DANCEHALL and hip hop artist, Brian Bwembya, alias B Flow says when he had suspected COVID-19, he kept it to himself and self-isolated, for fear of alarming his colleagues as well as being stigmatised.

And B Flow says he has continued to raise awareness about COVID-19 and the importance of getting vaccinated on different platforms.

In an interview, B Flow, who has been vaccinated, narrated that before getting the jab, he deliberately closed his house to visitors for a few weeks after he developed COVID-19 symptoms.

“Yes, I’m vaccinated. Before I was vaccinated, I didn’t test for COVID at the time but I knew that it was COVID because of the symptoms I was showing at the time. I remember obviously the flu, apart from that I had a fever, and then I also had, my sense of smell was really affected like I couldn’t smell things I remember. Even my sense of taste was also very compromised at the time, I remember. That time I think I stayed home for I think close to three weeks or more and deliberately closed my house to visitors or anyone leaving the house. I just made sure that we stocked up enough food in the house and we deliberately stopped moving. And I remember sending messages to the closest people who usually visit my house to say ‘for the next one month, we won’t be able to welcome visitors here. And because we feel this COVID situation is really bad at the moment, we want to see the situation and we will be able to let you know if you can visit or if we can step out and visit you’,” he said.

“And at the time, I think I didn’t want to alarm anyone and I think the whole thing of feeling like that stigma if I told my friends to say I had COVID, so I kept it to myself but I just made sure that I didn’t have contacts with people. At the time I think I was scared and maybe also there were too many myths around it. I was thinking, oh so I should be taken to some isolation centre or just self-isolate. So, I think there was that ignorance and I remember telling myself that, because of how difficult that period was for like a week or so I felt very weak, and after I was telling myself that if this ever happens to me again, I have to go to the hospital but later on after that, I actually tested at Victoria Hospital and it came out negative.”

And B Flow said he felt that most influencers had not done much in terms of raising awareness about COVID-19.

“I still feel we haven’t done enough as influencers in terms of raising awareness and just spreading the message because it looks like at the moment, almost everyone has relaxed in terms of making sure that the message goes to the masses. Because I think from the look of things a lot of people actually believe that COVID is no longer there, but we know that it’s still there, world over. And personally, in terms of what I’m doing with regards to sensitising the masses, I have partnered with UNICEF to raise awareness on different platforms. Using social media as well as appearing on a few events where we get to talk to people about the importance of getting vaccinated and how to prevent COVID-19 and just making sure that we continue to adhere to the five golden rules,” said B Flow.

“Apart from the partnership with UNICEF, personally, I have continued to walk the talk by ensuring that I sanitize, I always have sanitizer in my car. I always move with a mask whenever I go, whether it’s an event or entering a public place, a shop, I make sure that I wear a mask. And I think that by doing so, I’m also sending a message out there because when people meet me though, I’m masked up, I know people, a lot of times they recognise me. Then they think it’s a way of hiding my face when I wear a mask. So I always remind people that no, I’m not doing this to hide my face, I’m doing this to protect myself and to protect you who I’m going to interact with from the risk of COVID-19. So I always use that as an opportunity to raise awareness and just me doing it, sending messages out there, where people know that ‘oh so he continues to do this because he believes that COVID-19 is still in our midst’.”