Celebrities share how the Covid pandemic affected their livelihood and health


Reflecting on the last 365 days in a global pandemic, award-winning DJ Prince Kaybee, Durban-based DJ Sox, whose real name is Mbusi Sokhela, and singer Brian Temba said the past year has been tough for all, especially entertainers.

DJ Prince Kaybee, Sokhela and Temba were among the many local personalities who include entertainment manager Rosie Motene, Gail and Kabelo Mabalane, actors Mlami Mangcala and Enhle Mbali, who revealed they had contracted the coronavirus last year.

Most recently, the shocking death of veteran journalist and political analyst Karima Brown added to the rising number of more than 50 000 people who lost their lives to the virus.

Prince Kaybee, who recently released his fourth studio album called The 4th Republic, said he had tested positive for the virus three weeks into the lockdown.

“The pandemic really affected me physically, emotionally and especially financially. Streams of income were blocked, you couldn’t do shows or get booked. You couldn’t do anything,” he said.

“[The virus] used to play with my mind, especially when I felt like I was losing my breath. I wasn’t doing any work when I got Covid.”

DJ Sox, who contracted the virus shortly after returning from Bali, said being health and hygiene conscious was an epiphany during this past year. “I had to learn to be more hygienic and maintain social distancing.

I had to watch what I eat, constantly steam and find ways to adjust to this new lifestyle,” he said.

Another element that changed his life since contracting the virus was through diversifying as an entertainer to survive the pandemic.

“Fortunately for me, I have business interests, but they are in the entertainment space, which was still affected by the pandemic, even though I am still a DJ. One had to look into diversifying into other industries as well,” DJ Sox said.

The Oh My producer said although the global pandemic changed many things, it allowed him to spend a lot of time in the studio perfecting his craft.

Temba, who contracted the virus last June, said: “At the time, Covid was very scary to many, and when you get your results that you have tested positive, you panic and you think you’re going to die.”

“We were not educated about the virus then, and it was nerve-wracking and created a lot of anxiety, but because my symptoms were not severe, I had to recollect myself and be positive. The hardest thing was not being able to be in contact with my family.”

The Hlala Nam singer said since being exposed to the virus he has become more educated.

“It’s still scary because there are different variants of the virus, although the first wave didn’t affect me that much, I’m always on alert and keep sanitising and distancing because I wouldn’t want to contract the virus again,” he said.

Reflecting on the year, he encourages people to take the virus seriously.

“There are home remedies to keep your immune system strong in case you contract the virus. A positive mind also helps in battling this pandemic,” said Temba.


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