Emmanuel Museruka, a professional Occupational therapist turned into a photographer. For Emmanuel, photography was just a hobby from his teenage days. He later on acquired a small camera that he used to frequently take photos.
But while all this was happening, Museruka at the back of his mind had this mega project idea that he believed would revolutionize Uganda’s photography industry. However, the lack of necessary finances to implement this plan didn’t help. He however did not abandon the idea of building his photography skills while he volunteered to work as a therapist for different organisations shortly after his studies at the University.
“From 2009 – 2012, I worked as an occupational therapist somewhere in Makindye. At the time, I had a small digital camera branded GE (probably General Electronics, he guesses),” Museruka narrates.
Although he had family members living in the United States where he could go and explore the America dream, Museruka chose to stay home, very determined to make it here no matter the circumstances.
In 2012, Museruka met someone online, a Ugandan born living in the United Kingdom, at least for the past 25 years of his life at the time. It was to this online friend who goes by the alias “Price Air Maxs” that Museruka revealed his project idea into photography to as well as some of the biggest challenges he was facing that barred him from following his dream at the time.
“A few months down the road, he (Price Air Maxs) bought me equipment worth 4,000 Pounds, shipped it through DHL and also paid all the taxes involved,” Museruka, who declined to reveal Price Air Maxs’ real names reminisces.
At the time, Museruka had already saved about UGX 4 million from his previous Occupational Therapy job, part of which he used to start and fully register his company Malaika Media.
“Having started my company, I started working from home in Namasuba for three months before opening up my first offices at Equatorial Shopping Mall in Kampala.”
So what was your first job after acquiring the top class equipment that you had for so long only dreamt of? I asked.
“I remember it was a birthday party for a friend and we charged them around UGX 350,000 and then a baptism party somewhere deep in Ssembabule. We charged them only 250,000 because they were also friends,” he recollects. Later on, they managed to land bigger deals and projects with big organisations like the United Nations (UN).
Through it all, he was working with a friend who goes by the names of Kizito Mudambo and with him, they have toiled together to build the Malaika Media brand. Later on in 2015, they shifted the company offices from Equatorial mall to Frobel in Bukoto.
Museruka, who focuses on documentary photography and video coverage intimated to Mikolo that as a company, they don’t cover many weddings in a year because of certain reasons.
“We only do about four weddings in year reason being that there are so much emotions involved unlike in documentary photography,” he explains. But the quality of their work speaks for itself.
Although Museruka is a very private person, we discovered that he is happily married to Julie Mirembe.
He may not have yet revolutionized Uganda’s photography industry but, Museruka believes he is on the right path towards achieving that dream. “Tell your story” is the company’s catchword or motto and some of their works can be viewed on their website www.malaikamediaug.com