Kiumi’s dream is to revolutionise local film industry
Wilfred Kiumi is a go-getter. From hairdressing in Maringo, Nairobi to now the CEO and Founder of Jamhuri Film and Television Academy.
“There is nothing I cannot do on a woman’s hair,” he says, recalling his two year experience in the job to raise money for fees to join the Kenya Institute of Mass Communications (KIMC) for his diploma in TV production.
When I get to Jamhuri Film and Television Academy along Ngong road, I find him in class with some students and I have to wait for few minutes before they take a break. He later takes me round the facility which clearly signifies the film practical skills offered in the school including the latest Full High Definition Digital and Film course.
Started in February 2012 with one teacher (himself), five students and two members of staff, Jamhuri Film has now grown to accommodating over 50 students, 15 teachers and eight members of staff.
“People assume that you need the whole amount of say Sh5 million to start a business like this school. That is not true. Sometimes you need the money in stages,” he says terming it as the major challenge to young people.
Like many would do, Kiumi did not have what one would call a formal budget to start the school. All he did was use the ‘little’ he had saved from his regular camera work freelance jobs to pay for the initial requirements which included rent and salary for the staff.
“Before anything else, you must learn to save, no matter how small your income is. Forget even about starting a business, if you are freelancing like me you may not get a job for the next one month to pay for your rent and buy food. So always keep some money aside,” he offers a word of advice.
Apart from saving, another virtue he has learnt is speaking about his dream. “Speak out because you may not know who will buy your idea,” he says.