Some South Africans finding innovative ways to beat COVID-19 lockdown blues

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The lockdown has forced some people to think out of the box to try bring smiles to others. From working on recipe books, to delivering lessons to township children on radio and online, many are trying to ensure life continues for the better during the national lockdown.

Restaurant owner,  Creasen Govender, will not be working or generating an income over the lockdown period. However, he has begun working on a recipe book containing old family secrets.

“I am in the restaurant business. So, I am not working from home. It’s been an absolute stressful time over the last 5 days. It’s tough. I’m trying to figure out what to do and to keep myself occupied. I am currently writing a recipe book based on secrets from the family. My wife is out on the field. She is in essential services. She is doing good, but I fear for her being out there during this time, whether she will come home safely.”

While the financial woes for many continue to consume their daily peace, many South Africans have chosen to embrace this adversity with positivity.

Father, Gabrielle Naidoo has found creative ways to distract himself and his family from worry and panic.

“I’m enjoying family time that we don’t normally enjoy with our busy jobs. I downloaded the Grade 2 syllabus for my son and we did school work. We had a fun day drawing and playing with his toys.”

Some animal lovers have even opened their hearts and homes to alleviate pressure on animal shelters.

Claire Stevens is a regular foster and decided that her family had space for one more in their home.

“My 11-year-old daughter and I took in a pup called Molly Moon from fallen Angels. At a time like this, it’s important to show love and care and help wherever possible. Molly is a sweetheart and is keeping us busy and distracted. Puppy cuddles are a real bonus right now.”


Meanwhile, some of the 125 homeless people being housed at a Community Hall in Kempton Park, in Ekurhuleni, are just happy to be off the streets for now, even if their new-found comfort may be short-lived.

Even institutions are chipping in. The Joburg Theatre has partnered with community members from different townships, teachers and subject experts to assist in study material and methods for the Funda Endlini Home Education Programme.

The programme is distributed through community radio stations, newspapers.

Joburg Theatre Youth and Community Development Manager Ntsako Mkhabela says this is in preparation for back to school and June Exams.

“What we then do is that we can take plays and we can take the literature that is studied and we can bring that to life, either in audio form as we are proposed to do. We can make short clips that can be viewed via WhatsApp and YouTube, on Facebook. We can also have young people listen to the plays and be able to hear from an outside voice, what the story of My Africa or Macbeth should be like. We don’t know when this will end; we don’t know how long it will be. But what we do know is that life must go on. Children have to go to school. They have to finish their curriculum.”

Ten-year-old Happy Mathonzi from Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, says she hopes this programme will go a long way in helping with her learning.

“I stay with my grandmother. She is loving and caring, but she is not ‘educated’. Even when I’m at home, I don’t think anyone can help me with my subjects and my school education. I can listen to my subjects on radio, or read the newspaper. I can even use my grannies phone to google.”

Given the unpredictable COVID-19 situation, try to find a bit of positivity to put a smile on your face, or sprinkle a little joy to a stranger who might need a pick me up.