Life After Idols Means Getting to Grips with the Reality of Money, says 2020 Winner

Life changes when you are an Idols winner. You find that your bank balance suddenly swells, bringing home the fact that life will never be the same and that peoples’ expectations of you will change with your new social standing.  These two realities were born home to Zama Khumalo, who walked away with the Idols 2020 title and entered a life that couldn’t be anticipated while competing in South Africa’s favourite talent extravaganza. 

As the curtain prepares to go down on the 2021 competition, Zama says the winner should focus on doing the best for himself or herself. Above all, she says, the temptation to fulfill rash promises involving money made to friends and family should be avoided. 

Speaking to John Manyike, Head of Financial Education at Old Mutual, about her win and the financial changes it brought, Zama said that as a new young artist, she was now facing new career challenges that are presently being cushioned by her winnings. “The money came when I needed it most. My dad is temporarily employed, and the winnings meant I could help my family and become financially independent.” However, she added when responding to Manyike, this also meant finding a financial balance. 

Responding to Manyike’s questions about money lessons she has learned, Zama says she understands that: 

  • Planning your finances is essential, as it is easy to spend and then regret the decisions that you have made. 
  • When you are in your 20’s you should save as much money as you can so you can enjoy it later in life. 
  • Spending on unnecessary items should be avoided. 
  • Money doesn’t change the person you are it changes the people around you who expect you to be generous with your money to their benefit.  

The financial lessons they identified as the most important during the session was to understand the difference between saving and investing- the one being short-term, the other long-term and the benefits of not being seduced by fame, which would not last forever. 

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