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UKZN drama students create COVID-19 educational video

UKZN Drama and Performance Studies students recently created a fun, entertaining video about the COVID-19 virus that can be viewed on YouTube. The 20-minute video relays important information on how one can protect themselves from contracting the virus, such as washing hands for 20 seconds and sneezing or coughing into the crook of the elbow.

The six students: Tshepang Sehlabaka, Simamkele Sukanazo, Samkelisiwe Ndimande, Vukile Cebo Ngwenya, Ayanda Jali and Nompumelelo Moyo present this through a catchy song-and-dance number.

This educational performance piece was initiated by their lecturers, Dr Miranda Young-Jahangeer (School or Arts Teaching and learning Academic leader) and Ongezwa Mbhele, who approached the honours' students to conceptualise a performance about COVID-19.

"I wanted the students to utilise popular forms of theatre and use theatre to convey information about the coronavirus and precautionary measures that should be adhered to. The students engage rhythmically while incorporating sounds such as clapping, and that, in a sense, encompasses the practice of applied theatre," said Mbhele. "Although the students had learnt this in second year, they were now able to put this module into practice by addressing social ills."

Apart from precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus, the video also attempts to dispel misconceptions about COVID-19 that are spread on various social media platforms. "Our performance seeks to create awareness of the pandemic, but we also tried to switch it up by using current dance moves to lighten this very serious issue and to make it relatable to the youth," explained Jali.

The students created the performance piece a week before the national lockdown. "People have commended us for stepping forward, applauding us for putting a creative spin on the issue. It also encouraged others to start making clips about this issue," he added. "We hope the video creates greater awareness about this pandemic and for people to start taking the necessary precautions to flatten the curve."

To watch the video, click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eWTF_W9Pqc.