Diversify or die: Artists look to build portfolios

Building a name for yourself is nothing new to the entertainment industry, the tricky part is staying relevant long after promoters have stopped booking you for appearances or companies have stopped wanting your face associated to their brand.
The kings of local Kwaito have managed to widen their brands by not only being talked about on dance floors or at local music awards, but instead used their influence to enter boardrooms.
The Dogg was recently chosen as the advocate for male circumcision and himself set to get the smart cut done by none other than the Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Haufku, at a launching event in the north soon, and not to mention releasing a line of watches and sim cards in the next coming weeks.
Other artists have gone the more traditional route of going into clothing lines for example Effy who came out with a winter sweater line at the beginning of the season.
The largest brand retailer in the country, Antonio of Antonio’s Art, stated that in the past brands sold more than they do currently as customers are now more inclined to make priority purchases instead of buying merchandise resulting in a decline in sales.
Which explains the lack of the usual brand jumpers that are known to overcrowd usual social media platforms, be it with local fans constantly taking pictures in their attire.  
“My customer base used to be school going kids but now as things became more expensive parents are not willing to give their kids money for shirts and jerseys as they are using it for groceries and other stuff,” said Antonio.
Other forms of brand strengthening include venturing into film with artists such as Tate Buti and KK having had major and minor roles in local productions respectively, while some artists choose to stay the musical route and instead opt to become producers or song writers.
Local dancers are more inclined to start up dancing academies, such as Tulimelila Shityuwete who is one of the founding members of the First Rain Dance Academy going the route of imparting her knowledge onto other dance enthusiasts.
Let’s hope that in the bid to stay relevant and on the tips of our tongues artists don’t go the extent of denying fans the quality product we have come to love and associate their names too.