Making ends meet
Maun youth fully focused on the power of the lens
For most youngsters who fail their Form Three, the future represents a daunting prospect, as a big, unforgiving world full of uncertainty lies ahead.
In a country where unemployment figures are sky high, most of the fear stems from financial pressure and the need to find a job despite limited qualifications.
Keen to avoid this struggle, after flunking his JCE, Setso Vincent Makata took his destiny into his own hands – quite literally.
The 20-year-old Maun man realised his best chance at boosting his bank balance was to become his own boss, turning to his childhood passion for photography in his bid for financial freedom.
He has been surviving through the camera lens ever since, setting up Spocks Online Shots, a fully-registered company that offers photography and videography services in and around Maun.
Makata’s professional offerings include corporate photography and family photo shoots, as well as covering conferences and events.
“I did not want to work for anybody because it is stressful. This company was my way of creating employment for myself. Before I started this business, life was tough considering the fact that I did not do well in my Junior Certificate and had no start-up capital. However, today I can take care of myself,” the young snapper tells Voice Money.
Makata is rightly proud of how far he has come on the back of a talent he first realised as a Form Two student at Sedie Community Junior School.
“I started by doing street photography on weekends. I’d hire a camera and go to the mall and take pictures for a small fee of P5 per photo. At the end of the day I would pay the owner of the camera and have the remaining money all to myself,” remembers Makata, who used to have a studio in Maun Main Mall but shut it down in January to save on expenses and now runs a purely mobile operation.
Through consistency and hard work, the young snapper has earned a reputation for being reliable and professional; indeed, he admits he is quite the perfectionist!
“After taking pictures I take my time editing them to enhance their quality even during the shoot. I am patient with clients and I even direct them on how to pose. I only produce the best shots!” exclaims the self-taught photographer, adding he has been able to buy better equipment as his business grows.
“I do not have to hire anymore,” he quips proudly.
Although he has done relatively well for himself, Makata notes running Spocks Online Shots is not all plain sailing, with tight customers and growing competition from street photographers proving his main challenges.
“Some people refuse to pay up after I have invested my time and resources, while some only pay a deposit and refuse to pay the remaining balance. People do not want to pay for our services but to buy equipment can be very costly. The other challenge is that nowadays there are a lot of street photographers and some people use them since they are cheaper.”
Despite this, Makata has high hopes for the coming years and dreams of his company having studios across the country and even internationally.
To take his services to the public, the business owner advertises through his Spocks Online Shots Facebook page (which currently boasts 2, 100 followers), door-to-door marketing as well as fliers and posters.