The next continent to discuss their Lockdown experiences are those from Africa. If you are just joining this series, you can click here to view the previous posts from Asia and Oceania. The countries included in this post are Madagascar, South Africa and Nigeria. I wish I had been able to get more variety here, maybe I will do a second series if this one is successful? (Let me know if you’d want more!!)
At the time of writing this (Friday 15th), the number of recorded cases across the continent just exceed 70 thousand. It has been said that Africa is the poorest ‘inhabited’ continent and therefore the infrastructure and healthcare in these countries is arguably lacking. These thoughts haunt me when I think about the potential number of cases and therefore deaths as a result.
I also want to note here that these are all real people who are not experts , they are discussing their real lives and they are simply answering the questions I asked. Those questions were;
- Briefly introduce yourself, where in the world you are and who you are locked down with.
- How has this experience impacted you and your daily life?
- What is the general feeling of the lockdown situation in your part of the world?
- What are you doing to stay positive/active in this weird time?
- What are you missing most from ‘normal life’ and what will be the first thing you do when this is all over?
Also please remember that English might not be the first language of these amazing people so be mindful and kind if there are any grammar or spelling issues.
Kieran, Antananarivo Madagascar
I’m currently marooned on an Island in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Africa called Madagascar. Since my last captains log I was stranded alongside my 3 shipmates, although I haven’t seen one of them in a few days and so he cannot be accounted for.
Well, I usually teach in Madagascar at the British School of Madagascar. Teaching being an incredibly interactive job, especially with 13 year old kids, means the switch to online teaching has welcomed its fair share of challenges. Although I have went from teaching 6 hours of chemistry a week to 2, all thanks to you, Covid-19.
Other than that, my plans to join the gym and start jogging next Monday have went completely out the window and I’ve had to resort to playing animal crossing for 3 hours a day. It’s absolutely infuriating.
I have had more time however to work on my own writing, which is always welcome.
There’s a phrase here in Madagascar called ‘Mora mora’ which means ‘Slowly slowly’. The general attitude towards life is that of typical island fashion and so when a pandemic threatens to close the markets, stores, and main food supply to 80% of the population, the population tends to think about the bigger picture. Masks are mandatory outside in the streets and in stores however the Malagasy population tend to just wear them as chin straps. On the other hand, as a ‘Vazaha’ (Foreigner), it is punishable by street sweep to not wear a mask. Even inside your own car. I’ve been pulled over twice to be told to ‘put my mask on’.
Also we have Covid Organics. A herbal remedy funded by, created by, and endorsed by our one true leader Andry Rajoelina, the President of Madagascar. Africa is buying into it and the whole population are throwing litres down their throats.
I’m trying to cook a lot more, discovering new recipes. As I said I’ve had a nice chance to delve into reading and writing a lot more now and so I often sit on my balcony with a vanilla rum gazing off into the distance pretending to be Ernest Hemingway in a slum Cuban apartment.
Also living a second life on a secret island, slave to a capitalist raccoon and his outrages mortgage payments. A few of us have also managed to drive out to the nearby forest and hills to go on a hike every now and then. Social distancing measures that even Boris would be proud of.
What I miss most from normal life is Malagasy dive bars. A real hive of scum and villainy but the finest rum East of Africa. Cheap booze, wandering eyes, sticky floors and hollering locals. The finest living.
You should follow Kieran on Instagram for amazing Malagasy content: https://www.instagram.com/kieranhousa/
Magdalene, Lagos State, Nigeria
My name is Magdalene Enimhienomo. I am a Nigerian living in Lagos state which is usually the busiest city. I have been living with three of my younger sisters, so we are all Lockdown together.
I have been going to work as the corona virus cases started rising in Nigeria. So the idea of lockdown seems nice she it first started. It was such a relief that I won’t be exposed to others who may have the virus that may come to my desk at work.
After a few days in lockdown, it got boring. I had to look for things to entertain me at home. I started to work out, watch movies and gist with siblings to pass the day. Also, I haven’t been able to see some of my family members till date.
Nigerian market is one of the busiest market there is even the lockdown couldn’t stop the crowd. It is so difficult to follow social distancing. It can quite scary to go grocery shopping. Also, I spend all my time lying on my bed for hours instead of my usual hustle bustle.
For some, Lockdown is a welcome development to curb the spread of the pandemic. Some others whose income depend on going out daily like labourers and hawkers, would rather go out than stay in doors. The funny thing is that some individuals in my country still don’t believe there is a pandemic in the country. They sum up it as propaganda of some sort.
One thing I started doing is working out, I don’t do this at all. Staying in bed for hours reading or watching movies makes my body numb due to inactivity. Also, I have started reading to gain more knowledge on things so I work on my personal development. This makes me feel confident that I will be ready for the world when all this is over.
I have chosen to dance and life likes it’s normal out there while paying less attention to the all the negative stories out there.
I love the outdoors so I have planned some vacations for myself before the pandemic for this year. So I miss the beach, and going for runway shows. I will be going the beach first as soon as the world is normal.
You can connect with Magdalene here:
Sihle, Johannesburg, South Africa
My name is Sihle Msiza, 23 years old I’m a South African fashion blogger based in Johannesburg (known as the city of gold). During these hard times I’m glad to say I’m blessed to be locked down with my parents, I wouldn’t trade them to be with anyone else.
Lock down has been tough, not being able to go wherever you want is really frustrating, as an influencer my life has took a turn, I can’t attend events anymore and most campaigns that I was supposed to be doing are kept on hold, I’m not even sure if we’ll be able to proceed after the lockdown I’m just hoping for the best.
The entire country is devastated, especially due to the fact that cases of COVID-19 are increasing daily, we are now standing at 10 000 infected people, this is devastating because this is really a huge number, It’s shocking how we went from having 1 infected person to now having 10 000 cases, it’s really sad. Our Government is trying by all means to flatten the curve.
I try to stay positive by reading books, listening to podcasts, creating content and connecting with friends through the phone. Most importantly keeping my environment clean and always washing my hands and wearing a mask whenever I go to the grocery store, although our streets are not as empty as most countries I’ve seen on TV, at least people are wearing masks and keeping their distance. We hope to flatten the curve sooner than we thought.
I miss socialising with people, I miss going out with my friends and attending all the events, I miss dressing up to go somewhere and meet new people. When this is all over I will definitely go on a vacation to the Português island In Mozambique , I’ve planned this trip before lockdown began, although I won’t be able to go on the planned date but I’ll make sure to go when lockdown is all over.
You can follow Sihle on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sihle_stylist/
And with that, our African tour is over. Again i’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in this post and to you for reading it. Don’t forget you can subscribe with your email below (very far below) and get notified when the rest of the series comes out.
Stay Safe, Stay Home