Tuesday 3 November 2015

2inspire Network Men's Special Profile: Lawrence Zidyana of Hona Media

Lawrence Zidyana is the Founder of Hona Media, a video production company that tell stories using moving pictures and sounds. He writes, shoots and edits short films, documentaries, music videos and events. He is also the host of Sadza With Chips, a podcast that's irreverent about African news.

Lawrence Zidyana
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?

The thing I love about filming is that, just like each job, no work day is the same. Nothing is typical. My day depends on what stage of production. After discussing client's film/video needs I get into pre-production. That is when I scout locations if needed, draft storyboards and make sure I source the necessary equipment. Production is when I film or record audio and that is never in the same location. Post production/editing  is when I spend a lot of time on my computer and make all the audio, video, pictures and animation make sense. I am usually in touch with a client when I have a draft version to show them. I also have different days when I have a film out and need to promote it.

What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?
I made a few of my own films which many people liked. Some of them contacted me to make films for money. To start operating as a business I needed a bit better equipment so I opened an account with a rental company.

Lawrence filming for "In My Kitchen" 

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
I made a film called Am I Not A Mother? featuring Zimbabwean women discussing post natal depression. It was very well received, was featured on Zimbabwean state radio, got me my first TV interview and was screened at the British Film Institute. I also directed and edited a two part documentary filmed in northern Nigeria exploring the effects of Boko Haram terrorists on residents. The client who gave me the job has been invited to speak at a stake holders meeting on the 26 October to discuss humanitarian aid with the Nigerian Vice President who watched and was touched by the film.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Convincing some people about the cost of video production. It is not simply pointing a camera, it is about the time and skill.

What are your future plans for the business?
We are in production for a web series called In My Kitchen at the moment. It going to be good. In the long run I would love to do a TV series, thriller or comedy. A documentary would be just fine as well. TV is big at the moment. Call me I am ready.

Lawrence on Set

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would start much sooner and not worry too much about equipment

What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?
Being told what I have made is beautiful. Image wise and story wise.

Why is it so important to inspire the next generation  to follow their dreams?
For me following your dreams helps you find yourself and your identity. Doing what you have a passion for means you explore it so much more and that process will test you as a person. The results could help build your character and you will find where you belong. Isn't that what we are all searching for? 

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Do not worry about equipment. Have confidence and make sure you learn how to tell a good story. 

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I am inspired by creativity. There are some pretty smart people out there. When I watch their films I go "wow how did they think of that?" I am also inspired by well made low budget films that make big money. I would love to do that. Allow me to dream.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Trust me man it's okay - it is actually a line from a song by rapper 50 Cent. I am a pretty calm person and to me that is like a trigger word to get steady. In any situation I want to be able to always say that and be convinced that things are really under control.

Watch Hona Africa Films on YouTube

Tweet @honaafrica and @lawrieblaz

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