Lebo M. is one of South Africa’s most successful music producers and composers with a net worth pegged at $1.4 million. His career began in the year 1994 and we have seen him produce soundtracks for notable films like The Lion King, The Power of One, Born to Be Wild, etc. Though he got famous for making music, we have come to learn that music is not his only source of income. We explore the different ways Lebo is securing the bag to maintain such fortune.
Lebo M’s Career Growth From a $20 Music Single to a $1.4 Million Net Worth
With over two and half decades of experience working as a music composer and producer, Lebohang “Lebo M” Morake has grown tremendously well in the industry to set the pace for many of his contemporaries. Looking at his present net worth estimated to be at least $1.4 million, one might be surprised to see that it’s the same person who earned $20 as a 13-year-old for recording his first single titled “Celebration” in 1977.
From this point onward, Lebo never relented. At 15, he got a job as a singer in Victoria Hotel Lesotho, and it was while performing at the hotel that he was opportune to meet Lesotho’s Ambassador to the United States Tim Thahane who paved the way for him to study at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, in the USA. After his studies, he relocated to Los Angeles to further his music career, beginning with the Los Angeles City College where he enrolled to study.
While in Los Angeles as a student, Lebo was able to secure a gig to perform at Memory Lane nightclub, and following his spectacular performances at the club, different opportunities came his way which he utilized to further his music career. Through his childhood friend Solly Letwaba, he met Hans Zimmer who sought his opinion on the soundtrack of the film The Power of One, and with this opportunity, Lebo didn’t disappoint. He ended up becoming the co-writer and co-producer of the film’s music with Zimmer. After the brilliant work he did with Zimmer, Lebo got gigs to work in box office hits like Congo (1995) which made $152 million from a production budget of $50 million, and Outbreak (1995) which made $189.8 million from $50 million budget.
He Was Part of The Lion King and Earned from It
If not for the musical input of Hans Zimmer and Lebo M, perhaps The Lion King would have lacked a lot in terms of the singing and chants seen all over the film which to many gave it life. Lebo’s voice is heard in a chant at the beginning of the film which has come to be adopted as the film’s image. Aside from the first installment, he was also the brain behind the soundtrack in Rythm of the Pride Lands, The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride.
Following the immense success of the films, Zimmer and Lebo won a Grammy Award for their composition in The Lion King while Zimmer went on to pick an additional Academy Award for Best Original Score.
Details of how much Lebo M. got paid for his composition in the Lion King is not known, but seeing that the film made a whopping $968.5 million at the box office after about $45 million was spent to produce it, there is no doubt that the talented South African composer was well rewarded for his work in the film.
Other Ventures That Contribute to Lebo M’s Income?
Indeed, Lebo M. has come a long way and worked hard to be where he is today in the center of South Africa’s entertainment industry and indeed the global entertainment industry. As a result of his hard work, he has a deserving net worth of about $1.4 million conservatively estimated. Some other sources pegged his monetary worth at a minimum of $1 million while others estimated him to be worth as much as $5 million. At any of the extreme’s he might be on, it is possible that Lebo has other investments from which he possibly earns money. One of the sources we know is his Till Dawn Entertainment company.
Till Dawn Entertainment
The company which was founded in 2007 by Lebo M with about 10 employees in all its locations is described as a promotion company in South Africa’s entertainment industry distinct from many others. Till Dawn Entertainment is based in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, and is involved in everything music. The company is involved in organizing BeerPong leagues and tournaments, club events on a weekly or monthly basis, studio recording, producing, mastering, music video production, organizing and promoting concerts, venue and artist booking, etc. Reports have it that they have made as much as $1.31 million in sales since the establishment of the company.
Apart from this company, we have not been able to verify any other business venture Lebo M. owns or possibly invested in and earns income from. Be that as it may, a man of his caliber will definitely not have just two income sources.
How He Spends His Money
Being someone who is not known to be in the habit of showing off his wealth, it’s quite difficult to ascertain what exactly Lebo M. spends his money on, more so the luxury he splurges his wealth on. But from the little that has been gathered, we know he has homes in South Africa and Los Angeles.
His South African home is situated in Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate in Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa. A 3 bedroom house in the area costs as much as R7 million while bigger houses cost more in tens of millions of rand. Though it is not known the type of house Lebo lives in there, seeing how successful his career has been, there’s no doubt that he is living in luxury.
Is Lebo M Involved In Any Charity Work?
As a way to give back to society, Lebo M founded the Lebo M Foundation which is a charity organization that caters to the social needs of vulnerable individuals and communities by empowering and addressing health and educational issues with such communities. The charity organization has been able to achieve one of its objectives and earned praise for creating awareness about HIV in South Africa and other parts of the world. The foundation is especially commended for calling the attention of people to stop stigmatizing and discriminating against carriers.
In November 2006, the charity organization was presented with the Black Quarterly Award for Corporate Social Responsibility by South Africa’s captains of industries. In another development in line with his charity work, Lebo M. was on April 26, 2010, appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).