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MBABANE – ‘We are glad that the entertainment sector has also been recognised during the COVID-19 pandemic’.
These were the words said by the Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture (ENCAC) Chief Executive Officer Stanley Dlamini, in an interview with the Entertainment Desk.

This was after the Prime Minister, Ambrose Dlamini, on July 3, 2020, announced that cinemas would be opened.
Stanley shared that they were happy to be recognised by government as some people make a living through the entertainment industry.

“We are happy because indoor activities can be manageable. We are also glad to be recognised as a sector,” he said.
It is worth mentioning that ENCAC CEO Stanley once shared possible ways of keeping the entertainment industry vibrant during the pandemic, which included indoor events.


The CEO shared that the reopening of indoor events could be possible if health precautions were applied.
This would allow individual artists to render their performances in a controlled space that can abide by the regulations.
The health regulations set by government, state that owners should provide screening for all workers and clients when entering premises, social distance markings outside cinemas to control queues, regularly sanitise and disinfect all surfaces.

“Spacing of clients inside cinema auditorium (at least two seats in between), cleaning after each screening. Reduce number of showings to give staff a chance to clean in between screenings and wearing of masks at all times for both clients and workers,” read the prime minister’s statement.
It is worth noting that the new guidelines will be effective from July 19, 2020.
Eswatini is not the first country to reopen cinemas during the pandemic. According to Screen News, countries like Austria, Belgium and Bulgaria have opened their cinemas and following all health precautions to stay safe.


Meanwhile, the owner of the newly- established movie theatre called the Julio’s Cinelux, situated at the hub of Eswatini, Manzini, Johan Botha said they were aware of the prime minister’s declaration and they would be ready by the end of July.

“Yes, I saw the announcement by the prime minister. We should be ready by the end of July but we are waiting for confirmation from the film companies on when the first films will be available,” he said.

The owner of renowned Movie Zone, Adrian Vanwyk, said they saw the announcement but will be opening in August.
“We are hoping to open in August. We still need to update our equipment,” he said.

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