Zwai Bala engages young creatives18 February 2020
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An audience of young aspiring creatives filled the AMPD Studio for the first Masterclass of 2020 with icon, Zwai Bala, on 18 February 2020.

Zwai Bala is well known for his time with popular kwaito trio, TKZee and since then, has transitioned into a musical entrepreneur and is recognised as one of the top crossover producers and musical directors in South Africa. Every month, a diverse audience packs out the Old Mutual AMPD Studios in Newtown, Johannesburg, where musical icons inspire and empower upcoming musos, songwriters, rappers and lyricists.

Zwai started his Masterclass by emphasizing that without a plan for yourself, you are going to fall into someone else’s plan who doesn’t necessarily have a plan for you. At a young age Zwai made history but told the audience that it’s not just about talent but that being reliable is the key to success. “It’s not about how talented you are, it’s about how reliable you are. In order to sustain yourself in the industry, you need to be reliable.” says Bala.

“Find what your craft is, consistently put in the hard work and perfect your craft. What is your core business? These are the questions you need to ask yourself, then, add a value to it.”


Following Bala’s tax debacle earlier in his career, he reiterated to the crowd that there is no such thing as ‘tax prevention’. “Do not play around with your taxes. Find out what it is that you need to do in order to set this up and do it right from the get-go,” says Zwai. As aspiring creatives, it can get overwhelming but educating yourself on how the business works is key.

The crowd was not only eager to learn but during the Q&A session, some highlighted how Zwai Bala has inspired them and how honoured they are to receive the advice and guidance. Zwai also covered the topic of knowing in which direction you are going, how important it is to add value and monetise your craft, “Know who you are, what you’re about, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. Once you’re there, add a value to it. Consistently doing favours for others will not pay the bills and will not afford you the tools you’ll need. When doing something, ask yourself, what is this in monetary terms?” says Zwai.

John Manyike, Head of Financial Education at Old Mutual, shared three important tax facts. The difference between tax avoidance, evasion and refusal. “All three are unlawful and should never be practiced. When avoiding tax, you are capitalising on the country’s tax laws to minimise your liability. Tax evasion is when you dodge paying tax through illegal means. Tax refusal is when you refuse to pay your tax liabilities.” John shared how important it is for the youth and aspiring entrepreneurs to keep record of their finances and if they are needing help, to consult a tax expert. “Get a tax expert to help with your tax affairs, keep your house in order,” concluded John Manyike. A financial adviser can come in handy to explain and demystify the complexities of tax efficiency as using the right savings vehicle or business account is important. Rather visit SARS, before SARS visits you.

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