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Gospel musicians find alternative ways to make money during COVID-19
Lorraine Maplanka-Stot and Sabastian Magasha

COVID-19 left some people jobless and other companies scaled down and the music sector has not been spared. The Christian Voice (CV) engaged with gospel music artists.

Gospel musicians, just like other musicians, have been struggling to make a living since concerts have been banned due to COVID-19 regulations.

Lorraine Maplanka-Stot said musicians have been adversely affected by COVID-19 because they depended mainly on live concerts.

“Christian artists are facing challenges because they minister at different churches through invitations, concerts and make money from gate takings or honorariums, but these days it has been quiet” she said.

That challenge did not stop Stot from venturing into other avenues as she said she is now doing retail work to eke a living and advised gospel artists to find other means, besides music, to make money.

“I have been doing buying and selling. I do orders for people from South Africa. My advice to fellow Christian music artists is to have at least four streams of income.  You must have more than one stream of income to sustain your livelihood and not to depend solely on music, though it is our first love and first preference.” she said

Stot, is an award-winning singer as she was nominated in the Outstanding Female Artist category and Outstanding Song of the Year for her song Bekezela by the Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA).

Sabastian Magasha also stressed challenges faced by Christian musicians especially those who solely depend on their music and their talent to earn a living but COVID-19 disrupted that.

“A lot of musicians were basing only on talent. The arrival of the pandemic affected that in so many ways. We no longer have crowds of people gathering. We make money when people come to our shows and when people pay, but because of the pandemic that has been stopped.” said Magasha.

Magasha called upon the government to come up with means and policies to help musicians in such challenging times.

“This was going to be better if there was a policy or if the government was to come up with a program to support musicians. We want the government to be supportive in what we do because I believe that art is a sector that brings money and forex into our country as well. The government should also protect our music because it is our intellectual property. There is a lot that the government can do to protect, support, and show us that we are important as well. We play a pivotal role in inspiring people”

Magasha said he does not only do music, but he has a job and he volunteers his services for a Foundation. At that foundation they engage and uplift communities in different ways and help them build ways to be self-sustaining.    

“Some of the projects we have been doing are irrigation, gardening, drilling boreholes in rural areas and towns. We are also involved in projects for women in Mutoko who are into sawing.”

Magasha advised Christian artists to be professional, innovative and creative in whatever they do.

“My advice to fellow Christian musicians is to be creative in what they do. Whatever they are doing they should do it wholeheartedly. They should understand that what they are doing is business and have to package it in a manner that is appealing internationally.”

Gospel artists currently resort to online shows, which they are yet to find better means on how to monetize. Magasha encouraged gospel artists to use the internet to sell their music.

“Nowadays a lot of things are happening online; you should also register your work online and make sure you are able to monetize your work be it on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. At the end of the day, do not only have one source of income.” He said.