We had a moment to catch up with local award-winning musician Wambüseun, who shares his thoughts on financial literacy.
1. How important is it to be money-wise in the music industry today?
Its very important as music is a business just like any other sector. If you don’t spend your money wisely you will find yourself in a very uncomfortable situ-ation.
2. How crucial has financial literacy been in your life and career?
I think I would not be sitting here and talking to you if I didn’t have the right financial education to guide me to this point. (laughs)
3. Given the growing societal pressure on consumers to spend beyond their means, how do you manage to stay on top of your finances (i.e. budgeting and consulting)?
In the beginning I spent more so I could be able to save more. Growing a brand is time consuming and drains you financially. But as you grow as a person and as a brand, you learn to cut cost on things that don’t benefit your growth. So I learned that you pay the important stuff first before you can spend on anything. So I started drawing up a budget show-ing exactly where my money is going and where I can save.
4. Being financially wise, what tips would you propose to youngsters entering the music industry?
I live by a simple code that has always worked for me: Consult, Plan, Budget, Spend. In some cases I don’t know how to execute a certain project, so I consult fellow entertainers or professionals in the field. After I get all the information I need I start planning it according how I would want it to turn out. It’s always important to be original, so any ad-vice or information you get should be to help for-mulate your own plans. Good planing leads to better spending, which in return leads to a good results. My plan suits my needs and helps me budget and accordingly. And then the last part – which I love – is spend! Not all of it, though, just part… (laughs)
Remember as a musician/artist/entertainer you have a shelf life, meaning you only last as long as you can keep up with the trends. So it’s important to always save for the day you will retire from your fun job.
5. Someone as productive as you has surely dealt with contracts in the past. What advice would you give to our readers entering into contracts?
READ THEM WELL! Don’t just sign a contract because someone sits in front of you with a smi-ley face. I repeat: READ THEM THOROUGHLY! Contracts are supposed to protect you and the person that you entering into an agreement with. Sometimes contracts have words that you don’t understand and that you never use in your daily conversations, so it’s always important to consult a lawyer if you are uncertain.
Think of contracts as a set of rules (agreements) that you and the person you are entering into agreement with must follow and obey. If you are not happy with what is written in the contract, let the person know. And if you don’t understand something, ask and let them explain what you don’t understand to you.
6. How important would you say contract education is to your musician peers and promising Namibians who are entering the big world?
Photo by Wambüseun
Contract education is one of the key points that can make or break you as a musician. Have the right con-tracts set up for you so that people know what your conditions are. For example, if you perform at clubs, bars and festivals, have a contract set up that sets out your terms and conditions. Should the owner or man-ager of the venue not understand, they will ask you.
7. Wambüseun, even though retirement is years away for you, do you contribute to a pension fund? If so, do you keep track of your pension fund’s growth?
Yes I do! As I said, we have a shelf life as enter-tainers, and if you don’t make provisions for your-self you will end up in a dire situation. I contribute to a pension fund and every six months to a year I consult the company to find out how my funds are growing. I think the best way to take care of yourself when retirement kicks in is to start now. So when the time comes, your pension will work for you. I have seen so many people who made choices in the past that affect them now… Both good choices and bad ones.