Musicians making their money work for them

July 24, 2015, 2:55pm

Musicians making their money work for them

At the time of his death in May 2010, Jackson Kauejua, one of the best musicians in Namibia, is said to have died in poverty.
The renowned artist succumbed to renal failure after suffering from a kidney disorder which was treatable with dialysis, but he could not afford the treatment.
Knowing how to invest money so that it works for them longer has been an issue of concern for musicians all over the world. One often hears of how once-millionaire musicians have to file for bankruptcy.
Naturally, for some local artists who are barely scraping by as it is, it is much more difficult. The key is thus for them to invest in projects which they believe would yield more income, projects which become the gifts that keep on giving.
Following the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) prize-giving ceremony held at the NBC studios last week, a few award-winning musicians shared how they invested their winnings with The Villager newspaper to avoid sharing a fate similar to Kauejua’s.
Multi-award winning musician Freeda Haindaka, alongside her former bandmate Daphne Wilibard, collectively won at least nine awards and were nominated for countless other international awards.
“I always invest my winnings back into my music. If you spend your money all at once, you will be stuck,” the songbird noted.
For the past three years or so, Haindaka has been enjoying a successful solo career, which is in part due to knowing which right moves to make when it comes to her money.
“I invest it in my music so that I can produce outstanding work. By investing it, I mean I pay my producers, I pay for photoshoots, music videos as well as maintaining my image because that is important as an artist as you are trying to sell yourself,” she explained.
However, she tries to maintain a balance, so her spoils not only go to her music, but also to reward herself for all the hard work.
She prepares a budget which allows for her to determine how much goes into her music, and how much she would spend on herself.
Haindaka’s ultimate goal is to leave something behind for her community, be it material or through her positive influence.
“I don’t necessarily want to leave any material things behind for my community, but you also don’t want your fans to look up to someone who is broke,” she quipped.
Award-winning songstress Lize Ehlers also shared the same game-plan when it comes to investing her winnings.
“I inject all my winnings in the next album. For example, my winnings from last year were injected into the making of the album which won this year’s Best Rock/Alternative category at the NAMAs,” she stated.
Ehlers added that she never spends the money she wins on anything else besides her music. For her, working hard is its own reward.
“Our family is about hard work. I want to teach my children that hard work is its own reward. A lot of people let their children think that sitting on the sofa all day is ok, which is not”, she stressed.
Apart from investing in her music, she also uses her winnings to make other people’s dreams come true.
She injects a portion of her winnings in Song Night, a monthly event which provides musicians a platform to showcase their talents.
For widowed mother Erna Chimu, her music is her sole source of income, so her investments are not solely restricted to her music.
Chimu walked away with various awards last year, including that of Best Female Artist of the Year.
“When I received my payment from the NAMAs, I had to do what was right for my music career, which entailed paying between 8/9 people who helped me produce the album,” she noted.
After investing in her music and ensuring she would be able to produce another, the jazz supremo decided to make material investments which would benefit her and her family.
She paid for her daughter’s studies, who at the time was studying to become a chartered accountant; she applied for a plot from the Windhoek municipality through the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) so that she can have her own place to call home; and she lastly bought a pick-up truck, which she uses to transport herself and her equipment to and from shows.

Although many musicians chose to stay tight-lipped about what they do with their money, one can only hope that they make it work for them by investing in worthwhile causes, as opposed to blowing it all in one go.

by Faith Haushona-Kavamba