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Getting their heads off the lights and stage

Restrategising: From the look of things, the entertainment industry will not be getting back on its feet any time soon and because of that we have seen several entertainers restrategise their lives and career. Spice Diana recently came out and said that in this pandemic, she has learnt to organise her social media in order to earn from it while Navio and Mun G have decided to try out poultry. Isaac Ssejjombwe sought out some more creatives on how they are coping.

Kapa cat – I boosted my YouTube

During this lockdown, I realised that more than 100,000 people visit my website per month, so I re-strategised and decided to put much emphasis on my YouTube channel and other online platforms. I use Pesa Pearl where all the money comes direct to my phone. All my songs are online and for every click, I earn something. My songs are going for 10K and 20K and they only charge 1K. I have also been using my platforms to sell my merchandise such as earphones etc. With this, I don’t need a physical address but just delivery. I put the items up and whoever is interested just inboxes and we are good for business. I even partner with others who use the website because all I need is delivery. With this I don’t need a shop. I just need space to put the goods and then sit back on my website and wait for money to come in. It’s very easy.

Dre Cali – I got time to read the Bible

I revised all my financial decisions to the extent that I even shifted from where I was staying. I now live life cheaply. It is not that I was living a lavish life but I did not care so much about how much I spent on stuff but lately, my expenses are studied in that I buy only what I must and do only things that promise longterm benefit. That is generally the biggest thing. I also became more spiritual because I now have time to read scriptures in the Bible, listen to preachers such as Joel Osteen but previously I did not have time for that. I returned home tired from performances etc.

I have also become a bit anti-social. I don’t get a lot of visitors and people don’t also visit me as well. It’s been over a year without seeing some friends and I also stopped some physical interviews.

That aside, I’m doing an online course in Health care to help me push further. I’m also spending time with my daughter, understanding the kind of person she is and finding ways of bringing her up better than I was. I wake up bathe her, wrap diapers etc.

Kenneth Mugabi – I had to lower my price

This Covid period has taught me to be considerate. I no longer charge the amount of money I used to charge before lockdown because much as we are not working, I understand that other people are not working as well. I went back to the drawing board, concentrated on my album and concentrated on my social media. I have used this chance to get more involved with my fans online, get more conversational with them, which has helped me in the long run because I get 1,000 new followers every day from different parts of the world. I have also been reading a lot from social to religious things and this has helped me get closer to God.

Levixone – I devoted more time to my businesses

Financially, life has not been easy, as musicians all our resources come from concerts and shows that we hold. So without these shows, it is hard for us to meet our needs and also sustain the people in our care but I have been able to discover a number of things during this period that I can do. It has been a period of picking from scratch, going back to the drawing board and repositioning myself. I think I have gotten enough time to work on myself, music and spiritually, I feel more uplifted. Besides that, I am also still pacing about what I can do to improve the livelihoods of the people in the ghettos. Prior to the pandemic, I had a number of small businesses running to complement my income. I have been able to devote more time to this.

Timothy Nyanzi – I took down my website

Unlike other creatives who have boosted their websites, I have instead taken down my website because it is tough running it during these times due to lack of content but I have tried to remain as relevant as possible especially on social media, although I haven’t joined Tik Tok.

To keep myself relevant, I have used this pandemic period to release my standup comedy special The Pun African on FEZAH which I released in May and is still streaming to date. Besides that, I am also writing more which is also a bit hard when you really can’t go up on stage to work the material out and grow it but I’m doing some copywriting. The gigs are really few but regardless, we move.

Doreen Mirembe – I got out of my comfort zone

Covid helped me get out of my comfort zone because before, I did not bother myself on social media, trying to put my craft out there. It was usually the small circles of people who know me who knew what I did but now, I have invented things such as creating a website for my crafts and that is an investment. Being more active on social media is how I am able to sell my stuff, so I got a much better phone with a good camera and a tripod because I now create more skits at home that I can upload on the website or YouTube. I don’t think life is going to be back to normal, especially in African countries, so this has become my new normal. We are looking for other ways of streaming movies and also bettering myself as an actor. I’m watching more and more tutorials about acting, writing and directing.

Madrat and Chiko – We were forced to try out new things

Truth be told, Covid-19 opened our eyes. It gave us an opportunity to widen our business mind that brings us money now. Previously, we used to ignore certain things and we thought we could not do without them. But now we have different opportunities, endorsements, we are influencers for different companies, we create content for companies, our expenditure also changed but despite the hardships, it has given us a heads up on the way we are going to work going forward.

Karole Kasita – I am starting up a business

I have learnt to be independent and work for myself. Previously, I used to get help and depend on a lot of people, which is not the case now. I have learnt to plan and be able to survive on my own in case things stay like this. I have found ways to survive on my own. I am now trying to invent things that can help me survive. I am starting up a business that I am not able to disclose now. I have grown a bigger business mind beyond music. Music has given me business opportunities but it is no longer something I am entirely depending on.

Allan Toniks – I had to streamline my career

I have used this time to re-strategise my music career. I have been able to get a consultant in Nisha Bridgette who is helping me in music promotion, negotiations of some deals, organising video shoots, production, among others. She is not my manager per se but she is helping me streamline my career. Besides that, as for the music industry, I’m also involved in lobbying for the entertainment sector. We are looking at how the industry can survive without shows, among other things.

Sasha Vybz – I learnt to create online content

To be honest, Covid has really affected us because there is no way we can earn as cinematographers if artistes are no longer making money or doing shows but on a brighter side, I have used this period as the best time to create content which I share online now that everyone is at home. I am trying as much as possible to get myself on social media because jobs are coming in through that channel. It is because of this that I was chosen to be an influencer for the Guinness Black Shines Brightest Campaign. Back then all I was thinking of was to just shoot.

Shifa Musisi – I shifted focus to my fashion and plants

Covid has changed my life setup a bit. It has been good and bad altogether. On the good side, it brought some blessings my way because I was blessed with a baby girl in this time. Through this time, I have dedicated all this time to raising my girl and I also got to focus more on my fashion and plants business. I specialise in selling herbs such as mint, rosemary and a few flowers, so I have been trying to maintain myself by focusing on the plants that people need most at this time. I miss making music physically with different artistes and instrumentalists, I miss rehearsals, I miss work and also miss my friends.

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