Many South African musicians make a lot of money during their careers but by the time they die, they are completely broke and Zwai Bala says that he is working hard to make sure he doesn’t face the same fate as he reflects on his R3 million tax bill.
In a recent interview with Drum, the icon opens up about how he and his former TKZee bandmates, Tokollo Tshabalala and Kabelo Mabalane had failed to pay taxes between 1999 and 2005 while they were receiving money from Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
“They let us just slide and make the money and then they came into our accounts and checked on the amount of money that had gone in or through the accounts and then they charged us for income tax...I had to prove to them after this that no... money that went through my account was for personal use, he said.
A decade and a half later, Zwai Bala is adamant that he has adopted a new relationship with money and wants younger artists to learn from his mistakes.
“I learnt the importance of paper trail and documentation in regards to invoices. Now with the work that I do with Artistic Practitioners, I always tell the artists who work with me that I can’t pay you until you submit an invoice….we need to think beyond the notes and the glam...there are people with nice voices all the time but you need to know how to make money. You need to have a plan."
Main image credit: instagram.com/@zeebala