By Wendi Ndaki
The Coronavirus was first detected in Kenya on the 12th of March 2020. I remember I was at a scriptwriting training in Baraza Media Lab, Nairobi on that day when one of our facilitators broke the news to us. A week later my father was scheduled to travel to Germany for work and he was not certain whether or not he would proceed with the trip. Luckily, he ended up travelling on the 23rd of March right before the Kenyan airports were locked. He got stuck in a French airport while on transit for a whole day before he could proceed with his trip. He arrived safe and sound and we were glad. That is a small and personal recount of my own experience with the coronavirus otherwise my family and I have been blessed with good health.
The virus has affected the way we learn now and many children will have to skip a year in school. As a child, I was always excited when schools closed. However, repeating a whole year in school is not something I would have been excited about. Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has been providing school programs through online means, radio as well as television. Unfortunately, while some have been able to cover their syllabus this way, not everyone has the resources and access to the technology needed for this kind of learning.
Entertainment has gone virtual and brands are embracing this new trend and have been sponsoring online concerts such as the recent Sauti Sol album launch. The travel and tourism sectors were the most affected on the onset. International flights were cancelled meaning we did not have international tourists coming in. We also had a county lockdown which also affected local tourism. This resulted in heavy job cuts and revenue losses. Artists and many other stakeholders in the entertainment industry have resorted into finding alternative sources of income like offering essential products and services. Oyo a musician currently engaged in bag gardening told (Xinhua) in an interview.”My friend introduced me to this method of farming last year but I was too occupied with my music career. However, when live shows became elusive, I decided to venture into it so that I can continue feeding my family.”
In addition to the sensitization, the Kenyan government is doing to educate the public on how to stay healthy there are also some innovative ways it is coming in to help Kenyans. According to Anne Nyagah Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture who was interviewed by (Xinhua) “The government is launching a campaign to establish kitchen vegetable gardens, we have issued guidelines to support both rural and urban dwellers with technologies for setting up within the resources available.” Other than keeping Kenyan families fed this initiative will also help boost the immune system of Kenyan households as they feed on organic vegetables.
We are resilient people and we are finding ways to cope during this pandemic and it is very encouraging.