The Band Survives Covid

Nelson Mandeala Artillery pipes and drums wearing their masks at practice

We are 4 months into the National lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic here in South Africa and the pandemic is slowly showing some signs that it is slowing down. But the lockdown in March 2020 meant that we had to stay indoors for 3 weeks and only go out to the shops for necessary items. No visiting of family or friends, no working in the office unless you were an essential worker. This also meant that the Nelson Mandela Artillery Pipes & Drums weren’t allowed to practise together at the Castle of Good Hope, all gigs that was lined up for the band were either cancelled or postponed. But how do you keep the band together?

ZOOM to the rescue!

ZOOM is a site where you can host a conference, teach a class or have a meeting with people who are unable to attend the event. It is no surprise that ZOOM became extremely popular in South Africa. It allows you to host more than 10 people at a time and gives you an option of how you would like to be seen. Many businesses across the world has used the site to keep in touch with their clients and their employees. The Band sits at almost 20 people and the first ZOOM meeting they had was meant to be practising but the band has been known for family and just needed to talk, this was our Tuesday nights with a good chat, wine and laughter.

We needed it!

Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings were when the band got to get and practise without fail. Come rain or shine, they would be learning new music, practicing the old songs and marching around the grounds of the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. We would also frequent the Mitchells Ale House at the V&A Waterfront to perform to the tourists. This has changed quite a bit since the National Lock Down started on the 27 March 2020. Luckily ZOOM has kept us together and can’t wait to see the end of this pandemic. We have witnessed burnt supper during these sessions, heated debate on the regulations, ban of selling of alcohol and the internet. We thrive in constant interaction to make us sane during this time. If you don’t have ZOOM, WhatsApp conference comes at a close 2nd.

COVID-19 may have change the way we do things short-term but we stay strong and united as a band and we look forward to the future and keeping closer as a group.