When Opportunity comes Knocking: “How I turned my childhood passion into a business”
When Anthony Kimani Mwangi was growing up at St Nicholas Children’s Home in Flamingo Estate on the outskirts
of Nakuru Town in the 1990s he used to visit Kenya Broadcasting Corporation offices in Nakuru Town.
However, little did he know that the frequent visits he made at the state corporation were the first step of his
journey to join the world of media.
As an orphan in the orphanage which offers a second chance for abandoned, homeless and abused children, he
was fascinated by the images he was watching on a black TV set at the hall.
His Visit to KBC
“I was keen on following the news and documentary on TV and I wondered how the news was gathered and
relayed. I decided to visit KBC offices in Nakuru while in Form Two at Menengai High School in 1994 and met the
late James Njuguna who was a cameraman. He showed me tips to take video and elementary camera handling skills
after he realised I had a passion for video shooting,” recalls Mr Kimani.
After visiting Mr Njuguna several times his confidence grew so much so that at one time the cameraman asked him
to cover a private wedding assignment he could manage.
“That was my first time to shoot a commercial video and he was satisfied with my work. It was hard to realise the
work was done by a rookie. I was paid Sh500 and that motivated me to work hard,” recalls Mr Kimani.
After completing his secondary education, he joined Daystar University where he studied video production.
After graduation he would lease a video camera from friends for a fee and covered social events such as weddings,
burials and birthdays and saved some money for a rainy day and he bought his first video camera.
“I bought my first commercial video camera at Sh110,000 in 2002 after I was paid Sh30,000 for a wedding and that
was a game-changer to me as I started receiving many referrals and all my weekends were fully booked,” said the
45-year-old father of four two boys and two girls.
He has Since been a Busy Bee
He has since been the busy bee, covering weddings and burials in far-flung areas such as Kakamega, Nyeri, Nairobi,
Kajiado, Kisumu, Kisii and Meru counties among others.
“Before Covid-19 pandemic, I was having at least four weddings in a month which I charge between Sh50,000 and
Sh150,000 within Nakuru which include high-quality albums and outside the county, I charge an additional
Sh20,000 and this is good money in a month,” said Mr Kimani.
Besides weddings and burials, his services are popular during graduation at colleges and universities where he charges Sh20,000.
He has opened a studio which has kept him going during the pandemic period.
“For a photoshoot we charge between Sh100-200 while passport photos we charge Sh200 and outdoors shoots
between Sh2,000 and Sh5,000 and this is another stream of revenue,” he says.
Due to his high-quality work, Mr Kimani has attracted corporate clients and professionals such as Kenya Obstetrical
and Gynaecologist Association, Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) Democracy
Mr Kimani has a detailed contractual agreement that clients must sign and this assures them of quality work.
“At Joy Media Productions we are driven by high quality and not quantity because I believe the customer you serve
day will be your ambassador and will referrer to you more customers,” offered Mr Kimani.
His Secret to Success
He says the secret to success is doing quality work to the satisfaction of the customers.
“The photography and videography sector is full of opportunities but what matters is the quality end product and
that is where we beat our competitors hands down,” he said.
He said one of the challenges he has overcome over the years is burglary which has seen him lose equipment worth
more than Sh1.2million after his shop was broken into.
The other challenge is that some of the customers have refused to pick their processed videos.
“I’m owed more than Sh300,000 by clients who have refused to come and pick their wedding videos and photo
albums,” said Mr Kimani.
He has started a YouTube channel to live stream events online such as weddings, burials, church functions, dowry
engagements among others.
He said he invested in buying modern cameras and equipment for live streaming and other equipment such as
tripods, laptops, microphones, computer graphics software, batteries and speakers.
By Cynthia N.