Keetmanshoop-Keetmanshoop artiste Ronald Dirkse says the going is tough in the music industry as artistes put much energy and money into their efforts but in the end don’t get the desired fruits from their hard work.
Narrating his career journey, the 41-year-old briefly went down memory lane saying although he had a love for music from a tender age, he only turned professional in 2008 and has since released what he termed an introductory album and two full albums. On how the journey in the music industry has been so far, he noted that it has been rough and tough, with input far greater than outcomes.
Ronald focuses on Nama traditional music with a blend of reggae. “I haven’t grown that much and haven’t harvested that much either – the recordings are expensive and I haven’t really made a profit from the CD sales,” he says, adding that getting to perform at shows is also proving difficult as he is rarely approached to appear at events that could be a source of income.
Ronald points out that the responses from people have been both negative and positive, with some liking his music while some not so much, but he indicated that he has become used to that as an artiste and that it’s normal.
He says that the lack of sponsors is challenging and that it’s difficult for him to use his own money to fund his projects. He adds that despite making such efforts, some people “hijack” his work by not paying for his CDs.
“Some want to support me so that I can go further with my plans, but some that I have trusted have taken the CDs on credit yet never paid – they disappointed me,” he says.
Further, he maintains that many talented artistes remain “backwards” due to lack of support, especially financial, adding that many young people die with their talents undeveloped. He is of the opinion that bodies that support artistes are not functioning properly and that the intended help never reaches them.
He calls on the government to come up with an initiative or scheme that will help struggling artistes like him, even by giving them loans to boost their careers. “The little we will get we will appreciate.”
He is also of the opinion that if local artistes are to make it big, they should start working together and not in isolation.
Asked what his music is all about and what message is contained in his songs, Ronald stresses his songs speak of day-to-day issues that affect people.
“My music is based on addressing issues, I look at the past, present and future.”