“I think for me, photography is more than just taking images, they’re snippets of someone else’s life that you get to experience yourself.” That’s how Sandiso Cossa describes his passion for photography in a nutshell.

It was during a school trip to Durban where Cossa’s love affair with the camera began. “I think I was in grade 10 or 11. My mother bought me a camera and I remember taking it everywhere we went. I was fascinated by everything. Somehow the world looked more interesting behind the lens. When I got back home all my friends, my teachers, and everyone at home praised me for the beautiful images I had taken, and it was at that moment that I began to take an interest in photography,” he says.

His production company HOT ICE was established in 2014 and is based at the heart of Boitekong in Rustenburg, where he currently resides. “My main focus is providing high-end quality video and photography services for weddings, corporate events, and parties – hence our slogan ” Quality matters,” says Cossa.

When fate meets passion

“Because I don’t have any formal training due to lack of funds, I spent most of my time on YouTube, watching tutorials on how to take good pictures and how to edit. I spent years perfecting my craft because I was passionate about what I was doing and where I saw myself going,” he adds.

Being a photographer is not something Cossa grew up wanting to be. “It’s funny that this is what I’m doing now because as a young boy all I wanted to be was a soldier, but I guess fate had other plans for me,” he laughs.

“One of the biggest lessons I learned through the years is that you need to let passion be the driving force for any type of success. If I didn’t have passion for what I do, I would have given up a long time ago because it’s not easy, finances are not always there, technology is constantly evolving and equipment is expensive,” he says.

Learning to survive the Covid Era

“I can’t begin to describe how difficult it was when Covid first hit our shores. None of us were prepared, and being a business whose services rely on human interaction I did not know how to adjust to the new normal,” he says.

Cossa says that being part of the Nedbank-funded Ranyaka Building Business programme gave him hope, and the mentoring he received is the reason his business still exists today. “They taught us how to put together a business plan, how to do marketing for our business, and gave us a R500 stipend throughout the programme to sustain operations. Most importantly, our mentors explained to us how important we are as businesses to the community and the growth of our local economy,” says Cossa.

“I think moving forward, I want to learn more about how to market my business and make the most of the digital space,” he explains.

To emerging entrepreneurs…

As an entrepreneur, my advice to you is that you need to be willing to adapt and never ever stop learning. This will help you to stay relevant in this evolving industry!”

Contact Cossa at mjsandiso@gmail.com or  076 818 9036.