Tuesday, February 8, 2011


You’ll know he is in the corridor by the girls rolling their eyes, pretending to be bored by his lines. Njabulo is incredibly charming, if I may say so, and it comes with so much ease. (The ladies will roll their eyes at this too; mainly because it is true...I guess it is a girl thing.) Also, his facebook profile is adorned with beautiful girls. He strikes me as a mix between Gossip Girl’s Chuck Bass, N.E.R.D’s Pharell Williams and Johnny Bravo- business and attitude wise.

Njabulo juggles school and a Photography business called Mogul Pics. Njabulo is also now studying Photography. Every morning at 4am, he goes for sport 20 minutes from his flat. He arrives at school at 7am, where classes begin at 9am. He’ll be there until about 5pm. Mogul Pics takes centre stage from Wednesday and Thursday evenings, right through to Sunday. His balance mantra is to “be there fully- give it your all and leave school at school, leave work at work.”

Besides Directing Mogul Pics, Njabulo also does checks on Eden, a Restaurant in Durban that he owns shares. Eden is managed by other people. This grand move is coupled with the fact that he worked at Eden Restaurant at 16 for extra money, where the owner took a liking to him. It was a delightful and humbling surprise to find out that he left Njabulo shares of the business, when he passed away.

He has all the passion, discipline and hard work and what inspires me about this former Durban High school student is that he does it with so much ease. You can never catch him in a stressed state, or openly irritated by anything too.

How did Mogul Pics come about? At 16, Njabulo worked for Barcode Mobile, a company that made drinks at parties. He went to crazy events while there. One day, at a Confederations Cup Bid event, he saw photographers do their thing. While making cocktails and drinks behind the bar, guests would ask him if the company he worked for had any photographers. He suggested to his boss about the company having photographers in-house, and the reply was “No, we do drinks. We need to stick to that, and not confuse ourselves with too many things”.

It was simple: either Njabulo made something of the opportunity, or not. He got a camera for his 17th birthday, after talking to his mother about the opportunity to start his own event photography business. He used Barcode Mobile to get his initial clients. Njabulo is now 20 years old and I can only imagine the taste of his current success, and I want to know how he does it. I also want to find out who he is behind the Chuck Bass swag...really, I cannot get over it!

I had a chat with him on a Monday after school, almost interrupting his phone call with Mommy dearest. Njabulo explains that he was updating her on his latest projects. That Friday, he had to attend the Loeries in Cape Town, an event in Durban, then come back in time for SA Fashion Week Johannesburg which started the next Wednesday up till Sunday. We talked with his MAC Book still open, as he had to prepare for the Loeries.

Currently Njabulo will be doing work with SMME and will be sponsoring their upcoming event with printing services. “I’d like to go home now and chill but I have to go and work my bum off”, he says towards the end of a meeting with myself and a friend on a related topic, after we forced him to meet us in Johannesburg at 15h00 sharp even though he was in Durban the previous day and flying back in a day or two. I enjoy every meeting with him, and am always left very inspired. This time, it was all topped off with his pick-me-up song, Go Getter by Lil Wayne played from his Blackberry.

Three words to describe you?
Flirt, hardworking, focused.

Who inspires you?
Mother. She raised all three boys by herself, and still managed to take us to good schools.

Any sport?
Basketball and Boxing.

No. Too much admin. I doubt a girlfriend would understand that when I’m at an event, I’m there to work, I do sport early in the morning from 4 am, and I do not want to be disturbed at school...When would I get the time?

So what does your company do?
It is a Social Photography and Advertising company. We take pictures at events, post them on websites, and sell pictures. We also advertise events. We are now currently working on a fresher company website.

Any competition?
There is indirect competition from sites such as ubumnandi.com, thunda.com and blueworld.com- The competition really relies on the number of hits/reach on your site.

How is the money?
Pretty good. Especially because I always put in 150%

What is your vision for the company in the future?
Taking over the web and social media. Taking the business to being an online magazine, and also publishing a magazine and lifestyle show.

Do you have any staff in your business already?
No. But I work with a lady called Tessa, who does my admin. For example, I could get a call (client/business request) while at school, so I would need someone to quickly check availability and secure gigs, make quick payments/money transfers that are needed, etc. I also work with my former Business Management lecturer, whom I meet with probably once every month, just to sit down and chat about what has been going on with the business, and to learn some new mind skills and business etiquette...for example, when to act broke and when not to.

Can you elaborate on that?
Yeah I also got that from basketball as well. As a person, you need to learn not to stick out as a sore thumb. Never be clever than anyone. When you are at kasi, blend in, do not be the smooth guy from the ‘burbs. Likewise, when you are with ‘clever’ people, blend in too. As soon as you think you are better, you go down. Do not play one on one with anyone, in a basketball game. You do not need to. It is a given that you are going to win. Why show off?

Any business secrets you have learned?
Do not trust anyone.
Do not show off.
Do not be better than your leader- Do not compete with the hand that feeds you.
You can be dressed to the nines but if you have no personality, not much will work for you.
Be smart.

How do you handle your money?
I am good with money. I save like a mo-fo (sic). I mean, my mom is still a single parent. I once did a blunder though, where I earned R15, 000 for a gig and spent it in 3 days, and I do not know on what exactly.

Alright Thank You Njabulo, any other ways to contact you?
Cool...wait, you have my business card. *smiles*
(Note: Smiles with a Mogul swag) Yes, I smiled back. Amiably.

Future plans? He will be inventing and launching the next product that will be as viral as the VuvuZela. All I can say right now is A__H_AD! You can check out Mogul Pics at gngprodcutions.com and be on the lookout for him whenever you are at an A–Lister event.

Ask yourself, “What would my story be if I went after the opportunities I have already spotted?”

1 comment:

  1. Intriguing home boy, with my best Chris Tucker impression " It Feels Good To Be Black These Days" haha...