Artists' financial well-being takes centre stage at Metro FM Music Awards music conference.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
As Mpumalanga prepares to host the 2023 edition of the Metro FM Music Awards this weekend, the critical aspect that is taking centre stage as part of build up to the event.
The Metro FM Music Awards were initially scheduled to take place on Saturday, 29 April however, the SABC announced in March it was postponed due to "circumstances beyond our control".
This year, for the first time in the 17-year history of the awards, the financial well-being of artists, particularly up-and-coming aspiring artists, has taken centre stage at this year's awards conference. A partnership between financial services group Old Mutual, the city of Mbombela, the Mpumalanga Department of Arts and Culture, and the host of the awards, Metro FM, the conference offers a well-curated financial lecture to all artists and has attracted over 300 participants, including some well-known names such as the likes of DJ Christos and Lulo Cafe, to name but a few.
Old Mutual's Head of Financial Education, John Manyike, commented on this initiative, stating that it is particularly necessary within the music industry, which is often marked by significant peer pressure.
"Many of our creative artists have unpredictable income streams and may find it challenging to manage their finances effectively. This type of initiative will be extremely beneficial in assisting them to learn how to budget, save, and invest their money to ensure long-term financial stability," says Manyike.
"As the Department of Sports Arts Culture and recreation in the City of Mbombela we are excited to have partnered with Old Mutual and Nabalabantfu Group in hosting the Metro FM Awards 2023 Music Conference, where young and upcoming talent from the province and surrounding areas were empowered with information to help them thrive in," says MMC Khanyi Mhlanga Sports, Arts and Culture at the City of Mbombela.
This is not a phenomenon unique to South Africa. Just a few days ago, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the US claimed that the well-known artist Beyoncé owed the revenue collector nearly $2.7 million. This highlights the importance of artists being able to manage their finances effectively and properly address tax-related issues when necessary.
Manyike says that this initiative will ensure that our artists comprehend their tax obligations and how to comply with tax laws to avoid penalties or legal issues like the ones Beyoncé is currently facing in her country.
He further adds, "It's even more concerning when we consider retirement planning because many creative artists do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. This initiative can assist them in understanding how to plan, save, and invest for their retirement to ensure a comfortable retirement one day."
It is particularly pleasing that the financial well-being of our artists is finally getting the attention it deserves. With the support of Old Mutual, the Mpumalanga Department of Arts and Culture, and Metro FM, over 300 artists, including established names, are benefiting from a well-curated financial lecture. This initiative aims to equip them with the necessary knowledge and tools to manage their finances effectively, address tax-related issues, and plan for their retirement.
“As we celebrate excellence in the music industry, it is important to remember that financial stability is an essential ingredient for a sustainable career in the arts,” concludes Manyike.