Tanzania: I Left Teaching to Become a Producer

When he dropped his carrier as a teacher, many were shocked at his decision to leave a decent career and head for a gamble.

Though it looked like some wild goose chase Reginald Lucas,42, thought it was worth trying something else, even when no one gave him a chance of succeeding as a music producer.

"I had taught for about 10 years but up to my resignation, I had done nothing to show for it and this really disturbed me," he says.

He was looking for something that would rescue him from the merger earnings of S50,000 per month, an amount that was hardly enough to meet his weekly expenses.

The workload that required him to mark up to 300 exercise books in a day just didn't match the pay at all.

It was a decision that he made without consulting any of his close family members because he knew no one would support the idea.

And though he knew that many of his relatives would not support his idea, his wife was the only person that he turned to at that moment.

"I had always had the passion on music since my childhood, I just went to teaching college to pressure from my father who was also a senior teacher in various schools in Mwanza and other places," he says.

According to him the choice to study education was his father's because he believed it was a more stable profession and that is how he ended studying education at St. Augustine University.

"During our time it was not debatable on what career choice one was inclined to as parents ignored their children's ambitions," he notes.

The early days were not very easy as he had no capital and that is why he chose to partner with a friend.

"I had to convince a friend who had the production equipment and knowledge to allow me some time in the studio," he says.

After three months at the studio he had already adapted to the environment and was already comfortable with the piano and other instruments in the studio.

"I was attracted on this career because it is a little bit direct, after you have prepared the audio and the client likes it, he will pay on cash. You rarely go home without money," says Reginald.

Speaking to The Beat Reginald says that though he is yet to reach the asking price of the so called big production houses, he is already reaping from his gamble as he charges between Sh 300, 000 and Sh 500,000 per recording.

"The price varies from the kind of music a client wishes to have, but so far I have done more gospel tracks in comparison to Bongo Flava," he explains.

He considers himself as multi-producer given the fact that he never had any formal training in the chosen field and yet he has managed to rival the best.

He plays the piano and the guitar too; he believes that good work will always stand the taste of time!

After the installation of his studio in Kibaoni Mahini he was in doubt whether his clients would look for him but contrary to his earlier thoughts they came calling soon.

At his new office at Mahina-Kanyerere Reginald is known as 'Master' and despite being located in some remote area this has not been obstacle to him at and his clients at all.

"It's about five kilometers from the city center but since my work is unique, I always get many clients who need my hands on their work."

His adventure has paid off as he now lives in his own home and has gone ahead to build some rental houses in Kiseke .

"I now have my own home and in addition I have created some jobs to youth who are interested on following this as a career," he adds.

He can also afford to pay school fees for his two daughters who are in Mzumbe and Dodoma universities taking medicine with the income from his studio.

But this success hasn't come without a price as he is quite a lonely man since most of his friends have deserted him due to rivalry.

He has had to deal with harsh clients too who are in most cases very impatient and can hardly listen to his advice as a professional and yet when the work turns out with poor quality they come back complaining.

"The challenges we undergo are so many, a person will record and remain in the studio to leave with the audio without waiting for rectifications. This makes me unhappy as the completion out there is just too stiff," says Reginald.

Source: The Citizen.