The Future – Yvonne Chaka Chaka described the vibrance and energy at Old Mutual AMPD Studios as one that is yet to birth the Mandoza of this generation, after she and Zolani Mahola blew the crowd away with an amazing performance, at this month’s AMPD Icons Hero conversation in Newtown, which was hosted on Tuesday, 27 August 2019.

Facilitated every month in front of a live audience, this musical dialogue between musical Icons and the youth aims to stimulate and empower aspiring artists and creatives while giving guidance on how to survive and sustain yourself in the music industry.

Global heroine, humanitarian and award-winning performer Yvonne Chaka Chaka and South Africa’s queen of theatre and storytelling Zolani Mahola led this insightful conversation by sharing their musical journey with the crowd for upliftment. “As much as it is important to grow and advance in your career, it’s also important to think the same way about your finances”, said Yvonne. “I think my biggest regret was not seeing myself as a business or a brand, especially being part of one of the biggest Afro-fusion bands in Africa. I didn’t take ownership and that’s what everyone should do when it comes to their finances”, added Zolani.

Amid the highs and lows artists will come across in the music industry, the two performers emphasized very deeply on the importance of investing your money and finding ways to multiply it. Yvonne shared that her music career started when she was 19 years old and that her first real paycheck was R400 000 of which she invested R150 000, advised by her manager, which she can prove went a long way, today. She already had a million Rands in her account at the age of 21. “You need to make your money work for you”, she added.

Between knowing how to conduct yourself in the limelight as an artist and being exposed to social media to increase your presence, it is importance to know who you are and not get pressured easily. Yvonne urges young artists and creatives not to fall into traps or unnecessary debt. “Don’t hurry to buy the latest BMW with your first paycheck because of society’s meaning of success. Don’t just go with the flow because it makes sense at that time”. Zolani also added by saying “We should shift away from categorising ourselves as ‘poor’ and having to spend money because it’s there, tomorrow is still another day”

Staying true and authentic was also one of the key things that were highlighted during the conversation. “Everyone has a story to tell because we are all unique. It’s amazing how Sho Majozi and Sjava have put our country on the map. “With your craft, stay original and be Authentic”, said Zolani.

The Head of Financial Education, John Manyike, also highlighted the essence of authenticity when it comes to your finances as a creative. “It’s important to be authentic and be the same way with your money. Why do people put themselves under pressure when we are all wired differently?

“Don’t live a WOW life on a LOL budget”

“The AMPD Icons Hero Conversations and Masterclasses held every month at the AMPD Studios are here to redress so many factors that creatives face today, and we are tackling them one day at a time”. said John.

“Old Mutual didn’t have any reason to build a masterpiece such as AMPD Studios, but they spotted a gap and it’s your responsibility as young people to guard this place like it’s your home and capitalize on its resources. Your doors are open and what Old Mutual has done is absolutely amazing,” concluded Yvonne.