Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zim artists must invest and prepare for life after career

By Tawanda Marwizi

Artists need basic training skills so that they are able to package and market their products and services beyond the country’s borders. 

Bhonzo walking on the streets recently
Bhonzo walking on the streets last year

There are issues that artists need to understand for them to operate professionally rather than as a hobby as has been the case over the years.

Basic communication skills, the development of a brand, how to handle fame and finance, legal advice and the ability to present a professional package for the market are some of the tenets that will take their careers to another level.

And because art does not have a retirement package, it is essential for the artist to invest and prepare for life after his career.

Most local artists have not been able to save for a rainy day, if cases that have been reported in the media are anything to go by.

Most musicians struggle to raise money for medical bills and relatives usually end up chipping in financially on medical bills and worse still shoulder funeral expenses after the death of an artiste, which should not be the case.

When Ngwenya Brothers frontman Tedious Matsito was involved in a car accident, friends, well-wishers and the corporate world had to sweep to his rescue.

It could have been that when calamity struck, he had not saved enough for such an eventuality.

The issue of investment remains a bone of contention that artists have to address at individual or group level.

Oliver Mtukudzi’s establishment of Pakare Paye Arts Centre should be a lesson to a number of artists who are still to invest.

Sculptor Dominic Benhura has turned one of his houses into a gallery while theatre guru Davis Guzha managed to establish a theatre in the park venue that can be used for years.

The late Simon Chimbetu had a farm and several properties that he left for his family.

So rather than bank on daily gate takings or ticket sales whenever they hold shows, artists should be encouraged to think outside the box and look for other investments to lean on, should they fall ill, or even die .

It is sad that several prominent and internationally-acclaimed artists died, leaving their children wallowing in abject poverty.

Mhosva Marasha a.k.a Biggie Tembo was a world-acclaimed musician who toured countless countries, but after his death, his wife Ratidzai reportedly lived in an unelectrified two-roomed cottage in Snake Park.

So popular was the musician and Bhundu Boys that at one time they staged a show with the world’s female musical icon, Madonna, sleeping in plushy hotels around the globe.

Sadly he failed to invest.

Artists would need also to be taught how to handle fame so that they can relate to their audience and live within their means and not sink into poverty and destitution on retirement.

Actor Lawrence Simbarashe, popularly known as Bhonzo is one artist who failed to handle his fame, blowing the savings he made during the time he was a television personality.

He has since been reduced to a beggar despite having lived large, driving top-of-the-range cars when he was at the crest of his career.

In such cases, artists have to be taught the importance of investment, the areas to invest in, how to manage their incomes and handling fame.

Rather than spend money on frivolous items like flamboyant designer clothes, acquiring expensive cars and renting nice apartments in town, they should be spending time inquiring about different investment portfolios that match and suit their incomes.

In light of all this, it is important that stakeholders of the arts industry should guide artists through different training programmes.

By educating artists on such issues, it is another way of encouraging high level of professionalism within the arts sector.

Once local artists are equipped with basic skills, they stand a better chance in penetrating different global markets and effectively market their brand.

Basic communication skills are also vital for the artists in assisting them to negotiate deals among other issues.

For instance, several artists have been appointed brand ambassadors of international organisations and it becomes imperative for them to have basic communication skills rather than waiting for their managers to communicate everything.

Chitungwiza Arts Centre recently embarked on training of their artists with basic skills.

The chairman of the centre, Taurai Tigere said the programmes are meant to encourage high level of professionalism among their artists.

He said the training programmes were targeted at encouraging professionalism within the stone work industry.

“These programmes are meant to encourage artists to be professionals. The areas covered so far includes development of brand, financial management, marketing, public relations as well as planning, goal-getting and good habits,” he said.

Tigere said they believe that those who are able to attend the seminars will experience change in their artistic business when they begin to implement the principles they learn.

“Many artistes do not plan for a life after ‘working life’ and even issues such as funeral policy as well as medical aid. They should be taught about informed decisions including how to invest money when they have some to spare.

“They should be knowledgeable about different forms of investments like unit trusts, real estates and opportunities in agriculture,” he said.

The arts centre has engaged some professionals in different fields to share their knowledge with the artists at the centre. Artists from the centre said the soft skill seminars were useful not only to their careers but in their entire life.

Rufaro Murenza, an award winning sculptor, said though the artists had the talent they were supposed to have good marketing strategies as well as the ability to communicate with their clients.

“For exhibitions that are held outside the country artists should have the knowledge to communicate with the buyers as well as having the skills to lure them. Such seminars are very useful to us as artists,” he said.

The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) said though it does not deal directly with individual artists they communicate via arts organisations in which the artists are affiliated.

NACZ communications manager Cathrine Mtombeni said arts organisations are registered with National Arts Council of Zimbabwe according to the Statutory Instrument 87 of 2006.

“NACZ organise meetings annually that among other sectoral issues discuss the importance of professionalism in arts and culture business, training workshops for adjudicators and instructors in provinces to equip them with basic skills that add value in their careers

“Annually we hold a national arts and culture indaba to discuss deliberate and recommend specific professional courses of action in the creative industries,” she said.

She said they have been writing articles on how stakeholders in the arts and culture sector should conduct their business in a more organised manner for their growth as well as the sector. They also provide skills coaching lessons to stakeholders in the arts and culture sector.

“We have been partnering with international organisations and individuals in skills training of stakeholders in the arts and culture sector.

“NACZ has successfully lobbied for the teaching of arts and culture courses in tertiary institution as well as the inclusion of the same in the new Primary and Secondary Education New Curriculum,” she added.

Mtombeni said they have been publishing critical information in the sector such as, Arts Directory, User’s Guide to Copyright Law among other publications. Introducing regulation such as Festival Guidelines as a way to ensure standards.

Several other companies should encourage artists and engage them to participate in some of their activities. The Herald

  • Kuti ange as in a in we mhuri pa side kkkk

  • Where do you invest in Zimbabwe?

  • Shame on Zanu pf government of poor thieves for letting musicians die poor.

    • I disagree those guys made money they should have invested in properties.Government cannot plan for individuals.

    • Ok Alista Homberai is it fine as it stand that a popular musician like Big Tembo died poor and his wife is struggling does that make you happy bro even though he did’t invest on Zim property.

    • The truth of the matter is that we don’t have a government that cares.

    • I am not happy with the difficulties facing family members of celebrities however the point i am trying to get people to understand is to get their priorities right.The government is broke.They are millions of families who need food,shelter,jobs etc.Thus the celebrities must plan for life after fame.Some musicians i know of have built houses and are living comfortably with their families.

  • That picture you mean its biggie tembo…..is it not mudhara bonzo

  • also thot its mdra bhonzo

  • Stop blaming the artists u can only invest in a stable environment and in our case fame has little if not nothing to do with wealthy unofadza nyika yese usina kana cent muhomwe. Shame

  • Ndozvazviri kunzi shasha hazvirevi kugona zvese.Zvimwe unotopotsawo senyaya yaMhosva Marasha nephoto yaLawrence Simbarashe.Vanhu ivava dzaiva shasha asi dambudziko ravo vese ndere vakadzi kana vaibata mari.SaMhosva ndichikurangarira achimupenyu band rake rese vachichinjana kamukadzi kechirungu ende band rese rakaparara ipapo

  • Poor admin,put ur acts together before publishing.

  • Investing is suppose to be incouraged in all sector even sport personality ,constructing industry to mentioned a few ,we have cases of Mukandawire begging in the streets of south Africa but they were great players

  • Iwe zanu pf yapinda papi apa ita mushe nxaaaaaa

  • Investment is not only for celebrities but for each and every individual who happens to have an opportunity whilst the sun shines. You can be professional, a trader etc. if you happen to be making money, lets us all invest in case of a rainy day.

  • lot chitakasha

    Mudhara Bhonzo has fallen on hard times,used to see him a lot paNyamutamba,he was a jovial old fellow! In general everyone needs to invest for a rainy day but the cases of artists and sports persons draw attention because of their fame. I also hope vapfanha veZimDancehall are investing, I have read that some of them are making as much as 2,000 USD per week. That is a lot of money. Kana vakufarisa they should listen to Musango Ndodzungaira by Kenneth Chigodora…dai ndakavaka musha,ndaionawo pekugara..great song,great message!

  • Big message

  • ndiye Big Thembo wacho here uyo ane ndebvu kudai.Admin

  • Don’t blame the artists, entertainment in Zimbabwe doesn’t pay.

    • Ukaita zvisina musoro it doesn’t pay but vamwe are killing it. Look pple like jah prazah from nowhere vava ne cash. Plan chete daddy. Money haupedze

  • Saka photo iroro ndere mukadzi wa biggie tembo here.?

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  • Ndatofunga ndimdhara Bonzo neniwo?

  • Musicians are a class of pple who do not think abt tomorrow. We have many musicians who die very poor to the extent that their wives we be left with nothing except guitars. What surprises is that if a popular musician who fill all venues to capacity when performing, he still die poor, they don’t think abt the tomorrow of their wives and kids, despite the fact that it is one class of pple who have very short life span.

  • Lets not be quick to pass judgement on these guys. For the 80’s 90s musicians who were under record companies, I believe they use to get about 7 cents on the dollar and if you were big you could get about 15 cents on the dollar. Now this money usually went to the band leader which explained the numerous band splits and why the band leader would not want another member to also write songs. Another culprit was ZBC, since it was and is the only main radio and TV station I don’t remember them paying royalties for the music they played. The same problem occurred during the urban grooves era. There was a lot of airplay with no royalties. This led to some gifted musicians just quitting. I am not absolving these musicians from fiscal recklessness but if a proper research is done you find that these chaps never got much anyway. Musians are masters of giving an appearance that all is well,its not. Ukamuona achidambura guitar nokutomhuka aripastage usafunge kuti zvirikufaya. Pamwe anenge achiridzira kukanganwa nhamho dzirikumba.

  • As for the Bundu boys there is a documentary which is being shown on YouTube . Their situation was more complicated than what the writer implied.One of the members bought a farm which invaded and he went back to UK. I would be very happy if such articles have more details for example how much each artist made from record sales , how much from airplay and how much from shows. That way we can make a proper opinion and advise upcoming musicians accordingly.

  • kkkk that link will tell you the story no bundles to open it kkkkkkkkk.

  • Timmy nabhonzo anema1

  • Baba avo ndivovarikunzi Biggie here?

  • can you invest these day or unomuka magwana bank rasa 20 dollars bond note.

  • Let’s be rational & think outside the box a little bit.The situation in which most of us find ourselves in was not self made.Every working citizen had the hope to retire & enjoy his pension until he dies.That was then & the same applies to the so called celebrities of the 90’s who include Biggie,Lawrence etc.If I may ask how many ex civil servants including your parents are living below the poverty datum line, the figure is in millions. Pensions & savings were eroded overnight by an irresponsible selfish Gvt with no direction of where it is going.These people never made millions of $ like modern day celebrities as we may think. We have the wrong crew in the cockpit.They messed millions of lives.If thousands of business entities have closed shop,what would a mere individual do to survive this tsunami. Whilst a few may have messed up,the majority were swept by hondo yeminda heatwave which proved a failure after all.

  • Invest????? whats there to invest? how many people or artists are earning enough to invest????

  • i think the so called managers are to blame for the downfall of their artists.

  • Bhonzo and misheck marimo made my heart bleed when I saw them

  • should be given her shares by rise kagona who has since migrated to uk .bundu boys owned properties in uk as part of recording contracts kagona is enjoying the proceeds by himself in uk she should try and make some follow ups

    • According to the 3 part documentary on YouTube they don’t. Just go to YouTube and type Bundu Boys documentary

    • Rise is now living by teaching Zimbabwean guitar/African rhythms and is still performing. I think he is now based in Scotland.

  • Specially zim dancehall

  • How many houses have been destroyed by the councils,Cde Chinx vakange vavakawo upstairs yavo ikarigirwa pasi two minutes.

  • …being a celebrity is not being rich.

  • But i felt it when Chibadura died,he had not invest at all.Let try our best my people.With God its possible?

  • Guys there is nothing to argue if you are a reasoning fellow here.this guy is saying the truth .if we are educated about how we should handle our earnings for future use I don’t see it as a bad idea. He only used artists because they are well known but this implies to all of us.thanks for this article I found it very educative.

  • Hegemony kills most of our African artist……

  • Tipeiwo maserious Biggie Tembo angaasina kudai

  • Hlokoloza

    The margins of earnings are generally poor for artists being famous does not necessarily translate to mega richies there is only so many ways you can stretch a dollar$

  • We already have thousands of places offering basic skills. We call them “schools”