Keeping entertained during lockdown in Burkina Faso

on
24 April 2020
A screen grab from a video of Basile Ouedraogo playing guitar

Burkina Faso reported its first case of coronavirus in early March and it was the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to announce a COVID-19 fatality on 18 March.

Like many countries across the globe, the government has taken several measures to stop the spread of the pandemic, such as: encouraging working from home, social distancing, a curfew, travel ban and partial lockdown of markets and cities. WaterAid is working hard to play its part through raising awareness of good hygiene practices and through advocacy.

In the second of our Lockdown Diaries series, our Voices from the Field Officer for Burkina Faso, Basile Ouedraogo, talks us through his tactics for keeping himself entertained while confined to the four walls of his home.

Staying connected despite the distance

I've been working from home for two weeks. As a communications officer I'm finding it difficult because of the limitation of freedom to move, to travel, to meet people, to gather stories and to discover other places and environments, activities which are all crucial for my work.

"This is the office desk which I've put together in my small house to help me work from home during the lockdown. Thanks to my phone, my computer, and all their different applications, I’m able to stay connected, and to communicate and stay close to m ...
WaterAid/ Basile Ouedraogo

This is my working from home setup while I’m in lockdown: a table which I've repurposed as an office desk. Thanks to my phone, my computer, and all their different applications, I’m able to stay connected, and to communicate and stay close to my colleagues, my family and my friends, both in my country and globally, despite the physical distance.

Taking food away rather than eating in

I live alone, and I’m not used to cooking every day, so keeping my diet varied is becoming a challenge.

"This is some prepared food and provisions I’ve bought from neighbouring restaurants and shops and brought back home to eat. I’m living on my own in my house and I’m not used to cooking every day. I'm not particularly passionate about cooking. I only  ...
WaterAid/ Basile Ouedraogo

I'm not particularly passionate about cooking - I only normally cook during the weekends when I’m relaxing, or when my work schedule is not overloaded. I only know a few recipes, using ingredients like rice and pasta. Before lockdown was in place, I used to buy different dishes at restaurants and sit in to eat them. 

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic however, it isn’t permitted to sit in restaurants to eat or to spend any time in them. Restaurant workers now pre-prepare and package up meals and sell them for people to take home. I’ve been buying meals from neighbouring restaurants and shops and bringing them back home to eat. 

Escapism through reading

Reading is one of my passions and it’s a great pastime to help me cope with isolation. For me, books are great for entertainment, learning and virtual travelling.

"To cope with the isolation, I’m reading books - one of my passions. For me, books are great for entertainment, learning and virtual travelling.  This is a selection of some books that I recently added to my collection, my little home library, to read ...
WaterAid/ Basile Ouedraogo

This is a selection of some books that I recently added to my collection, my little home library, to read and use.

Playing music as a form of meditation 

This is my old guitar, which I’ve cleaned of dust, my flute and a music score. This time of isolation has allowed me to reconnect with learning to play music – although one of the guitar strings is broken, so I have to be creative and work around that.

A photo of Basile's guitar, a music score and his flute on his sofa.

Playing music on my guitar helps me keep myself entertained and helps me meditate. I use it to comfort myself in difficult times and moments of solitude. In the songs I play, there are words and sounds that advise, console or heal.

WaterAid’s global COVID-19 response

Right now, our teams in 26 countries around the world are working flat out to provide handwashing essentials to stop the spread of coronavirus.