Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
SINCE time immemorial, Zimbabwe has been churning out stars who have touched hearts of many with their amazing talent.
Some have gone on to conquer the world while others dominated locally and regionally.
However, it is their departure to the other world which has exposed most of them for their planning boobs.
It also appears that some don’t invest in the future when they are at their peak.
This follows the death of mbira grandmaster Sekuru David Tafanei Gweshe whose family is desperately looking for help to give him a dignified send-off.
H-Metro Assistant News Editor (Entertainment) Trust Khosa spoke to a number of arts regulatory chiefs, music promoters, socialites and fellow artists who shared their sentiments. Read on…
NICHOLAS MOYO (National Arts Council of Zimbabwe director) – You will remember that NACZ did introduce the Cell-brity Funeral Plan through Cell Funeral and there were no takers. It was a sad response from the sector.
Muwengwa was the first artist to be covered then.
It is important that artists should view themselves as equal citizens to others. Zimbabweans are generally known for embracing social schemes like burial societies. This has been a culture from the communities that we come from and these had nothing to do with status. An artists should therefore not be an exception.
Artists like any other professionals should embrace social services schemes like funeral and medical policies.
The Council however has been engaging insurance companies to design packages for special groups that do not have regular income. Tailor made schemes may be more attractive to the sector.
BARBARA CHIKOSI (Music promoter/businesswoman)- Yes its good for celebrities to join.
I know they all want to but the policies are meant for well-established big artists who get shows week in week out and can afford to pay these funeral policies. Most of the artists hardly get enough to send their own children to school, moreover afford to pay monthly funeral cover.
I feel this is where each Association in arts should come in and cover across the board all their members. They should find a way of raising the contributions for a basic cover. Those top celebrities can then make a choice according to their pocket.
SPENCER MADZIYA (Entertainment consultant/businessman) – Like it or not, death is a part of life and something that has to be planned for. Buying a funeral policy for you and your family should not be seen as a waste.
It’s about you protecting your family against the financial burden of funeral expenses in the event of death. Celebrities tend to forget it when their star is shining that a funeral policy is of importance, as a person in the arts industry it’s disturbing to see people making contributions to give our stars a decent burial. Proverbs 13:22 – A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, (not funeral debts).
MANGWENYA (Artist/entrepeneur) – I feel musicians should consider Life insurance policies as well as securing a fraction of their earning towards medical aid and funeral cover as those things are unavoidable.
A proper send-off is very vital in everybody’s life especially the public figures and your legacy will be respected after you are gone.
CHIPAZ (music promoter businessman) – Hupenyu hwakarongeka hunorongwa ne murongi akarongeka kuti vanoda kurongeka vauye kune vakarongeka.
so a celebrity must be identified by being organised for most people emulate your status by joining funeral policy medical etc is a sign of kurongeka so that people emulate you till death.
WANISAYI “MAHWINDO” MUTANDWA (socialite/events manager) – I once raised the issue at Selmor Mtukudzi’s luncheon when we approached Doves Morgan Funeral Services appealing for a special package for celebrities.
However, it appears most artistes are not serious and look at what has happened to Sekuru Gweshe.
It’s hard to imagine he was the most revered mbira player but he did not plan his future.
It’s high time every artiste register their band members for the funeral policies because it’s not only embarrassing but a shame to the industry.
ENISIA MASHUSHA – None of us wants to be a burden when we die. Having a funeral policy ensures that our final destination is catered for and carried out, and that is important.
AARON CHIUNDURA MOYO (author/filmmaker) – I am sure many artists learnt a lot from the funeral of Neverneyi Chinyanga popularly known as Muvengwa of Studio 263.
Yes, it`s not an easy task for most of the artists to raise funds for their burial but if chance be, one must try to prepare for his or death unless if ones knows that there are people who are without doubt going to give him or her a respectful burial wherever it will take place.
PANGANAYI HARE (artiste/music promoter/lawyer) – My encouragement to all celebrities is to take up funeral policies with reputable funeral assurance companies to avoid being buried like paupers. It is so sad to see those who in their hey days were celebrities being buried like destitutes yet funeral assurance companies have packages to suit all pockets. It is good to prepare for our departure because once we are born the next thing is to exit this world. Everyone, least of all celebrities, deserves a decent send off.
BIGGIE CHINOPEREKWEI (Music promoter/businessman) – Everybody needs a funeral policy of some kind.
If money is an issue people can join or form burial societies.
It’s very affordable and price of funeral policies has gone down these days.
It’s not impossible to have one but people usually think it’s too early to have one and procastinate.
We all need to start preparing for our death on the day we are born because death is inevitable.
FAITH CHIHERA TARUVINGA (fashionista/events manager) – As a celebrity, l strongly believe that family comes first before fame.
So our kids should not be the ones left to be in the cold when we die because we did not take up necessary funeral policies on time.
Death is not something we like to think about but when there is a death in the family most people wish they had extra cash to pay for the funeral.
Like it or not, death is a part of life and something that has to be planned for.
It’s about you protecting your family against the financial burden of funeral expenses in the event of death of a loved one.
ALBERT CHIMEDZA (Mbira tutor/promoter). I don’t think that the problem is peculiar to celebrities. It is a general problem. We only know about it when it concerns celebrities because they are in the limelight.
Sadly we have become a non-saving culture.
This may be partly a reflection of a general distrust for financial institution. People have lost their savings and the value of their insurance policies over the years. Both the financial institutions and the public need to develop a new culture when it comes to how we deal with money. Perhaps the start could be teaching financial management and ethics in schools.
SOMANDLA NDEBELE (musician) – I do urge celebrities to be very serious about getting funeral policies.
It is so sad at the end of your life to find out that you had no funeral cover.
It’s a burden to those left behind to start to beg for assistance to cover for your own funeral expenses. It’s good to enjoy your life but you should remember to spare a little for your funeral cover.
No one is going to live forever. So the way we budget our different types of entertainment, so example some of us do drink most expensive beers go to braai in groups nearly every weekend spending huge amounts of money. Driving nice cars, subscribing to different entertainment but failing to subscribe for a funeral policy that may be as little as $10 bond per month. It’s so sad. Let’s think twice please maZimCeleb. Tisavepewo mhuri dzedu nevasara mitoro please
BRIAN SAMAITA (Musician/businessman) – I believe it’s good to have a funeral policy, one might have money now but when it happens in most cases you will be broke due to some expenses of medications and etc, so its better to prepare before it happens.
TAKEMORE MAZURUSE (Youth empowerment advocate) – As Zimbabwe Network for Economic and Social Transformation (Zinest) we believe in excellence and productivity amongst all citizens, artists included. We encourage every Zimbabwean to excel in their field of work so that they live comfortably. Even more important however is for artists to look beyond life by way of enlisting for funeral policies.
While you may be able to find a way around some of the challenges you encounter while alive, there is very little you can do to make amends when you are dead and that reality must inspire artists to work on burial plans. A funeral policy assures you a respectable send off. It’s much wiser to determine how your last image should be like unlike to leave it to others. Like Oliver Mtukudzi sang, Chimwe nechimwe chine nguva yacho, ramangwana rirongere (there is time for everything and we must make hay whilst the sun shines.
DAVID NGWERUME (Sculptor/lawyer) – Its more than wise and cheaper to have funeral policy as it allows you a decent burial its always n honour and dignifying to be Rested in Peace.
JONATHAN BANDA (Winky D manager) – Sometimes it’s not entirely their fault. Others could have been victim to whittling down of value in light of hyperinflation thereby repelling contemplating such a move. Moreover Arts bodies and Revenue collection associations might not be doing enough to sensitize them towards this move, leaving reactive assistance upon bereavement.
Loss of value of pensions, savings and insurance is a reality currently bedeviling the planning mindset.
BLESSING IVAN (Thomas Mapfumo publicist) – I think it’s high time that our artists take their work seriously and run it professionally and make investments.
Artists should know that the future is planned and there is need to prepare for life after their careers, they need to invest in such things as funeral policies, medical insurance and above all insurance policies that will cushion them in case something happens.
EDITH “WEUTONGA” KATIJI – As individuals I think we can never have enough money but how we plan for it is what determines the end result and I just urge all my fellow musicians to plan for the future by having funeral cover and life assurance.
We have service providers like Zimnat, Nyaradzo and Doves and we need to plan our future.
CLIVE MONO MUKUNDU (producer/tutor/instrumentalist) – As Zimbabwean musicians we always lack fore sight and good planning, which is the reason why many of us die paupers.
Having a funeral policy is in the same bracket as saving money,its essential for every human.
We should also do away with the thinking that having a funeral policy kuzvishurudzira kufa.