When Nkanyiso Nyuswa was growing up, he dreamt of becoming an electrician. But dreams don’t always come true – and sometimes that’s a good thing. The stories of so many successful business owners teach us that when our life journeys demand a U-turn, things might turn out exactly the way they should and brand-new dreams are born.

This is what happened for Nkanyiso. After school, he started pursuing his studies to qualify as an electrician. College was expensive, though, and Nkanyiso decided to take another route and rather turn a hobby into a business. “The digital media business chose me,” says Nkanyiso. “I’ve always been a curious person – and I had always been doing editing and design as a favour for my friends.”

Today, the sparks in his life aren’t of the electrical variety, but rather those that spark creativity in the fields of photography, videography, branding, graphic design and website creation. His fascination with cameras and computers had grown from a hobby to a fully-fledged business and in 2018, Nkanyiso opened the doors to Fire Spark Digital Media in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

A turning point on his entrepreneurial journey was when Nkanyiso became the go-to editor for a group of established local photographers, saving them time and money. Word spread quickly among the creative community. Fire Spark Digital Media was making its mark. He believes that in a challenging and competitive industry, what sets him apart, are his technical skills, great customer service and punctual deliveries.

In 2022/2023, Nkanyiso expanded his horizons through his participation in the Nedbank-funded Ranyaka Building Business programme. We love getting to know the movers and shakers through the RBB process – and we love the way in which Nkanyiso describes his experience as part of the programme: “I have a big dream and I needed someone to dream big with me. I found that in this team and in a supportive community of fellow entrepreneurs.” The Ranyaka team, in turn, is inspired by his drive, determination, work ethic and attention to detail.

Significant milestones along the way include the recognition that Fire Spark Digital Media has received from major companies. It’s not all about the bottom line, though. Nkanyiso also has a true desire to give back to his community.

Reflecting on the journey of being an entrepreneur, Nkanyiso shares that being smart with money is very important for business owners. He offers useful advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Identify your niche and dive deep into it. Avoid spreading yourself too thin in such a vast industry.” Looking to the future, Nkanyiso wants to continue growing his customer base through smart advertising, upgrade his equipment, and learn even more about videography.

With every click of his camera, Nkanyiso sees a chance to connect with people: influential figures, celebrities, political leaders, business owners and members of his community. Nkanyiso is also increasingly venturing into the business of schools’ photography. Fire Spark Digital Media truly is a platform to connect with the pulse of society.

As Nkanyiso moves forward, his journey shows how passion, strength in tough times, and the support of a community can turn a dream into reality. Every satisfied client tells a story of progress, education, and the determination of a small business owner with a desire to make a lasting impact.

Words: Justine Bishop & Sonya Olivier
Images: Ocean Drive Media