By Prudence Minayo
Paul Mukoma is the founder of Talanta Institute and PrinceCam Media. His journey to the top is a true testimony of following your passion without relenting even when the odds are stacked against you. Without any formal training in media and production, he has gone on to be a producer and trainer of many in the industry.
Here is his inspiring story as told by WoK.
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Born in Githitia in Lari, Paul was the true definition of a village boy. Attending school barefoot to school was the norm but that did not dim his dream of achieving his goals. He tried his hand IN farming and at some point became a tout in the village. This was, however, not the career path he wanted to follow.
Growing up, he wanted to pursue engineering but ended up doing a course in foods and beverages at Career Training Centre (CTC). Mukoma only did the course because a cousin of his had done it and at the time he didn’t know what he wanted.
PrinceCam nd Talanta
Later, he secured a job in a restaurant named Green Corner as a waiter. Talking to nairobinews, the PrinceCam CEO stated that he barely lasted in the job for three months:
“But I only lasted three months (as a waiter) since I didn’t get along with one of the managers.”
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Interestingly, Mukoma went on to learn the art of photography from his former lecturer at CTC. Mr Njuguna had changed careers and was now a photographer looking to an assistant.
“It was Njuguna who taught me photography and videography,” he told Nairobinews.
Paul Mukoma went on to found PrinceCam media. He chose the name Prince since at the time that was how many people referred to him. It became an official operating entity after someone approached him to edit their videos and asked to see his office. At the time, he had no office but immediately told them that their offices were located in Uganda House. He had a friend over there and thought he could ask to use his office.
Unfortunately, the friend’s office was too busy and he remembered his other friend, Mike Gitonga had an office at Anniversary towers. He agreed to lease it to him and that was where he directed the clients. They paid him a Sh20,000 deposit and the balance after the videos were completed. He continued receiving clients and managed to get his own office in the same building.
Growth of business
The company became an instant success after producing songs like Kuna Dawa by Esther Wahome. They also produced back to back hits by the late Angela Chibalonza, Jimmy Gait and Mercy Masika. He has also worked with the Statehouse choir and Central Comedy show. Kuna Dawa was such a success that clients started flowing- he didn’t have to do so much in terms of marketing. While the company portfolio ensured they had an easy entrance into the industry, they had their share of challenges. In the beginning, he had no capital and had to pay for his camera in instalments. He was also a creative who focused so much on the next gadget rather than the human side of the business.
In the earlier days of the business, he could not afford to hire experienced professionals. Hence, he hired interns from various colleges. One thing that stood out was how untrained they were in terms of practical skills. He had to offer them training for a while before they could get the job done. This is what sparked the idea to come up with a media school that would offer practical skills to learners. This led him to establish PrinceCam Training Center. Their trainees became so good and some of them went on to become his toughest competitors.
PrinceCam Training Center re-branded to Talanta Institute and went from just offering editing, and photography training to rolling out several media related courses. As people inquired about courses like animation and deejaying, they decided to roll out the programs.
One of the major lessons Paul Mukoma has learnt is the need to appreciate and love people. He has also learnt the importance of service since he got started through producing church content.