Cassper Nyovest on rebooting, tax troubles & family
In life, problems come to break you, to pull you down, but speak to a motivational speaker, he/ she will tell problems come to strengthen you and show you how strong you are, Cassper Nyovest believes in this school of thought, he says this bittersweet year has in fact taught him how strong and smarter than he thought he was.
Away from the tax squabbles, and being marginalised along tribal lines, he still commands full stadiums across the country, and he’s been dubbed Abuti Fill Up. He just earned himself the best promoter and best hustler gongs at the recent SA Hip Hop Awards.
The year had been blowing both warm and cold for him, it has been a good and bad year for him.
“This year was bittersweet. I made the most money I have ever made but I also lost a lot because I had to pay the taxman,” he told DRUM magazine in an interview.
So, there was some elements of truth in the press reports that he owed R3 million to Sars? “I owed R13 million in fact. They reported that when I had already been paying my instalments. I was filing my taxes but my accountant made a few errors. The company I worked with had big accounts, my account was the smallest and I felt they neglected me a bit.
“I didn’t know much about tax, but when they did an audit they sent a junior accountant to assist me. So, when Sars called me in, he couldn’t answer some of the questions,” he said.
Cassper was surprised to be told he owed Sars R13 million. This came at the same time, he was in the process of settling a R7 million debt, which he accumulated during his ambitious drive to fill up Moses Mabhida Stadium.
“When some KZN artists complained about a Tswana guy getting sponsorships in their province, some of the sponsors pulled out,” he explained.
Having had reached a payment plan and made arrangements with Sars to settle his debt, he hopes to do so next month. “Luckily my assets weren’t repossessed,” he said with a sigh of relief.
However, Cassper is still far away from getting over all the hate, hauled towards him.
“Someone I considered cool asked me what a Tswana boy is doing in KwaZulu-Natal. I never knew there were still tribal wars and so much ignorance in our country. I assumed everybody would love Cassper,” he noted with concern.
But, this did not, stop the Mahikeng star from shining. “At home I don’t need to deal with the politics and hate. This time I’m doing Fill Up in my backyard [Royal Bafokeng Stadium],” he said with a sense of consolation.
When he began the Fill Up concerts in 2014, he wanted to inspire the African child and leave a mark. “I wanted the African child to dream because often we are told we are second best. People like Dr Tumi have been inspired by my dream and are doing a similar concept with the Word of God. That brings me joy,” Cassper said.
Having had started with 20 000 people at Ticketpro Dome, he sold out Orlando Stadium and 68 000 people bought tickets to see him live at FNB Stadium, his biggest turnout so far, in 2017. He’s inspiring others but is also learning along the way, especially regarding how to manage his finances.
“I’ve learnt not to talk too much about money, or the taxman will come for me again. But I will never stop flexing, I’m a flashy rapper,” said the muso, who is also earning from his work as a brand ambassador.
The self-styled big spender has been accused of being stingy, hard hearted who does not spare a dime for his community, but he denies the allegations. “In the beginning I would post giving back or doing charity work, hoping to inspire someone, but I was labelled a show-off and I stopped posting. Now people are saying I don’t do anything for the community. I do – I just don’t show it,” he said.
Cassper has developed a tough skin, and no longer pays attention to his critics. “I work hard for the things I have. People who don’t like me will never see the good in me – I’ve accepted it. Even back when I was at a club and that dude whose name I don’t like mentioning [AKA] came and slapped me and I made a choice not to slap back, critics called me all sorts of names. Had I retaliated, I would’ve been called a hooligan,” he said.
The Baby Girl rapper has big aspirations. Cassper is being groomed by Keith Bothongo, the executive chairman of Bothongo Group, after his mother, Muzuki Phoolo, linked them up. “He’s changed the way I see things. He is teaching me about values, morals, family and discipline. “I want to be a billionaire and not spend every night at Sumo nightclub buying people bottles and arguing over girls. I want a stable life with a wife and kids,” he said.
Cassper, broke up with presenter Boity Thulo in 2015, and could not be drawn to open up if he is dating or not. “I’ve learnt that public relationships don’t work out. When you have an argument at home and go to an event later, you must pretend everything is okay,” he said.
Being one of Mzansi’s most eligible bachelors, he’s tired of people poking their noses in his love life. “People will say, ‘I don’t like this one, go back to Boity’,” he lamented.
He has mastered the art of protecting all his relationships, including friendships, especially his bond with his BFF, comedian Carpo.
“I’ve had so many industry friends who are not in my life anymore. People who I considered brothers, they slept in my mom’s house. But Carpo has always been by my side. That’s my guy,” he said.They met 18 years ago.
“Our friendship is based on loyalty. He is my pillar of strength. I recently had an HIV scare and he went with me to get tested. That’s the level of friendship we are on,” he added.
He may have painfully parted ways with some friends and made some enemies as well, but there’s no doubt Cassper has had a good decade. “I always thought I was street-smart and my success was a fluke, but when I think about it, it was calculated moves. This year I’ve learnt I am smarter than I thought I was. I am fearless, brainy and intelligent, and I always figure it out,” he said.
The rapper, who enjoys showing-off his ripped muscles on social media, has also found love in taking good care of himself.
“I’m such an emotional person, even in my relationships, and I wasted a lot of time in beefs. I let myself get too angry. It was such a waste of time and energy. I would eat takeaways late in the evening, I would drink beer anytime, but now I workout twice a day. I stopped eating meat a month ago and I feel so good. I sleep better, my skin is clearer and I think clearer. I take care of myself, so I can take care of those I love,” he said.
He now set his sights on changing things up in the next and forthcoming decade.
“I’m turning 30, so I’m rebooting my life,” he said.