In 2003, Emanuel Riziki worked at an electronic repair shop in Kilifi town. But even as he toiled in the shop, he had another passion.
The 31-year-old had fallen in love with cameras and would often borrow a small video camera from friends to shoot home videos.
He would then go around town taking pictures for pay and that motivated him to eventually leave the electronics shop to pursue his passion.
“I discovered that my purpose was in video production and photography and I followed my heart. I do not regret,” Mr Riziki said in an interview at his shop in Kilifi town.
“In between 2004 and 2005, I used to hire small video cameras and would frequent weddings and shoot as an independent cameraman.
“Then I would edit and send copies to clients. Although some hesitated, others slowly began to accept my work and I got few jobs. Then I was charging between Sh10,000 and Sh20,000 per wedding,” he said.
But in 2006, after getting several jobs from NGOs and other high profile weddings, he began hiring professional cameras to enhance his job.
He now charges between Sh30,000 and Sh50,000 for photography and about Sh50,000 and Sh60,000 for video production. “In this kind of job, you must be a go-getter, going for any chance you see. That is what I have been doing. I attend events, record and then send the jobs to the owner. Some have appreciated and given me more jobs,” he said.
The big break came in 2013 when he bought his own professional camera, a laptop and a tripod stand, totalling to Sh340,000.
“That was money I had saved and I was determined to take my job a notch higher. I started to get county jobs through third parties. Life has since changed for the better,” he said.
On a good day he makes about Sh50,000 depending on the client. “Some of my clients are MPs, MCAs, NGOs and corporates. “One day an NGO from the US was in Kilifi shooting a documentary and they picked me for the job. I made more than Sh100,000,” Mr Riziki said.
He has also been getting jobs in Lamu, Kwale, Mombasa and in Nairobi.