Make Money Mondays

'I've been poor. I remember the angst, the depression'

I literally save 10% [of everything she earns]… There are shares, there’s property, there are bonds… there are tax-free savings accounts… also forex… it’s completely spread out…

Lira

We were comfortable [growing up]… We had filtered water in Daveyton!

Lira

I’ve been poor… that’s the thing that gets me to be disciplined… I remember the angst, the depression…

Lira

Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.) as part of his weekly “Make Money Mondays, Personal Edition” feature.

This week Whitfield interviewed Lerato Molapo – mostly known as “Lira”.

Lira was born in 1979 in Daveyton on Johannesburg’s East Rand.

She is a multi-platinum selling and an 11-times South African Music Award-winning Afro-Soul vocalist.

Lira refers to her music as "a fusion of soul, funk, elements of jazz and African."

She grew up inspired by the likes of Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone and began performing live at the age of 16.

As an undergraduate student, Lira studied Accounting and did bookkeeping in exchange for recording time at a local studio, resulting in her first demo at the age of 18.

Upon graduating she became an accountant but resigned after two years to pursue her music career.

  • But what is it that she believes about money?

  • Does it keep her up at night?

  • Does she spend like crazy or save compulsively?

  • How did her childhood experiences shape her views on money?

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

I was convinced I couldn’t pursue music for a career…

Lira

I think that is the one thing [money management] I do well…

Lira

When I got some money I wanted to pay off my parents’ bond…

Lira

I’ve had people tell me, ‘Maybe you should go back to accounting’…

Lira

I’m very good with money… I budget for the money skeletons… it’s food… or shoes, or a bag, or earrings [which] I’m a sucker for…

Lira

As an artist, you constantly have this fear that it’s all going to go away. So, you restrict yourself…

Lira

I’ve seen people that have a lot but still don’t know how to be happy.

Lira

I’m the ultimate minimalist…

Lira

I love giving bursaries… education is the one thing that sets me apart as an artist… I’ve seen it [education] transform people’s lives.

Lira

I have nightmares about not reaching my potential.

Lira

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