How your hobby can turn you into an industry guru like this animation honcho!

One upon a time in Kenya there were animated adverts that went viral containing Kenyan catchwords such as “Faiba!” and “Mboss!”

The adverts were a little over 30 seconds but that was all the time it needed to amass thousands of views.

Behind the scenes of one of the most popular adverts was a newbie who made it all happen – Michael Mathiga, the founder and CEO of ‘FatBoy’ Animations.

Growing up, Michael showed a huge interest for arts and cartoons, but acccording to his parents, it was a pipe dream.

Mathiga was introduced to illustration and 3D animation by his teacher after he brought life to a picture in high school. The teacher saw so much potential in him and decided to teach him more.

When his parents saw the kind of career interest their son had, they were not as supportive as they thought it was a hobby that didn’t offer a lot of job prospects, but that never stopped Muthiga.

After completing high school, he could not afford to go to college to further his career in animation, so he decided to learn more from the internet.

Well, to be precise, he spent the year after high school studying everything that had to do with animations including video games and 3D applications through online sources. And just like that, his talent was so overwhelming that he was honed to work as a junior developer at Tinga Tinga Tales which is a children’s cartoon series based on African folk tales.

With practice and commitment, Muthiga became the lead animator having cumulated massive impressive skills from those online tutorials he consumed for hours on end.

He saved most of the money he earned at Tinga Tinga Tales to stock up important animation equipment. And in 2010 he decided to register his business but kept it under wraps.

Few years later, he tested the waters with a YouTube video of his great stuff and since then his company has grown from being a small time company to doing business with heavyweight clientele companies one of them including Barclays Bank. Isn’t that impressive?

After his mother saw the love he had for animation, she decided to “give the boy a break” and support his dream.

At the age of 23, FatBoy Animation came to life!

“I noticed there was a gap in the advertising industry and I wanted to change the way advertisement and commercials were done” he said.

With his YouTube uploads he started receiving attention from the corporate brands and he became one of the animation head “honcho’s” in Africa!

Considering the huge potential of the animation industry, with an estimation of U$ 3 Bn in Japan and don’t forget that the market back home is relatively untapped and animation is finding use for corporates across various fields.

FatBoy Animations served several clients from countries beyond the shores of Africa. The company itself handles between 4-6 projects a month, each bringing over USD 20K.

Turns out you can get paid to do what you love!

Your hobby can turn you into an industry honcho too. For Michael it started with with learning animation.

Start by visiting our FACULTY OF COMPUTING to see what exactly we have in store for you.

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About Gloria Masia

A South African based journalist who is fascinated about storytelling. Although she is new in the industry with less than two years of industry experience, she is excited to learn more. Gloria loves to travel and learn about other cultures. She is currently a full time journalist/creative writer with CMG Marketing Communications t/a CreativeMagic Group.

View all posts by Gloria Masia →

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