Sought after graphic designer and videographer, Andreas Elifas is making moves in the creative scene in Namibia, and he is one to keep an eye out for.
“This year has been good for me,” he says. “It has not been easy, but I have learned so much and have managed to create a sort of niche in the market which – even though it is challenging – is working out pretty good for me so far.”
Having worked as a creative at one of the bigger corporates in Windhoek for some time, Andreas realised that the 9-5 thing was not for him and he then decided to make the leap and turn full-time freelance.
“Being a freelancer is not easy because there is no guarantee that jobs will come in. The biggest challenge is realising that you will probably never make the kind of money that the corporates was paying you, especially in the beginning and that is a hard adjustment to make.
Those first few months were the hardest; I moved out of the luxury apartment that I was living in and moved into a much smaller and more affordable place.
I got jobs here and there and worked on several projects as a sort of ‘sub-contractor’, which was able to sustain me. I finally decided to register and start my own business to get contracts on my own, and things have been better since then.
Now I am the one subcontracting other creatives for the projects that I am awarded,” he says.
The biggest personal challenges Andreas faced in the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey was money management. He says that he’d get paid for a particular project and as soon as he had covered his basic expenses, would ‘blow’ money on unimportant things.
“It was not until I began to get advice from the people at ‘Dololo’, which really helped me a lot in running my business and making better financial and business decisions.”
Dololo a community of entrepreneurs and start-ups, who enable organisations and leaders to connect with the next generation of change-makers.
They provide services to corporate businesses, organisations and institutions in the form of internal innovation sessions, workshops, coaching, team building and events.
They also offer much needed support to young people who may otherwise not have access to guidance and support in their start-up businesses.
Andreas, being something of an introvert, tells The Lounge how he would on occasion be out in the social scene with friends, and would simply sit and “observe the market”.
He says he would watch what people enjoy, how people interact and listen to the types of conversations people were having when they were being carefree, in an attempt to create the best, most relevant and impactful content.
And it seems to have worked out for him.
Recently he was part of the organising team of the Kino Namibia Film Festival, which is a platform for young filmmakers, and which was a great success.
He is the cameraman behind several of the recently inaugurated NamCor’s fuel station engagements and is the mastermind behind the production of an advertisement around safety at ATM’s.
“I will get a project for the business, and then I will put a team together; like actors, editors, voice-over artists and so on. The challenge is that a lot of young people are not used to working to deadlines or don’t have much experience in what they are doing, so I spend some time teaching the skills that I have learned and hopefully also enhancing and enriching their skill in their particular craft.
I do not mind the teaching, even though it is a bit time consuming, because it ensures that the end product is up to par.”
Andreas has some interesting ideas in terms of the future of film and public engagement from Namibia, with an eye of making an impact in the world.
“I want to focus on content creating,” he says. “I have a good idea of what people want and what they want to see and what will keep them engaged.
I have learned that when you want to penetrate a market, you have to have a build-up where you introduce yourself to the market and build their interest in what it is that you are doing and what you have to offer. When you have them hooked and your brand is recognisable, the possibilities are endless.”
A visionary with not only his own interests, but those of people and his country at large at heart, Andreas is about to make even bigger waves in the creative space, and we are here for it.