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Surviving Lockdown: What to do When There’s no Work?

Countries across the world have declared national lockdown to control the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. We talk to Sanelisiwe Jobodwana who as an actor and drama teacher is faced with a total and immediate stop to her employment. All her performances, auditions, lessons and rehearsals have been cancelled. And when there is no work – there is no pay. Listen to Sane as she shares with Blaque how the lockdown has affected her, how she is planning to survive, and what impact this has had on her faith in God.

“I think acceptance is important at this moment. And also just remembering that as much as there is no assurance that it’s going to end, there is also no assurance that it is going to remain this way.”

Uncertainty is A Reality

Anyone who works in the Arts in South Africa is no stranger to uncertainty.

“This morning I had to realise that my career looks like a COVID-19. I feel like it’s in a constant state of COVID-19. And the reason that I say that is because – when I was thinking about all the precautionary measures that the government was telling us to make – what changes we have to make and the uncertainties of the future… And how gigs are being cancelled or postponed. How income is, you know, gonna fluctuate. And maybe you will go on with income and maybe you won’t. I was like “no man! That is just like a day in the actor’s life.” In a South African artist’s life.”

Adding COVID-19 Lockdown to the Mix

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 lockdown has amplified the challenges people in small business or unstable careers face.

“I didn’t want to feel anything. I didn’t want to feel despair, I didn’t want to feel hopelessness, I didn’t want to feel confused. I didn’t want to feel like I’m grabbing on to control that I know I don’t have. And so I just froze.”

We can clearly see the ripple effect on those around us who also do on-demand jobs:

If you don’t work, there is no pay

“the lady that was working for me, she also now doesn’t have that security in terms of a pay-check. Because she comes in, she cleans the house, I pay her. But I can’t pay if I am unpaid. So if I don’t have work that week, she doesn’t have work that week. It’s just become a ripple effect

How Will Anything Be OK?

Sane shares how she is processing the emotional impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. She is coming to realise that relying on others, clinging to God’s promises, and recognising that her days belong to Him will help to see her through.

“I personally have seen many times when God has turned around situations. Situations with health, situations financially. And there are just so many promises that God has made in terms of provision – that he is a safe house and that he is our refuge and that he will not abandon us – in the Bible. Those are really the things that I think that people should be clinging onto at this moment.”

This lockdown has made me realise what is actually important! What do I actually want to do with my time? And how is this glorifying God?

“This lockdown has made me realise what is actually important! What do I actually want to do with my time? And how is this glorifying God? I’ve literally just had that thought in my mind for the past 3 days. That because everything is so tight right now, there are certain things that I probably would have been doing that I am not doing anymore. Because I’ve realised that they’re just not as important.

I think that it’s really about doing everything that God has been nudging you to do, that perhaps you haven’t been doing. But also just dedicating your days back to God. And being so sensitive to the Holy Spirit and the work of God within you. I think for me that’s the biggest thing that we can do right now.”

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