Event organizer count losses after downing tools due to covid-19 pandemic

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Julius Karano, an event organizer downed his tools after Covid-19 pandemic caused the downfall of his business. He now sensitizes residents on the deadly virus. 

An estimated 300,000 people in Kenya have lost their jobs since the first case of coronavirus was reported in the country in the mid-March this year, according to government officials.

While giving the daily Covid-19 briefings on May 29, the Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Rashid Aman said the job losses have as a result affected over three million livelihoods in the country.

He said each or every person who has lost their job directly or indirectly affects at least ten other people. The number of those facing job losses is likely to grow as government continues to maintain measures to control the spread of the virus such as banning of all gatherings, closure of entertainment spots and maintenance of a dusk to dawn curfew.

The number reported is that of workers in formal sectors excluding employees on unpaid leave and those who have to suffer pay cuts.

The most affected sectors are transport, aviation, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, wholesale and trade, agriculture and the informal sector.

Julius Karano, an event organizer and comedian in Narok town has had to adjust his way of life and is now a renowned ambassador for Covid-19.

Karano, famously known as Ole Menye by his fans is one of the leading event organizers in Narok with services ranging from tent hiring and chair hiring, catering, public address system, decoration and entertainments.

Ole Menye told KNA that he has three employees who he pays a monthly income of Sh. 10,000 each and often engages other casual labourers when he has a lot of work load.

“My job is well paying especially during holidays when there are several occasions. In some good months, I earned a profit of over Sh. 150,000,” said Ole Menye.

However, things have fast changed since the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country that completely overhauled the way of doing things.

“When the department of health gave the directives to avert the new virus, I knew that I had to do something else as my job was severely affected,” said Ole Menye.

He said when the government announced the banning of all social events; he received calls from his clients on cancellation of their events.

“This alone was too heavy on me since the business was my major source of income. Over five customers cancelled the orders they had placed in one day and I had to return some of the money that I had already been paid,” he recalls with sadness.  

The talented comedian now roams around the busy town calling out on residents to follow the guidelines set to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

He does this voluntarily hoping that the virus will be contained someday and a sense of normalcy returns.

Ole Menye said,” Narok being a major tourist center and neigbouring Tanzania, there is need to educate people on how to keep the virus a bay as many people from different backgrounds flock our town daily.”

The 36-year-old man believes in the saying that ‘forward ever and backwards never’ and is determined to sensitize as many people as possible on how to avert the deadly disease.