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Entertainment - Date: 22 April 2018
Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 1803
The 21-year-old Akani Malungana, founder and managing director of A-Images, is a young man with a clear vision of what he wants to achieve. This resident of Zava village in Giyani, who describes himself as a self-taught photographer and graphic designer, started making a name for himself and has already won accolades such as the Mapungubwe Designer of the Year 2016 award.
What started off as a hobby for Akani gradually turned into a career. “I am a photography specialist, and it has not been easy for me either,” he says. “At some stage I had no proper equipment for large scale work and was so broke I thought I was going to close business.”
He remembers that he approached the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) for funding, where he submitted applications for two consecutive years, with no luck.
“My mother knew how much I wanted to pursue this career, and she tried by all means to help me even though she pays school fees and rental for two of my siblings including myself,” he says.
In November 2015 he started the company, A-Images, after getting positive feedback from his posts on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. “A year later A-Images reached 10 000 followers on Facebook. More and more people started booking us for professional photography,” he explains. “That’s when I took everything serious.”
He remembers that during his first year at the University of Johannesburg he had to sell his first iPhone to help get the equipment which he needed to run the business at the time.
“I just struck a serious deal early this year and after the job I managed to purchase my first professional camera and other professional equipment worth R100 000,” he says. “It was difficult, but what made it easier was my level of discipline and support from my mother.”
So far, Akani’s future as a young businessman is looking bright. “I will never stop hustling until my name is on Forbes,” he says.
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A self-taught photographer and graphic designer, Akani Malungana, displays the Mapungubwe Designer of The Year 2016 award.
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.