Feature: Zambian celebrities use social media to educate public about correct use of face masks

2021-07-05 13:55:49 GMT2021-07-05 21:55:49(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LUSAKA, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Although the majority of people in Zambia are now aware of the danger of COVID-19, the wearing of face masks correctly has been one of the challenges for many communities.

It is for this reason that artistes and socialites in the country are turning to their social media platforms imploring followers and the general public to wear face masks correctly, noting that doing so helps to slow down the spread of the virus.

Victoria Wezi Mhone, a renowned Zambian music artiste who goes by the name Wezi, is among those who consistently urged their followers to wear face masks correctly and observe health guidelines meant to curb COVID-19.

"The importance of wearing a face mask is as vital as wearing it right. There is a risk of contracting the virus if you make mistakes so please make sure you not only wear your face mask but also wear it right. Stay safe friends COVID-19 is real," Mhone wrote.

Mhone goes on to explain that a face mask should cover the nose and mouth and implores her fans to wash their hands before and after wearing a face mask.

"I am desperately looking forward to a COVID-19 free world. I can't wait to live in a world full of possibilities of us organizing or going to sold out stadiums and concerts both local and international. Let's stay alive, stay safe and stay healthy so that when that day comes, we celebrate together," she wrote.

Zambia is a landlock country at the crossroads of central, southern and eastern Africa, with a population of more than 18 million. As of July 5, the country had registered 165,513 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,492 related deaths, according to the update about Zambia COVID-19 statistics given by the Zambian Ministry of Health.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Mutale Mwanza, a Zambian socialite, implored the Zambian public to ensure that they take health measures aimed at curtailing the pandemic by ensuring that they, among other things, avoid unnecessary movements.

"COVID-19 is a horrible (disease). It's claiming so many lives. If you really need to leave the house, please wear your face mask and wear it properly. The face mask is not meant for your chin or your forehead, make sure it covers your nose and mouth," Mwanza advises.

She goes on to recount, on her facebook page, how she tested positive for COVID-19 and as well as the recovery process.

"COVID-19 does not move on it's own, it's us who move it. Our health care system right now is overwhelmed. Health practitioners are doing their very best for us so let's help them by staying at home and save lives." Mwanza said.

Award winning Zambian music artiste Daputsa Nkhata-Zulu, who is popularly known as Sista D, asserted that there is still a lot of advocacy that needs to be done so that people fully appreciate the need to protect themselves and others.

Nkhata-Zulu, who has on a number of occasions used her social media spaces to engage the public in discussions about COVID-19 prevention measures, observed that some people are only compelled to wear face masks in order to have access to spaces like shopping malls and other public places where the wearing of face masks is mandatory.

"But they remove the face masks or pull them down the chin as soon as they leave these places. They do not understand that the face masks are meant for their own good and not to please authorities," she said during an interview with Xinhua.

And Precious Chisulo, a face masks reseller based in Zambia's capital of Lusaka, advised that there should be a law that prohibits people from going to public places without wearing face masks or not wearing them correctly.

While the majority of people are buying face masks, a substantial number of them are either not wearing them correctly or not wearing them at all, said Chisulo. "That is one way of ensuring that everyone adheres to COVID-19 prevention guidelines, including the wearing of face masks." Enditem