will take place this Saturday at the Ticketpro Dome, in Johannesburg, with a seating capacity of 20,000.

Hosted by Minnie Dlamini-Jones, performers on the night will include Makhadzi, DJ Zinhle, Master KG, Semi Tee, Kammu Dee and Miano.

Stars such as Bonang Matheba, Somizi Mhlongo, Moshe Ndiki, Percy Tau, Anele Mdoda and DJ Fresh are nominated.

"MultiChoice Group has taken the necessary measures to assess and minimise potential risks to its employees, stakeholders and business operations in relation to the novel coronavirus [COVID-19]," said executive head of corporate affairs at MultiChoice South Africa Reggy Moalusi.

"We have not recorded any suspected cases within our organisation and will cooperate with the relevant health authorities in the communities where we operate, as necessary," he said.

Around 300 guests are expected to attend Chaka Chaka's awards at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, Soweto.

"The awards will go ahead as planned... the number of guests we anticipate are manageable."

Chaka Chaka added that they will be keeping track of updates on the coronavirus from minister of health Zweli Mkhize during the course of the week.

"He has promised that COVID-19 can be contained. He added that it was important for us not to panic, but to be mindful of everything we do.

"At the BVSM Awards we will urge our guests to take care and practice basic hygiene like washing hands with soap and avoid handshakes and hugs among themselves," Chaka Chaka said.

Annual tech, music and film conference SXSW has for the first time in its 34-year history being cancelled due to the outbreak.

It was scheduled to run for 10 days between March 13 and March 22 in Austin, Texas, United States.

South African artist Benny Afroe was scheduled to be part of this year's line-up that included Erykah Badu, Diplo, Lance Armstrong, Patricia Arquette and Tommy Hilfiger.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday the This Feeling musician said he was extremely devastated over the cancellation.

"I'm disappointed that I won't be able to perform my set as planned.

"I've put in a lot of time rehearsing for this show," Benny Afroe said.

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