• July 15th, 2020

Harnessing and turning talents into a business



His greatest ambition lies in crafting a progressive and flourishing entertainment industry, hence he credits the likes of Robert Shipanga, Sula Kyababa, Fidel Odel, and DJ Remind as his biggest influencers who propelled him to start doing things on his own, mastering the craft of turning talents into a business.

 He is born Abraham Amushila and you know him as AB-Pro, Adora and Tulisan’s manager and has taken Jayden under his wing, but the tricenarian has always had an eye for the entertainment industry ever since he can remember before taking the bull by its horns. 
 “Around 1998 and 2000 there were several music shows like Music Makers Awards, I used to watch Soul Makosa, Penduka, Beats Per Minute and the Interest Grooves and that’s what made me love music so much. I was an NBC kid,” said AB-Pro.
 He said before that, most of his sway came from his parents’ effect of constantly listening to music, which also pushed him to develop the love for the industry. 

 “My parents are my biggest bellwethers when it comes to music. They would always play mbaqanga (A style of South African music with rural Zulu roots, which originated in the early 1960s), Pat Shange, Ipi Tombi, the late Brenda Fassie and Johnny Clegg, we use to listen to these a lot,” he recalled.

 The Oshakati born AB-Pro also recollected having had a passion for singing but doing that was too costly for him. 
 “At the age of 13, I went to the studio and the producers charged me a lot and I decided to start making my beats. At 15-years-old, I started making beats for Fresh Family and then moved on to my brother Tulisan and eventually started music movements in Ongwediva and together with Prizzy started another movement in Otjwarongo, making beats for Maszanga, ” he stated.
 AB-Pro is an all-rounder and multitalented in many facets of the entertainment industry, he is practically useful everywhere and these are things he erudite on his own. 

 “I produce and write songs, do marketing work, event management, music promoter, sound engineering. I am a TV producer and videographer. I learnt everything on my own, to know everything happening in the industry to be a step ahead. I was also a Unam Radio station production manager. What can I say, I like being in this industry,” admitted AB-Pro.
 He said: “People like me are hard to employ because we don’t know where we fit in because we do everything but we are creative beings. I believe creatives have the power to be as creative and capable as any creative from anywhere in the world. One thing that I keep asking myself is: How can I translate those opportunities to Namibia, the capability is there.”
 Holding an honours degree in Marketing, AB-Pro has with partners created a show, Die Eintlek Vibe, hosted by Adora and Tulisan to engage artists and getting deeper into conversations with them through their creative processes, and finding out what inspires them and touch into their personal lives.

 The idea came about with the three of them (Adora, Tulisan and AB-Pro) working tirelessly behind the scenes, preparing for shows, and incorporating backstage moments into their performances.
Apart from Die Eintlek Vibe, AB-Pro has also birthed a platform where local musicians can sell their songs via SMS, through a marketing agency dubbed ViralCom. 

 He said this is a solution for local music makers and fans and the focus is on making sure music made locally is sold at affordable rates for artists to make a living from their crafts hence the team is looking at giving prize money to Artist of the month which will be established soon.
 Future plans for the marketing agency is to now create a V10 Video chart and produce more TV shows. “When people vote for their top 10, we give a share to the most voted artist, that’s next in the pipeline. We also want to start producing more TV shows, live streaming. We busy acquiring live streaming equipment to start producing shows online,” he hinted.
 
Off the grind
 
For a person with a busy non-conforming schedule and a whole industry to positively contribute to, one would wonder if he ever has time for himself in terms of self-care, grooming and living wild and free, once in a while.
 AB-Pro said: “There are things which form part of my hobbies, very few, I love to travel. There is something about driving around which is rejuvenating and it’s one of my biggest hobbies. I am also into gaming, I try to play a game now and then, a bit of Fifa and Need For Speed, those are the main hobbies.”

 Whenever you see AB-Pro watching Netflix, then he is bored, beyond ennui. “When I am bored I watch Netflix or I tend to do studies and most research I do is on South Africa’s AKA and Jay Z. I like to see what they and how they do it. What they are busy with so that I can try in incorporate that into the Namibian context,” revealed AB-Pro.
 His daily routines are not fixed. “Anything can happen any day, if there is work that needs to be done on a particular day, I get busy and draw up proposals and submit them to the relevant companies. Even of the grind, work needs to be done,” he mentioned, further saying the creative industry has put him in a position of having irregular sleeping patterns but at least that doesn’t happen every day.
 
Self-reflection
 
With plenty of work to do, it is always important for self-introspection every now and then, even President Geingob has said this will be the year of self-introspection. AB-Pro said what keeps him grounded is respect for his cultural roots and him being a prayer warrior.
 “I am a prayerful person especially at times when I don’t understand myself, trying to stay in touch with my culture and where I come from. I am also nuuskierig (curious) about other people’s cultures. I am interested in knowing how other tribes think, and what they want to see. I am very pro-Namibian and support anything that is for the country,” he said.

 Growing up in Otjiwarongo has afforded him the luxury and privilege of interacting with people from different walks of life. With so many different tribes, it has given him the extra advantages of establishing how Namibians think. “I want us to do away with the mindset that we are not enough. I want us to deviate from we are not able to do certain things because we are able and we can,” he ended.
– psiririka@nepc.com.na 


Paheja Siririka
2020-06-19 18:38:00 | 25 days ago

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