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Community2Conversations (C2C) Corporate Literacy Corner – Towards unpacking the Setheo – City Power Saga

zwnews24 Editor

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I recently joined the C2C, a pioneering initiative supported by the Pan African Business Forum (PABF), Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF), the 1983 FM, and the 1873 Network to raise awareness on corporate civilization matters and corporate literacy generally in order to provoke active citizenship.

As C2C, it came to our attention that Mr Chifamba, an officer of one of our corporate members, Setheo Engineering Pty Limited (Setheo), has been caught up in a dispute with its contracting party, City Power of Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Since joining the C2C initiative, I have chosen to follow corporate developments and case studies like this one for the sole purpose of provoking, igniting and inspiring people to think and celebrate corporate actors as better bridges to prosperity and social cohesion.

Even though there exists no shared understanding of what a company is and what it is not, let alone whether shareholders own companies or companies exist as persons in their own rights, I believe wisdom is found when life lessons are sought from the experiences of others.

As such, in this article, I will attempt to provide more context into the seemingly complex matters such as the Setheo issue which oftentimes do not structurally get discussed in our daily discourses and yet such issues are of much effect to our business realities.

In relation to the above case, the Directorate of Priority Crimes (HAWKS) of South Africa on 10 October 2017 posted a statement on their website under the title: “City Power Managers appear in court for multimillion rand fraud,” 

It was reported that two City Power Project Co-ordinating managers, Maeto Isaac Thoka and Mpfarisini Godfrey Mulaudzi had appeared in court after being arrested on allegations of fraud and corruption.

However, in a recent article published in the Citizen newspaper, the two former employees of City Power were said to have been already dismissed:“Two City Power project managers, Maete Thoka and Godfrey Mulaudzi, have since been dismissed, after being accused of colluding with Setheo to ensure that invoices submitted were paid, without promised work done on the substation.” Citizen, 12/10/2020

Follow ups on this saga revealed that the criminal case against Thoka and Malaudzi did not succeed as one of the coordinating directors has already been vindicated and the other is still undergoing the appeal process.

According to the SAPS website, it was reported above as true and fact that the Hawks had uncovered tender fraud where the two allegedly conspired with Setheo, a company which was awarded by City Power a tender valued at R143 million to upgrade a substation in Eldorado Park in Gauteng.

More-so, it was further reported that officers of Setheo, Mr. Tinashe Mongwana and Ms. Precious Ncube, allegedly submitted fraudulent work completion certificate for payment of work allegedly done on the site. 

It was also reported as true and fact that Thoka and Mulaudzi had fraudulently authorized payment of just over R66 million alleging that this constituted some unjust enrichment on the part of Setheo.

Consequent to my interest as a member of C2C, I have searched on the internet to establish whether there was any further media report on how the case was resolved and I have only been able to obtain an article entitled: Project manager nabbed over R126m incomplete Eldorado Park substation

No clear mention was made in the article to inform on what had really happened in relation to the investigations that resulted in the arrest of the Chifamba

I only established that none of the four accused in 2017 have been convicted on the charges. 

It is trite that the control and management of a company is vested in its directors yet in this case after failing to secure a conviction against Setheo directors and the 2 employees in relation to funds that exchanged hands between the company and City Power pursuant to a valid contract, a junior employee has been arrested.

One would ordinarily assume that before any decision to arrest a person, investigations must establish a crime. 

My real concern is that corporate illiteracy could be at play in this case study hence the interest in raising awareness on how corrosive corporate illiteracy can be if citizens fail to take notice it.

As such, in order to build a community fortress to protect innocent corporate actors from being targeted and victimized, it is important for people across the spectrum of life, especially business people to be part of initiatives such as the C2C which helps in understanding such matters.

Brian Tawanda Manyati is a Chartered Governor and an Accounting Technician. 

LinkedIn – briantawandamanyati

Email: tawandamanyati@gmail.com

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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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