CRITICALLY acclaimed musician Elton Mulenga, alias Yo Maps, says Covid-19 vaccines do not kill and all the myths and misconceptions about the pandemic are false.

In an interview, Yo Maps said as an artist, he had to be vaccinated because that was mandatory for anyone wishing to travel to certain countries.

“I’m vaccinated and I did a test for Covid-19 and it came out negative and I had to because as an artist sometimes we go to other countries to perform so you can’t travel without a green card [vaccination card], without you being vaccinated,” he said.

Yo Maps dispelled certain myths about the vaccine saying he had neither died nor turned into a monkey after getting a jab.

“However, there is nothing like, if you are vaccinated you will turn into a monkey, you will shorten your lifespan or you will change or die. I am vaccinated and I, myself, have not turned into a monkey or something, I’m still Yo-maps. You know, Bemba’s say life kuisunga wemwine ( protecting your life is a personal responsibility) you know. So we’ll not force everyone, you know, there are people who don’t believe in that but when they get affected, that’s when they will understand that okay ifi nomba ifilechitika fishinka (what is happening is true) but what I can say is that just get vaccinated and trust me, nothing will happen to you, it’s better to be on the safe side,” he said.

And Yo Maps admitted that the pandemic had a negative effect on artists.

“We are affected because as an artist, we make money through events and we were told not to gather crowds, so all shows were postponed so we were affected. So what we did because we saw that it was not okay for artists especially that we couldn’t put up events, so we used social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms to just reach out to our fans and we didn’t stop communicating, we didn’t stop giving them the music as well as entertainment,” he said.

“While from my perspective I think it was great because everyone was on social media, everyone was online, so the numbers pulled up and everything was great. The online performances really affected our income, as I said earlier we make money through these events that we set up. Because we couldn’t move, we couldn’t make events, we were just at home. But the thing is you can’t stop giving your fans what they deserve. We had no option but just to continue.”

He appealed to the government to intervene and help artists survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The government didn’t come in to help us in any way, they just banned the gathering and we couldn’t have shows, even weddings were cancelled. So the government didn’t provide any other options apart from the banning of gathering so we didn’t get help from the government. However, I remember we had this youth empowerment fund which took place last year, for me I think we need to respect the fact that Covid is something we cannot joke with, we need to take that seriously. I think maybe a youth empowerment fund programme but again it’s not something that is meant for you, for youths, it’s something that you need to pay back. So I don’t know, I’m sure the government can find any other way that artists can also benefit, without gathering, without performing, without having events then that will be better for each and every artist,” said Yo Maps.