20 February 2013

Namibia: Popya With Jacob Kiyola

The world is full of ideas that never see the light of day but not for Jacob, a young, energetic and innovative marketing brand manager and graphic designer who is turning his dreams into reality.

Born in Oshakati two and a half decades ago, Jacob grew up in the northern town with his mother. He attended Okatana Catholic School from Grade 1 to 10. He finished his high school education at the Mweshipandeka High School. "Growing up I was very conservative and kept to myself. In high school things remained the same. I was what you would call a geek back in the day. I was opinionated and not very sportive. I hardly stayed with any of my peers and hang around the seniors."

Jacob was elected on the Learners Representative Council (LRC) in his final year at Mweshipandeka, and took great part in the debating society. He attended at IIT while finishing his final year of high school, enrolling for a certificate programme in B+ and A+. Immediately after high school, Jacob got a job at an IT company and during his time there, he helped to install the Bennies Entertainment Park point of sale and Network. He was their network administrator for six months before leaving for Cape Town.

In Cape Town, Jacob attended the New Horizon College where he obtained his qualifications in Graphic designing, Marketing and Advertising. Jacob also obtained training at AAA School of Advertising. In 2009 Jacob returned to Namibia, teamed up with a friend and started a printing company. Things went well but after a year Jacob decided to leave the company and Started Kiyola Media Group. "I have always been passionate about advertising, and because advertising is a game of psychology and persuasion. Like architecture an architect looks and admire his work at the end of the day and that is how I feel about advertising because of my hard work and innovation we helped a company or production accede their goals. I believed it was time to follow my dreams and besides I had the qualifications."

At the beginning it was a lot of work and took commitment but thanks to a right frame of mind, motivation and drive to a cause, he achieved what he has today. "Only when you have a clear plan and map set out in your head even when faced with obstacles you do not lose hope."

Although attending a Catholic school and growing in a religious home, Jacob is not a religious person. He practices certain aspects of Buddhism, like meditation and eating healthy. And shares a passion for history which has been an eye opener for him.

The Kiyola Media Group has grown from strength to strength, and has worked with the likes of Mobi Pay, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), Radio Energy and Hotel Destiny in the North and The Laundry Room in Windhoek. Today the group does not only do graphic designs, advertising and commercial event management but brand management for any company or for its new products. "Brand Management is either when a company approaches us at the beginning before any work has been done, and we take their information and create and imagine. We then focus on their target market and work out how much the company is willing to spend on marketing and advertising. We then work out different media schedules for advertising and publicity. We basically handle communication between the client and their target market. We call the process brand activation."

Kiyola Media Group employs two permanent staff and has two freelancers who come in when the workloads become heavy. Jacob meditates to keep grounded and stress free but enjoys good long walks, a good book to read and watching TV. Jacob is also a fact junky and absorbs as much facts as possible.

Jacob is currently writing a book which he hopes to finish by the end of the year. The book is based on life and reality, because since the young age, Jacob has always had forums with close friends and they have been urging him to share his opinions and ideas with the rest of the world. This he has been doing since last year. For Kiyola Media Group, the mission is to stand out and help clients grow beyond expectations, hopefully franchising the company one day. In the process Jacob is learning and growing by the day to the perfection his business sense one day.

His message for the youths out there is to stop dreaming but to start living their dreams. "It is good to dream but we live in the real world. Plan your way aggressively. Go after your dreams and stay motivated as they will only remain dreams till you make them a reality."

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