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An Analysis On How Zimbabwe Can Harness Local Capital To Its Own Advantage

zwnews24 Editor

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The Zimbabwean government’s adoption of the Open For Business mantra in its approach towards unlocking investment is a good public relations act which must be accompanied by an enabling policy framework that not only attracts foreign investment but one which also respects local capital and thus stimulating local savings and investment.

 Zimbabweans on their own can play a critical role in unlocking the country’s economic Rubik’s cube since IMF Loans and World Bank Grants or any such foreign lines of credit will achieve very little in the absence of local goodwill.

During these economic difficulties that the country is going through, it is important to consider that hardworking, focused and resilient Zimbabweans have the capacity to bring back their economy into full throttle and high productivity. 

However, this can be possible when there is efficient allocation of local capital and when incentives for participation in building the economy are right since after all, capital goes where it thrives. . 

Over the years, in my formal and informal interactions with people across the board, I have conversed with friends who have felt safer investing their money elsewhere than in their own homeland Zimbabwe. 

As a result, many great local ideas have been exported to other more functional economies as enterprising Zimbabweans, despite their love for their country, they had to make the tough call of taking their intellectual capital where it can yield better returns. 

On one occasion, I accompanied a colleague to pitch his business idea in a neighboring country where we were well received in the business sense and this alone made it more appealing for him to establish in that country.

The government must therefore understand that local capital is an essential economic building block and that the entrepreneur and local investor is an ally who must be recognized, accommodated, promoted, protected and be celebrated in order to spur economic development.

Zimbabweans as a collective citizenry, i.e. both those in the diaspora and those at home can make a significant contribution in reviving their economy as long as they understand and believe that their capital is safe and that they themselves are welcome, respected and protected. 

Once local capital thrives, Zimbabwe will become a honeypot that attracts even the most skeptical of investors since capital as a resource, it goes where it gets the best incentive and reward since no investor can ignore a good return underpinned by a stable economy. 

That having been said, the question that comes to mind is how then can we get local capital to work for us? 

The answers to this question are listed below:

  1. We need to probe how many local investment deals have fell through and why and what we can do to get them on track.
  1. We need to help the informal sector, the small business owners to scale, give incentive to local lenders to shift to lending for productivity as opposed to consumption. Zimbabwe is bubbling with potential and so is the rest of Africa. The question we should always ask when crafting policy is, ‘why would private capital prefer us?’
  1. We need to articulate a different policy direction that is inclusively underpinned by broad consultations with Zimbabweans. Zimbabweans must invest locally and also be encouraged to invest long term first before international capital can find real comfort here. 
  1. We need to harness the diaspora dividend. 

Implementing the afore-mentioned can bring an end to speculative investing and rent seeking behavior which is destroying the economy. 

Local capital understands its own local environment. The fact that over 60% of Zimbabwe’s economy is informal proves that Zimbabweans are prepared and willing to work for themselves and their country. Should these hardworking Zimbabweans be given the requisite support for them to continue being productive, then economic stability would be guaranteed.

Zimbabwe’s diaspora is another important constituency in country’s development matrix. For the last two decades, the diaspora community have proven their importance to Zimbabwe’s economy. If only we can get them to participate in broader economic activities through more pronounced savings and investment. 

Locally based Zimbabweans including local institutional investors have often received the short end of the policy stick despite their resilience and willingness to continue building. For instance, how institutional investors like pension funds recovered from the 2003-2008 spell is a miracle. Similarly how they are surviving after February 2019 is also an interesting subject considering the limited investment instruments available on the market. 

These institutions are a key cog in stimulating savings and investment for any economy globally. 

To put this into perspective, NSSA alone was collecting an average of US$200 million during the multi-currency era, not mentioning other statutory as well as private pension funds. 

The above illustrates the potential and capacity for the country to succeed using local capital. 

In closing, I will reference my 12 May 2014 chat with my late mentor Joseph Sagwati in which he wrote.

 “You dont fly out to woo capital, you sell yourself to investors through an accommodative framework of policies on ease of doing business in a conducive environment where the sanctity of private property and enforceability of rule of law are sacrosanct and indivisible. Once this happens, Zimbabwe will ignite the required glow that attracts investors without wasting taxpayers’ money on empty global junkets with a begging bowl.”

Zimbabweans can build Zimbabwe and once we start, the rest of the world will join us. 

Prechard Mhako | Business Development Consultant & Economic Analyst | Email consult@abiyedu.co.zw

Business

Understand What The Top Revenue Streams Are In The Music Business

Israel Sebenzo

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Four Major Income Streams:

Performance Fees + Royalties

Publishing + Synchronization

Mechanical Royalties

Sheet Music

Purchased, streamed, covered, played on the radio, performed in public, heard on YouTube, sampled, sold as sheet music used as the soundtrack to a film, TV show, commercial, video game, or presentation.

Music publishing plays a large role in that equation, but it’s also one of the least understood aspects of the music industry.

These top four revenue makers in the music industry encompass a wide range of sub-topics, but it’s important you understand how you can make money from the three main sources.

Access doesn’t equal understanding; and just because an independent songwriter CAN make money from publishing these days doesn’t mean they know HOW to do it.

Performance Royalty

Every time a song is played on radio or an artist performs a song on television, there is a fee payable by the broadcaster to collection society. This fee is based on a percentage of their advertising income.

Live performances are currently affected with COVID-19. It’s now a digital world and time you jump in on YouTube, FB & Instagram Live getting the fans to your pages to stay relevant.

YouTube is the biggest bet, high time it is utilized to full potential.

Get as much people as you can to subscribe to your YouTube, the more you build your audience the more you can monetize.

Publishing

Here are some source of income available:

Physical Sales, Downloads, Streaming, Live performance, Television, Film, Advertising, Radio, Cover versions of writers’ song/s, Production Music, Print – (Physical & On-line)

Key Elements:

            (a) Registration

Ensure all your compositions copyrights with collection societies globally (ZIMURA, SAMRO, APRA etc.)

            (b) Exploitation

In Music Publishing “Exploitation” is a great word…

“Exploitation” in publishing means working to get your musical composition USED. Getting an artist to record your song or placing it in a broadcast media (known as synchronisation in TV/Film/ Advertising) is considered exploitation. If your publisher is not “exploiting” your works they aren’t doing their job!

Mechanical Royalties

Is the process of getting the songwriter paid from the collection of copyright/ royalties’ income globally both physical & digital formats?

You can think of a music-streaming service as a radio station that you can program by genre, artist or mood. That said, not all services are made equal.

Most offer you the ability to stream unlimited music, but some also have provisions for streaming via mobile, offline caching for listening without an internet connection and streaming to other devices through the home.

Every time a song you’ve written is manufactured to be sold in a physical form, downloaded on a digital music retail site, or streamed through services like Spotify, iTunes etc you are owed a mechanical royalty.

NB* Writing and recording original music can ensure you own both your master rights and your performance/mechanical rights, giving you the ability to publish and control your own works

Synchronization Royalties

To pair a licensed musical composition with audio visual images in a moving picture.

There are 3 Synch income streams from a composition/recording.

1. The Negotiated Fee to use the recording (master).

2. Negotiated fee for the composition (referred to as a Front-end Fee)

3. Performance royalty for its broadcast use. (Referred to as a Back-end Royalty)

NB: not applicable for TV & Radio commercials

Israel SEBENZO® is a Singer, Songwriter and Artist & Repertoire (A&R) Executive

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Tips To Get In The Music Game

Israel Sebenzo

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Observe, Be Excellent and Master Your Craft

Whether singing, song writing, playing an instrument, or producing music, all musicians need to spend a considerable amount of time perfecting their talent.

Hire a talent coach, perform to build up experience with live shows, study those that came before you, experiment, get professional feedback and tons of practice.

This applies to everything you do! It all starts with the music you listen to. Sometimes, society can train us to lower our expectations by convincing us mediocrity is acceptable.

It is not. Excellence is at your fingertips; it simply needs to be understood and observed.

Study carefully from those who are successful in music and what they have done. Listen to everything, no matter what the genre, and try to see the beauty in everything that is music, despite your personal preferences.

The foundation you lay now with your acceptance and understanding of these basic essentials will define who you will be in your own music career.

Decide Your Message – “Give a voice to those who don’t perform”.

Having talent is great, but every musician needs to focus on their message and what they want to express to the world.

Making music is not just about skill, but also about feeling and freedom of expression. In order to build a fanbase and a following, your songs should connect to a specific audience and give a voice to those who don’t perform.

Talent will make you a good singer, but talent with a message will make you a great artist.

All musicians need to record their music and begin creating full songs. You don’t have to be a songwriter find the best producers to help and develop your sound or work with songwriters to create captivating songs.

Songs can make or break your career so deliver your best material to fully represent your vision and talent. In contrast; Good songs come from bad ones so keep writing…

Market and Promote Yourself

After making great songs, musicians must be involved with the marketing and promotion of their content. Technology has made it easier to create and distribute music. However, this also has created an oversaturation of music projects.

To combat that, it’s extremely important for you to be creative in how you promote yourself. You must be savvy in building your social media presence, take amazing photos that highlight your brand, interact with your followers, and so on.

While creating and performing your music, you also need to network to build a team.

Watch online networking events, music conferences, and go anywhere else where you can be creative and make business connections.

Network with music producers, find fellow musicians to collaborate with, and connect with a business manager. Music is a relationship business you’ve got to cease every opportunity if it is presented to you.

Believe In Yourself – Trust me, this will be tested!

Branding requires that your image and likeness your logos, who you are and what you represent are clear and aligned with similar products that aggrandize your musical mission.

Always remember why you want to be an artist and stay motivated. It can be a very rough business, but what’s worse is not pursuing your passion and giving up your dreams because of fear.

Be Optimistic at every turn. It’s the only true survival tool you have that you can control. If you start with undying optimism you will be more resistant against the neglect you may feel when first starting out.

Be Careful Who You Take Advice From

People often tend to seek advice from those who have been remarkably successful. It’s a natural human tendency to do so. But remember, the best advice always comes from those who have failed and are painfully aware of their mistakes.

Family and friends are great but they are often too biased to give proper guidance and advice when it comes to your music. Music professionals tend to give more constructive guidance and can set more realistic goals and expectations.

Israel SEBENZO® is a Singer, Songwriter and Artist & Repertoire (A&R) Executive

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Tips On Engaging A Manager In The Music Industry

Israel Sebenzo

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When is the right time to get a manager?

Because of the many different roles managers are mandated to serve to artists, there seems to be many misconceptions and questions around them.

How do you get one? What do they do? How do you know if they are a good manager? When signing a deal, how do you know if you are getting a good deal?

Hiring a manager is not a decision to be taken lightly, more so because signing a contract with one can tie you to that deal for several years and if it’s a bad deal, you are stuck with the bad deal.

It is extremely important to get a manager that has your best interests at heart.

As an artist however, it is even more important to develop your brand and craft first before setting out to get a manager.

I will be break down some crucial aspects that artists need to explore around getting management.

Are you ready for a manager?

The importance of the difference between being ready for a manager and wanting a manager cannot be overemphasized.

You know you are ready for a manager when you are now finding it hard to balance the business and the creation sides of music and when managers start headhunting you.

It is not advisable to go out looking for managers, the idea is for them to come to you and not the other way round.

Ideally, you want to have several management offers on the table and then go on to choose the one best for you.

If you are struggling with balancing the business side of music and however not getting any offers from managers, don’t go hiring the first manager you can find, get an admin assistant instead that will be responsible for responding to emails, pitching shows and taking care of the day to day activities.

Once you ascertain you are ready for a manager, there are details you should look for or be wary of in a manager. This will go a long way in scoring the best manager that will align with your brand, values and mission.

Get a manager that understands music

This goes without saying, but a music manager needs to understand how music as business works.

Most importantly, your manager must understand how music promotion works as it plays a big role in building your brand and cementing you in the industry.

This requires knowledge of the music industry. A pro manager should follow the latest trends in the industry, be aware of up and coming artists, and know how best to promote your music.

It is difficult to promote something when you know nothing about the industry. When interviewing a manager, make sure you ask plenty of questions. Test their knowledge to ensure they have a good sense of the music industry.

In part two (2) of Tips on Engaging a Manager in the Music Industry, I am going to touch on the following:

  1. Get a manager you trust and get along with
  2. Get a level-headed manager
  3. Get a manager willing to test the waters with you

Israel SEBENZO® is a Singer, Songwriter and Artist & Repertoire (A&R) Executive

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