Unemployed youth shakes off joblessness with photography

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John Muyamba

Rundu-Twenty-eight-year-old Gabriel Kalimbwe Likuranu, popularly known as Kally DW, would not as an unemployed youth let his economic condition devour him but instead took to the art of still photography to employ himself and earn an income.

Gabriel discovered photography as a career he could dedicate his time to two years ago, inspired by the quality of the digital camera, which has the ability to focus even on the tiniest details that one can’t pick with the naked eye.

“I would take pictures of friends at events and hangouts and that developed into a passion that drove me to take it up seriously and start photography as a business,” he recalls.

“It became a habit that at some point I couldn’t leave the house without my camera. I would take shots on anything that looked appealing and interested me. I think this enhanced my experience in becoming a photographer,” he continues.

Gabriel trained himself through internet tutorials, adding that reading more about cameras on the net gave him the skills to capture good angles of a subject.

“I would get tips from photographers that I see doing great work, and also from my cousin who is a photographer based in Windhoek,” he adds.

The photography industry in Rundu is not a big market and less competitive than in other places and that is what Gabriel took advantage of.

“I am enjoying it, since Rundu is still picking up on so many things. I think I’m one of the few photographers that’s putting a smile on people’s faces with quality work. In terms of business people love my work and thus appreciate my prices. I charge a reasonable price.

“Previously folks in Rundu would hire a photographer from Windhoek, and elsewhere, which was costly. Now they have people like me at their disposal and I haven’t had a moment when people would complain that I’m overcharging them or say anything negative,” says Gabriel.

He uses a Canon 650D with its full kit of all the requisite lenses, which he bought when he started his business. His other camera is a Canon 600D with standard lenses, which he bought recently, enabling him to capture great moments.

“Since I took up the camera I am amazed by small things, trees, a wide open area, I see views that I never noticed before becoming a photographer. The joy in people’s faces when I deliver the final products drives me to do more,” he says smilingly.

Gabriel does various professional shoots like weddings, funerals, birthday parties, baby showers and commercial. “I’m flexible – you can take me anywhere you want your images captured. In five years from now I see myself owning a photo lab of my own, and being able to shoot or do projects not only in my town, region, but also out of town or even out of the country,” he says.

Gabriel edits still pictures using Photoshop, and light room and affinity photo editing programmes.

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