FEATURE: Artists advised to spend prudently in order to survive rainy days

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Creatives Under Lockdown is a SABC News feature which focusses on issues affecting artists. This week former art critic and South African Institute of Race Relations Analyst Gabriel Crouse discusses how artists can better manage their finances.

The coronavirus epidemic has had a devastating impact on the entertainment industry.  The lockdown to curb the spread of the virus has left some artists without income as government banned public gatherings.

Recently actress and television presenter Minnie Dlamini-Jones took to social media to express her frustration over challenges people in the entertainment industry face. According to Dlamini-Jones, artists are underpaid and undervalued. Her Tweet sparked debate about artists’ spending habits with some users suggesting that some artists struggle financially because of their exorbitant spending habits.

South African Institute of Race Relations Analyst Gabriel Crouse says artists should spend prudently in order to survive rainy days.

“Number two is to take savings and store them in value-add ways and number three is of course to grow one’s work output.”

He says, “Unfortunately, that third step is extremely difficult in the time of the lockdown and will continue to be difficult even without the lockdown. I think that is important to recognise. The appetite for gathering even in legal numbers under 50 is going to be very low for some time as people worry about the virus, so without new income coming in, many artists are going to be in a very tough position. ”

“Most artists move from one contract to the next, making their income unstable. This affects their credit score which banks consider when giving out loans for car and home purchases. In certain circumstances, artists end up buying property through their record labels. Access to credit for freelance artists is complicated.”

He advises: “One thing to look at as freelance artists who are earning relatively low amounts is, if you have to average it out over the years, freelance artists who are earning R12 000 or less per month on average, some good months or bad months, are going to find it very difficult to find access to credit in formal markets for cars and houses. ”

Below is a podcast with Crouse: 


Related : Part 1 :Starving artist’ a more meaningful phrase amid lockdown

Related : Part 2: ‘I don’t know myself outside my world of acting’

Related: Part 3:  Letshego Zulu on fitness under lockdown 

Related: Part 4 : Uzalo’s Wiseman Mncube shares his journey