Anthony Atenga: How Nakuru Businessman Built Successful Media Company With Ksh20,000 Salary

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Anthony Atenga: How Nakuru Businessman Built Successful Media Company With Ksh20,000 Salary
Mr Anthony Atenga Lumumba at his office at Shawmut plaza in Nakuru town on July 16, 2022. PHOTO/COURTESY

Anthony Atenga is the proprietor of Atesh Graphics – a media company located in Nakuru Town, Nakuru County, with a focus on photo and video production, branding, printing and graphic design.

From what started out as a small photocopy and printing shop in Nakuru’s Wakulima Market, Atenga has grown the business into a big photography and video production company which now even live streams social and corporate functions.

Atesh Graphics is renowned within Nakuru and its environments and is a go to for family and friends seeking to ‘keep record of important memories’.

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During an interview with the Nation, the entrepreneur revealed that the business was born out of passion and dedication. Atenga developed a passion for computer studies in 2004 while still a student in high school. He was thrilled by graphics design, and every opportunity he had, he would go to the computer lab and learn more.

He was a student at Kapenguria Boys High School and while in Form Three, he began to commercialise his skills. He would design and print love letters for his fellow students who would pay him in return.

“I would charge Ksh50 for a letter which I would design using a school computer and copy it on a floppy disk. I would then sneak out of school to print it. Some of the teachers would also pay me to typeset their notes,” Atenga told The Nation.

After high school, his parents wanted him to be a teacher, but he had other plans. A friend of his helped him enroll at a college in Nakuru Town where he pursued a Diploma in Information Technology.

When he was not in class, the same friend offered him a job at his cyber café where he would work whenever he was free.

Atenga landed a job at a branding agency in Nakuru shortly after graduating from college. However, he worked at the company for three months before he was laid off when the firm decided to downsize.

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He was paid Ksh20,000 as salary arrears which he used to purchase a second hand desk top computer and a photocopier machine. He then sublet a stall at the Nakuru Wakulima Market where he offered printing and photocopier services. He named the shop, Atesh Graphics.

“Majority of those that visited my shop came to photocopy their Identity cards, and to supplement the money I made from this, I would copy songs to memory cards at a fee. Later, I decided to seek clients in colleges, I would typeset their assignments as well as projects,” he says.

In 2012, Atenga’s breakthrough came when he was contracted by a politician who was eyeing elective office to print his cards. From the job, he got enough money to expand his space. He acquired new machines.

In the run up to the 2013 general elections, more and more politicians were referred to his shop and with each successful tender, he made more money that enabled him to expand his business.

Atenga decided to launch a photo and video production unit in 2014 after a competitor cheated him out of a deal.

“We had an agreement with a person who ran a photo studio in a nearby shop that I would always refer my clients to his studio for a photo, but I would be the one to do the graphic design and printing part. One day I sent my client, who, besides business cards, wanted his photo taken, to his studio, but he never returned. I only came to learn later that they had convinced him to design and print his cards at their shop after they took his photo,” he says.

Atenga decided to learn photo and video production, and in the process employed four people including his wife Linet Kerubo and trained her so that she could help him run their business.

When the Covid-19 pandemic came, Atenga, just like other businessmen around the world was forced to adjust to the new norm, and that is when the idea of live streaming came to him.

 “I first began by recording church sermons and posting them on YouTube before the idea to livestream came about. Initially, I used mobile phones, but bought the required equipment when the business flourished,” he said.

Business thrived and Atenga managed to move to an even bigger space at Shawmut Plaza in Nakuru town.

According to The Nation, the businessman revealed that the studio currently has 10 employees and makes between Ksh150, 000 to Ksh350,000 per month.

Atenga’s clientele comprises of people holding weddings, burials, graduations, and corporate events. He attributes the growth of his company to quality services, honesty and innovative attitude.

Awards

Atenga has bagged a number of awards for his work in this sector, including being feted in the 2018 Xtreem Awards as the best graphic designer of the year.

He was named Mediapreneur of the year in the 2022 Founder of The Year Award (FOYA).

Atenga plans to start mentoring and training youth interested in photography and video production.

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