Lockdown inspires creative activities

Clarissa Scholtz, 12, gives her grandmother, Margaret Dowman, a facial at their make-believe spa.

Some people from the greater Athlone area have proven to be quite creative during this lockdown period – coming up with all sorts of activities to keep busy and to knock boredom out the door.

One Parktown family, in particular, has gone one step further to document the days under lockdown – creating make-believe events, complete with props – on social media.

Cheryl Scholtz, her parents Margaret and Edward Dowman, and her children, Justin, 21, and Clarissa Scholtz, 12, feature regularly on whatever adventure the family members find themselves in. While Ms Scholtz’s husband, Lionel, makes an occasional appearance, as he is among the country’s essential workers.

It was Ms Scholtz’s idea to start this initiative. Her relatives were all too eager to join. Some of the things they have “embarked on”, include “going to a spa”, creating a space for dress designing, and dressing up to celebrate Africa.

Ms Scholtz explains that she has a lot of props, as she usually hosts events for seniors or her friends, and the idea came about to make good use of these to keep her family busy during lockdown. She takes photos and posts them on social media every day.

“My intention for posting on Facebook and WhatsApp is for everyone to see it is possible to enjoy yourself in the midst of it all. God is in control. I didn’t really plan it, it’s just that I have been so busy before lockdown with many events, and I thought why can’t I do it for my own family? We don’t realise how our negative energy can affect those near to us. For this reason, I meditate, not only because it helps me with my creativity, but also because I don’t want that negative energy that anxiety brings about.

“I did not have to convince my family to be part of the plan. My parents and children even asked me what is next on the agenda. I come up with the ideas, and they give their input too. A lot of people say this lockdown is a challenge, but I don’t want to focus on the negatives,” Ms Scholtz said.

For Melanie Jacobs, 20, from Kewtown, visual art is her saving grace.

She has no formal training in art, but she is passionate about capturing the vast cultures and religions of the world.

Before, she would draw once a week, because she is also a full-time dance student at Dance For All in Athlone, but these days, she draws almost every day to keep busy.

“I have always loved any form of art. I have been doing visual art since the age of 13. Now with lockdown, things can get very boring at home. When I do art, it distracts me from the time I spend at home. I would like to encourage other artists, especially dancers, to find other skills they are good at. Dancing as a career is very short, so it’s important to expand your skills,” Melanie said.

When she is not drawing, she gets in some exercise, and makes sure she eats healthily.