South Africa's local entertainment industry is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with social distancing and travel restrictions having all but eradicated the revenue stream that keeps the industry alive, in a matter of weeks. What seemed like overnight,  concerts, theatre performances, shows, events and film sets were no longer viable for the foreseeable future, and the future of the entertainment industry seemed shaky at best, and catastrophic at worst.


However, this industry is nothing if not resilient, and the quick transition of artists and organisers to explore online performances and live stream events to mitigate the impact on their revenue streams. 


According to industry expert Miyelani Mkhabela, Chief Executive and Capital Markets Strategist at Antswisa Transaction Advisory Services, technology is massively transforming the entertainment industry by creating new opportunities and better revenue models – with the COVID-19 pandemic  acting as a catalyst for this. "Thinking outside the box has become the new norm. Interesting collaborations are being formed, and state-of-the-art live stream shows now come complete with Zoom Rooms – the new Golden Circle VIP experience."  

The launch of #BeALegend campaign


Still, thousands in the entertainment industry need a helping hand right now. This is where local businesses like Distell have stepped in to make a difference.  One of its premium liquor brands, Gordon's Gin, recently launched its #BeALegend campaign to salute the legends in the entertainment industry who keep on creating and contributing in these trying times. 


'Gordon's Gin is a brand that prides itself on its 250-year legacy, and celebrates those building theirs.  That is why we have partnered with legendary entertainers to provide support and guidance to the entertainment industry in these trying times. It's our salute to the legends in the entertainment industry who have found novel ways to thrive despite the challenges,' says Brand Manager Kayla Hendricks.

Partnering with Kaya FM


The Original London Dry has partnered with Kaya FM to bring listeners the #BeALegend radio conversation series. During this four-part conversation series, hosted by presenter Kgomotso Meso, local legends who have planted deep roots in the industry will share their stories and wisdom with others in the industry.  Actors Nkosinathi 'NayMaps' Maphalala, Abdul & SK Khoza and DJs  Lamiez  and Oscar Mbo will be her guests for the respective shows, and there's no doubt that these vibrant conversations will leave listeners feeling inspired to keep on building their own legacies, no matter what.    


The conversation series kicked off on Saturday, 13 June with Meso and Maphalala discussing how Lockdown may have put a pause on production in the industry, but legends never stop being legendary. Maphalala is one of Mzansi's most popular actors, with a starring role in Mzansi Magic's telenovela 'The Queen'. He is also a musician and an astute businessman with his own clothing label, Nay Maps Clothing.

Salute to South Africa's entertainment industry legends

Image by Gordons Gin


Listeners who tune in on Saturday, 20 June can join in conversation with Meso and popular South African DJ and television personality Lamiez Holworthy, when they will tip their hats to the legends of lockdown – those who are keeping the creative fires burning during lockdown, no matter what.


Hendricks says, 'We know how difficult it has been, especially for our entertainers, to stay positive in the face of so much uncertainty, and we know the difference a helping hand can make. This is the impetus behind this conversation series and is also why Gordon's Gin is giving away R40 000 in funding to assist entertainers and entertainment industry groups with a much-needed cash injection.'  


To participate in the Gordon's #BeALegend Challenge and stand to receive monetary assistance, members of the entertainment industry need simply choose to step 'out of the ordinary and into the legendary,' by sharing their story on the Gordon's Gin social media platforms. Winners will be announced on-air on Kaya FM during selected #BeALegend conversation series' slots on Elite Nites. 


Anyone who would like to be part of the Gordon's #BeALegend conversation on social media can visit the Gordon's Gin Facebook page; or follow Gordon's Gin on Instagram and Twitter on @GordonsGinSA.