So, while jammin’ to Traffic Cop neh, the entire time I was repeating the song, I was thinking one thing:
Oskido, Bruce Sebitlo, Trompies, Don Laka and all those talented dudes decided to have the guts to open up their own shops — record the music and sell it from the boot of their cars.
Without the benefit social media (and the vast networking opportunities we now have), even.
It’s so important — depending on what you want to achieve, of course — that you own and\or control ‘delicate’ parts of your ideas and work. That’s another thing I thought about.
This is simply because you can always hunt for a distribution deal to push your music, books, games or other creative pursuit. It’s only a small piece of the deal — it’s not like giving away the entire ownership of the work.
Of course, the downside of going at it like that is that all the workload lands squarely on your shoulders. You become responsible for every single thing, be it a win or a devastating setback. Whereas getting a deal that absolves you of the weighty responsibility of your talent and its work is an easier option; in the short term, yes.
What comes of your work in 30 years’ time will be none of your business if you go for the softer and rosier route, as history has proved from time immemorial.
I should tell you that right in the beginning days of 2019, I started thinking aggressively about how life is such a looong experience, yet, the mysterious and undefinable bastard moves at breakneck speed at the same time.
It’s absolutely fascinating and poetic stuff.
Another interesting thing is …
Playing the long game is easily the answer to a number of problems and frustrations many (young) people face.I look at my own work and realise that its magic hinges on my decision to control it myself. Take the writing of books, for instance. I can choose to go hunt for someone else to ‘help’ me sell the books I am writing or I can walk the thorny path of developing the stories myself and then selling them directly.
I look at my own work and realise that its magic hinges on my decision to control it myself. Take the writing of books, for instance. I can choose to go hunt for someone else to ‘help’ me sell the books I am currently writing or I can walk the thorny path of developing the stories myself and then selling them directly.
Granted, it’ll be more painful an experience than having another person handle the process (and of course, the pressure and potential losses it comes with). Personally, I’ve found that it gives me more satisfaction and importantly, unlimited personal growth, to go through the stresses, challenges and triumphs of making and selling my works of (words \ storytelling) art; the process makes me a better professional, a better human being, a stronger person. An animal, if I may insist.
In the case that I need to scale up and push more volumes, another person can help me push those volumes and then get a cut from the (business) value created — not own the words, the narrative.
When you think of this song and the other projects Brothers of Peace went on to do over the span of their careers, they eventually came to exude an attitude of self reliance and it can be argued convincingly, they possess bravado by the truckloads. (Oh, self-confidence; you valuable friend.)
An animal …
I suppose that’s what a human being becomes when they have to make their life work, come what may.
Without that survival instinct, the urge then to venture out on their own and bootstrap their own businesses, owing to the lack of imagination of the then music executives to include the rough-around-the-edges genre that became Kwaito, there would be no Traffic Cop and the culture would’ve suffered greatly for it because the guys would have then let gatekeepers dictate what gets recorded and sold to the world. (Their different stories and perspective on life would not have been heard.)
In any case, remember: Life is long, so, decide and plan long.
And be brave.