How Artists And Creatives In Zimbabwe Can Maximize Their Revenue Streams During This Covid-19 Era

Zimbabwean currency no longer in circulation 

Times have changed, routines have changed, normal has changed but bills still need to be paid. So many industries have been affected densely, but the creative industry has been hit hard most. I have read so many (if not too many) articles on how creatives can maximize on ways to make revenue during this Covid era. Most of the research strategies were amazing but just not applicable to the Zimbabwean context. Oh my dear Zimbabwe. Since google had no relatable answers for the Zimbabwe community, we reached out to Artist managers in the Zimbabwe music industry to try and convience them to share how their artists have been making additional revenue when most Arts income making avenues are still clamped in relation to Covid-19 prevantory measures. We are going to summarize and list some of the ways some prominent artists have been earning and still are earning some 'Obamas'. Most of the input we found was from musical managers hence the content might lean towards that direction. We are not at liberty to share all of these artists names as per their management instruction. 

In-person deliveries of gifts 

Yes, celebrity in-person deliveries of gifts to your loved ones with a fee attached to the service of course. This service is mostly used by men in pursuit of impressing their partners, for instance sending her favourite RnB singer to deliver flowers and a birthday present. One of the managers we talked to revealed that their artist has an average of 10 to 15 deliveries in a month. That average added up to a substantial amount at the end of the month.  All this facilitated by the artist taking investing in interactions with their fanbases. 

Congratulatory, birthday and shout-out videos 

Another medium which has been a constant cash cow for musical artists is paid for video shout-outs. This medium has to be where the least effort is applied. It only takes the artist using their phone  or camera gear to record a video of less than 2 minutes most of the times. One can only imagine how many 2 minute videos can be recorded in a day in accordance to work ethic. 

Repackage older music and sell autographed physical copies

This model has been working perfectly for artists with extensive catalogues. Artists gain new fans every day, every month even every year. The goal is to repackage your older works, content and reintroduce them to a new audience in the same vein making an extra buck. 

Sell Merchandise 

The oldest trick in the book! Selling of merchaanise has to be one of the oldest ways of making money for creatives. An album title can make a t-shirt, hoodie or a cap. Merchandise is a way to build an extension of your brand. If well-executed the merchandise can become a stand alone brand. Regional neighbours Cassper Nyovest and Cashtime Life team built apparel brands that became big and stand alone power houses. The oldest trick will never go stale

Apperances Fees

So many times one picks up lyric references on American rappers boasting that their appearance fees cost more than upcoming rappers' booking fees. Oh yes, appearances fees are now a thing. Appearances range from weddings, graduations, suprise parties and even inaugural openings. Appearances help an artist financially and also proffer a platform for networking. In that same space there is room to co-sign small businesses in exchange of their services. Win win. 

Side hustles 

The ultimate goal to financial freedom has always been to have multiple streams of income. Financial freedom, in my opinion can be achieved by functional side hustles. A lot of Zimbabwe musicians have invested and started side hustles in the clothing, food production, farming, supermarket and logistics industries. The misconception is that it has to be something big even as small as a delivery company with one motorbike or even Avon. Multiple streams of income is the conversation. 

Offer lessons of your area of expertise 

Most creatives have done their 10 000 hours and can be classified as masters in what they do. Why not make an extra buck by teaching your tool of trade? I have nieces and nephews who attend schools where Tariro Negitare, Prayersoul and Bridgez (Winky D's drummer) do music lessons. These lesons vary from in-person and online mediums. That flexibility allows a creative to make an extra buck doing what they love and sharing the knowledge at the same time. 

Strengthen your online presence and use your platforms as billboards

Social media over the last 3-5 years has replaced multi-thousands billboard advertisements and put them on people's screens. With a strong social media presence as a creative you can make money online. Plarforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter offer means to advertise for 24 hours or even a permanent post which can also be promoted to reach a wider audience. You can create a rate card to use your platforms are billboards for other brands and also exposing your fan base to quality products that you co-sign. Win win.

Pitch ideas to Brands! 

Last but the most important is that you have to be able to start money conversations! How do you do that? You pitch proposals to brands. Only you can convince them why they need you on their team. Throwing the first stone by pitching gives you an advantage to control the tone of the negotiations. You wonder why well established artists keep getting endorsments after endorsements? They pitch to brands. Start money conversations. 

Conclusively all these listed mediums are easily achieveable if you have a great and resourceful manager. Invest in a great and ingenious manager. You take care of the creative side of your enterprise and your manager handles the brand business development.

Gerald Muchandiona

twitterinstagram How satisfying it is to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement - no matter how temporary - Craig Thompson


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