THERE may be several factors why Namibian entertainers die broke, but to fully understand, let’s look back at what the arts and culture industry actually is and how it works.
In a nutshell, arts and culture globally, is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest of an audience, or gives pleasure and delight.
It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have developed over thousands of years, specifically for the purpose of keeping an audience’s attention.
Now since our independence not much research has been done to fully understand what the state of our arts and culture industry is; our policies are outdated and frankly it is almost impossible to know how much the industry is worth in this country.
For example in South Africa, the GDP for the entertainment industry is expected to grow to R176.3 billion in 2019, whilst in Namibia, such an economy for the industry is virtually non-existent.
The government and corporates evidently do not desire to heavily invest in the arts and culture industry, probably fearing that there won’t be any returns on their investments.
So are entertainers wasting their time and money to keep the general public entertained, just too eventually die without being able to properly leave a small fortune for their loved ones after they have passed on?
Are artists able to have life cover or take out study policies, in order to secure a future for their kids?
The late Jackson Kaujeua is one such example. He dedicated his life to the liberation struggle and kept on entertaining, even after independence.
He lived a modest life, funded mainly by the proceeds of album sales and performances. But when he was diagnosed with kidney failure and died in 2010, all the government did for him was give money to cover funeral costs and more recently named a 100m street in Ongwediva after him.
One can only hope that royalties are still being paid to his family by NASCAM. Another example would be legendary actor and comedian Stanley Van Wyk, remembered mostly for his role in a comedy show which was aired in the mid 90s called One Fine Day.
He too died without anything to leave behind for the tremendous work he did during his life. He was rewarded with N$10 000 by the National Arts Council for funeral expenses. But not all artists in Namibia will succumb to dying broke. Successful Namibian entertainers, such as the likes of Tate Buti, Gazza and The Dogg have all opted to invest in their entrepreneurial activities, such as owning bars, clubs and clothing stores.
Artists in Namibia should try and understand that not all that glitters is gold and they are still human beings, who need to plan for the future of their loved ones, in the event that they pass on.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015