Music had been a great influence on many generations in Zimbabwe .With the likes of Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi, Alick Macheso and many others making music for every season and occasion.The music industry has grown vastly since independence with the introduction of several genres like urban grooves and Zimdancehall. With each year comes a group of many new artists looking to showcase their talent and in the process be able to sustain their families through this talent.This however in most cases has proven to be a very difficult task.
Very few Zimbabwean musicians are able to supply the basic day to day needs for their families let alone acquire wealth for their children.In an interview with Butterphly the television and radio personality on the Nashtv focus series, Enock Munhenga mostly known as Exq expressed that he was not satisfied with the income that music was giving him.This goes to say a lot given that Exq is one of the currently prominent musicians in the nation.
What exactly is causing this inadequacy? The most prominent issue is the current economic situaton with inflation constantly on the rise, most items have become expensive and some basic needs have become a luxury. Musicians are not excluded from feeling the pinch of this economic problem.However there are also other reasons like misappropriation of funds, lack of proper financial advice to mention a few.
Recently, Seh Calaz dancehall’s very own was making headlines after his wife exposed him for allegedly neglecting his family and squandering his money on alcohol and drugs. Alcohol, drugs and women have been aiding greatly in the bankruptcy of many of these musicians who end up losing everything they would have acquired. Several urban grooves artistes who took part in television and radio personality Profound ‘s “The Chamhembe story” series on YouTube also pointed out the fact that with the correct advice as to how to make money with music, how to handle it and also how to multiply it, the music industry could be a force to be reckoned with in terms of financial income.
The rolling stone magazine in one of their 2018 editions listed several ways by which artists in the American music industry ,which is one of the biggest music industries in the world, generate their income. Among the mentioned methods were streaming, album sales, album launches, live shows, advertisements, air play royalties and the secret weapon is investment. Several musicians in the states own businesses and labels and this contributes also to their income. Here in Zimbabwe there are also several musicians for example singer Jah prayzah who is worth US 1 million, Alick Macheso who is worth close to two million US dollars and a few others according to the Zimbolebs website. Jah prayzah has advised people to invest in property in an interview with the business gazette. Similarly Alick Macheso is known to own several properties. These are clear examples of the fact that families can do more than just survive on income from music.
So how can the younger generation of musicians learn how to handle their finances? More initiatives like the Pakare Paye Arts center by the legend Oliver Mtukudzi where artistes are trained and mentored are needed in the country. It goes without saying that the musicians themselves should make it a priority to learn from other musicians that have been able to accomplish financial stability. Its no secret that with the talent that Zimbabwe carries, people’s lives can be changed through music and not only emotionally, even financially. With the right financial decisions there is hope for musicians after all.