Opinion & Columnist

2020, year not to remember for artistes

For the creatives, the year 2020 is a year to quickly forget and yet the outlook for 2021 is not rosy either. Both years are under the grip of the coronavirus, which has left the sector struggling for survival.

2020 is the year COVID-19 outbreak caught everyone unawares, and its impact will be felt for many years to come. Many artistes, known and unkown, have to appreciate that it is no longer business as usual.

With a raft of measures imposed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus, musicians were exposed because of their reliance on gatetakings from live shows, which are becoming a distant memory for the majority.

Understandably, this has left many on the ropes, given that only a few artistes have shown the wisdom and foresight to invest their earnings elsewhere, or establish other streams of income.

This serves as a big lesson that artistes should have side businesses through which they can earn extra income rather than soley rely on shows, whose certainty is not always guaranteed.

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It is high time artistes think of investing to cushion themselves from poverty due to unforeseen natural shocks such as COVID-19. Artistes should reflect on their professionalism, brands and position themselves better to at least attract corporate endorsements, which come with certain benefits and perks.

For those musicians who are not concerned with establishing themselves as brands by professionally running their careers, definitely, they will remain in the doldrums during this time.

It is important for artistes to view themselves as entrepreneurs who run their careers as commercial entities.

Trying times demand high levels of innovation while those that fail to re-invent remain stuck in the past.

We have torch bearers in the creative industry, the likes of Cindy Munyavi who is into fashion business and award-winning Zimdancehall chanter Enzo Ishall, who ventured into detergent making, to raise additional income off the stage.

Once artistes adopt this approach, they are able to capitalise on profit-making opportunities beyond just music sales and public shows.

With their popularity, artists can tap into other business opportunities with an assumed market.

As a starting point in the midst of this pandemic, artistes for now can be able to earn something if they change their way of doing business and adapt to the “new norm”.

Part of the new norm requires them to utilise the digital space as an option in order to thrive.

Sadly, it appears as if lack of knowledge on the use of technology is proving to be a major hindrance.

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Alternatively, online sales and music streaming, which are huge global industries, are still not readily accessible to the bulk of local artistes who are not well informed about the processes involved. But love them or hate them, digital platforms are the new way of sustaining showbiz.

NEWSDAY