Categorized | Music

Why SA Artists Die Hungry!

I’m going to be frank with you. The reason why SA’s cream of the crop dies poor is because you don’t support them. Yes you, the individual reading this!

You would rather buy Lil Wayne’s new album for R180 than to buy AKA’s latest offering for R99 at Musica. Not only do we not buy enough local content but some of the few individuals who do support local music will do so from a pirated DVD/CD or from a 30 gig memory stick plugged into their radio sets.

You and your girlfriends or boys plan movie nights watching American films but can’t be bothered to go and see local films like A Million Colours, State of Violence, or Umtshado. It’s no wonder we have Americans telling Mzansi’s stories or playing lead roles in our own movies, like Red Dust, Cry Freedom, Disgrace and Catch a Fire. It’s because we don’t support and invest in a ticket at Ster Kinekor for just R50, on Tuesdays you get a discount but still, we don’t go!

You would much rather purchase a Gucci or Levi’s t-shirt than buy a local brand like Mantsho, Butan Wear, Head Honcho, Ephymol or Stoned Cherrie.

If people knew just how much work, creativity and genuine old school hustling goes into making a 30 minute show like Intersextions to air on SABC 1 during prime time, I think they would respect TV and watch local content like Dineo’s Diary, Running with the Reps, My World or Culture Shock instead of sticking to Life on the fab lane with Kimora, or Keeping up with the Kardashians, with Kim and her annoying relatives.

Mzansi’s most creative musicians, most gifted painters, designers and singers are all dying broke even though they have this talent that Americans find amazing. When last did you buy or listen to Freshly Ground’s music? Have you taken the time to appreciate the sounds of MXO, HHP or Tuks? Do you know when and where they are performing this year? How much is a ticket? Yet we all flood to the Dome when we hear that chubby guy who doesn’t shave his beard is coming to SA. What’s his name, Rick Ross?

Your excuse for not buying local content cannot be that SA is lacking, because if you think that’s the case, then I hereby declare you ignorant. Hugh Masekela is loved overseas, Nomfusi – that jazz songbird – is amazingly huge in Europe, yet you don’t even know her. Yes, we are different and will not like the same things in life but, for you to overlook artists because they are local and rather copy their CDs than buying them, tells me you’re heartless. I’ve had to watch musicians like H2O, Pebbles and Gommora fizzle away into SA’s archives because their music wasn’t bought by locals. Shame on you!

If we lived in the states I bet Busi Mhlongo, Bhekumuzi Luthuli, Lebo Mathosa, Brenda Fassie, all would have left behind truckloads of money before their passing. But, because you and I didn’t support them while they were alive and still don’t buy their music today, their families and children will remain the hard working citizens that fill up Mzansi’s malls selling overseas products to Africans.


Poppy Pops Vilakazi

This post was written by:

- who has written 70 posts on Kasi Times.

Twitter: @popsvila I am Poppy “Pops” Vilakazi, a 24 year old black and proud woman. I am shaped and defined but not limited to the ghetto lifestyle, culture and lingo. A Yahweh chaser by faith, a production manager by profession and a Kasi Times Editor by passion. Inspired by writers like Alan Paton, Fred Khumalo, Mongane Wally Serote, JM Coetzee, Ndumiso Ngcobo, Chinua Achebe, Karen Kingsbury and of course Zakes Mda. I only hope that through this publication you see that we are more than a stack of magazines put together and more than just words on a computer screen. May you see in us all that we’ve geared up and set out to do for you. I hope and pray that through my God given gifts and skills I am able to live up to our KasiTimes vision to “Empower, Motivate and Inspire” you to do and be more. Follow me as @popsvila on Twitter, Poppy “Pops” Vilakazi on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, and let me bless you with “A Piece Of my Mind” on my blog at Blessings, Poppy “Pops” Vilakazi

Contact the author

  • (@Popsvila) (@Popsvila)

    Why SA Artists Die Hungry! via @kasitimes

  • Guest

    Comment from S. Mdumela via LinkedIn:
    “hip hop or rap in south africa is growing and the quality is still in the early ages, i support local music but am a big fan of international content because the difference is just that content. I listen to aka and feel his a copy cat of the american rap scene now for us to grow diffferent we should learn to separate our rap/hip hop SA content from the the american scene. theres a long way to go and am willing to invest in the rap/hip hop scene to change that. I submarine” 

    • Dineo Setsetse

      I am in agreement with you, our locals are becoming copy cats instead of showcasing what Mzansi has to offer and the talent. As someone who is in the events and entertainment industry, we intercat with our entertainers and most of the time it absolutely shockingto see how they behave. The way I see it, there should be an intervention put in place to educate these individuals on how to handle fame even beforethey get there. By the time they hit the big time, they get so caught up in the limelight that they loose focus and end up surrounded by vultures who abuse their talent. You find someone performing at an event and being paid R10 000.00 by their managers having charged the organisers more than 4 times that amount. These individuals are not taught how to save for a rainy day,driving flashy cars and misbehaving in public will not look after your family later on in life. Also, what about continuity in performances and releases instead of a 1 hit release? Each individual is responsible for their won destiny, we cannot keep blaming Mzansi for our downfalls. let the musos do something to make sure that they sustain themselves. Form collectives, stokvels, life insurances, etc. I am sure if they approach the big insurance players with a comprehensive proposal, they are bound to catch someone’s attention and maybe give themselves a boost in life!

  • Nomfusi (@Nomfusi_Gotyana)

    Do you agree? I’m mentioned in this article.

  • Pmash

    Eish, This is a very emotional topic. It’s amazing how many of us have adopted the idea that anything African is ”Inferior”  or of low quality. people think twice before buying a home brewed product. But on the flip side of the coin, it all comes down to marketing. if our radio stations plays 90% of foreign music on prime time, than local….then that’s where the problem lies…..mmmmmmmm *thinkin*

  • Selebogo Molefe

    Emotional post, logical…well…questionable!!! I’m getting sick ‘n tired of Africans whining about what we should or should not buy!!! Just because your CV is well typed, wont make you get the job…you need to innovate and go where no-one’s gone before. HHP’s doing well, you know why? He employs an entrepreneurial mindset to his art. Zahara’s the latest sensation, very successful one at that. We bought her music, you know why? She teamed up with a marketing machine that understands what it is to SELL. Brenda Fassie sold well, she plundered her resources cause of lack of interest in her own brand as a business. AKA will go far, you know why? He’s in good hands at ShowLove Music, Tibz understands what it is to SELL and entrepreneurship is in his blood.

    The entrepreneur; musician, artist, etc. who does not sell or prosper MUST go back to the drawing table and review what they are NOT doing to sell. We will not buy just because you are African. We will buy because you value us as customers and you’ve taken the time to get to know what WE like and what we are willing to spend our money on. INNOVATION is KEY to SURVIVAL. If you blame me for not buying, i will not feel guilty. I want what i want and I have the full right to do that, it’s my money.

    Case Studies: ZAHARA, HHP, LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO, DJ SBU, the Durban kwaito scene and many more…do research as to why they sell large volumes in CD sales, therein is your answer. They give the masses what they want. 

    I will not as an entrepreneur sit there and sulk about lack of support, instead i will seek to innovate and ask what it is that people want and therein lies my key to success. Innovate or die trying!!! I am a full-time entrepreneur and have hit stumbling points and through my failures have risen steadily to give people what they want in my business. The results = increased sales. You can’t fool the consumer. Period!

    I can be found on Twitter ~~~> @DrLifesgud:twitter 

  • ♑†lwando mxutu†♑ (@MrL_Mx2)

    Kasi Times » Blog Archive » Why SA Artists Die Hungry! «Words have hit home.

  • Guest

    Comment via LinkedIn:
    “Hip Hop was born in the states so it will always be hard to out-do Americans at their own game. We should make it relevant to Africa and not try to immitate. I’m starting to see alot of SA musicians jacking American swag now and it makes me cringe. I might be given flack for this but i think its even become acceptable in central and west africa to immitate US rappers. Is it Ice Prince? or Wale? Can’t tell the difference. I respect guys like Naeto C, who embrace that b-boy persona but still keep it real to Nijah and Africa. “Things are not the same as before” *singing*. 10/10!” 

  • Pops

    Opinion, noted. Thank you for sharing

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