Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
It has been almost five months since the novel coronavirus outbreak was officially declared a pandemic, resulting in countries around the world, including Zimbabwe, imposing lockdowns to curb the spread of the disease.
With many people working from home, it is the arts that most have turned to for comfort, entertainment and sometimes, just to escape boredom in the house.
Most people read books, watch movies, television and social media live streams among others as part of entertainment during the lockdown.
United Arab Emirates-based and Zimbabwean author and songwriter, Zvakwana Nomore Sweto has taken advantage of the current lockdown to write short stories and use the social media to connect with his fans.
Sweto, who is currently hosting online story telling sessions, said that the entertainment industry should now adapt and adopt the new norm in order to survive.
“As a digital marketing expert, I decided to use social media platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook to reach out to a wider audience. My Whatsapp followers have increased significantly as l share my stories with over 1 500 contacts. Currently I have been reading books and telling stories on social media, a trend which has gained momentum,” he said.
As many writers have decided to shift their novels to the near past to avoid the pandemic entirely, Sweto, has blended his creativity and versatility to introduce series short stories that cover social issues.
“After seeing that people are interested in series and movies, l decided to introduce the same style on my short stories. l am on season three now, episode five and each episode comes after three days.
“Each season has 10 episodes and these are for entertainment purposes, though several film directors have approached me as they want to use the material,” said Sweto.
He said although the lockdown has affected many in various ways, people just need to be creative.
“I urge creatives in the industry to embrace social media and build their brands through acquiring knowledge and advice from professionals in the digital field,” he said.
With one book under his belt, the author is working on a new book which is set to be released this coming summer.
Titled ‘Confessions – Not an Easy Journey’, the book is based on a true story. His first publication was well received on the market as pastors and various marriage counsellors used the book in mentoring couples.
Sweto’s stories are written in vernacular language with a mixture of English and slang and captures real life situations of what happens in the high-density suburbs.