DOING WHAT HE LOVES AND MAKING MONEY FROM IT
By: Sandile Zikhali
Statistics reveal that most young people from the rural areas relocate to bigger cities after matric in search of employment and study opportunities.
Senzo Mhlongo (24) hails from a small township in Mtubatuba and now has established himself as a young businessman in the city of Durban.
When Mhlongo first arrived in Durban in 2011, he had hope that he will find work and make his mother proud. But this seemed to be a huge challenge since he only got petty jobs that didn’t pay that much.
But these challenges never broke his spirit, even though most his peers from back home landed spaces in universities and institutions around Durban to pursue their dream careers. He said it was very difficult talking to peers that seemed like everything was going well for them in varsity.
“There were times when I found it difficult to say what kind of work I was doing, since I was working at China Mall. It was as if I’m settling for less but I believed that I was destined for greater things,” said Mhlongo.
With his mother being the only financial supportter while he was staying with his sister-in-law, this pushed him in applying and sending out résumés in all kind of places looking for a job.
Unknowingly this lead to him being introduced to photography in 2012 which he now regards as his “first love”.
“When I was called for a resident photographer interview at Moses Mabhida stadium, I didn’t have any knowledge about photography but that didn’t stop me from taking up the challenge,” explained Mhlongo.
During the years of 2012 – 2014, Mhlongo’s life became a roller-coaster ride after he lost his job but was then hired by Zoom Pix, another photography company, as manager for their new branch.
“The love I had for photography pushed me into starting my photography business on the side but I later on decided to expand it to a model managing and media company.”
Being a person who likes to maintain originality he decided to name his business Imifanekiso Photography.
“I wanted something unique that was going to represent a number of people, not only me. Basically Imifanekiso means image, it just simplifies what I am about,” said Mhlongo.
Business partner and friend, Thabang Molefe, defines Mhlongo as a young man with a great potential and creativity.
“I decided to go into business with him because he is enthusiastic, everything that he touches blossoms and becomes big. You can never go wrong with him, he pushes hard and he has a bright future ahead of him,” Molefe explained.
When talking about the youth of today, Mhlongo said most people are too laid back and they have lost focus.
“People should stop being too comfortable, they should push and strive for the best. We as the youth shouldn’t settle for less and your background doesn’t determine where you going,” said Mhlongo.