Jobless Thai singer performs in market to get through Covid-19 hard times


An out-of-work Thai singer turned to busking to survive during Covid-19.

Jiraporn Tapa, 37, used to make a comfortable living by performing in big festivals and cultural events across the country.

However, the singer was left jobless when the Covid-19 pandemic lead to a ban on social gatherings so to earn money, she now drags a rolling speaker to markets where she sings for passersby.

Footage shows the beautiful performer singing for meat and vegetable vendors before extending a red bucket to them to ask for donations in Maha Sarakham province on July 1.

Jiraporn said: ‘I have been singing traditional Mor Lam in festivals for almost 20 years but it all changed during the pandemic.

‘I used to get 20 bookings a month but now I don’t even get to do a single performance because of the Covid-19 guidelines so I thought of performing in the market to help my family.

‘Sometimes I meet with my fans who would also give me some money and food. As I am still alive, I will do whatever it takes to help my family survive from the ongoing pandemic.’

Covid-19 forced the closure of bars, restaurants clubs and entertainment businesses in Thailand leaving several workers including artists jobless.

Thailand has recorded 270,921 Covid-19 cases and 2,141 deaths as of July 2. Ministers hope a vaccine rollout that started this month will allow them to re-open the country to international tourists before the end of the year.

Economists have warned that it could be another five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels. 

Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen. 

Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.