Authenticity is key – Munana

By Rosalia David

TRAILBLAZER, celebrity turned entrepreneur Luis Munana has managed to climb up the ladder in the much sought after creative industry and is one among a few with a growing brand that is slowly becoming a household name in the local and international fashion world.

Speaking to Confidente this week about his journey to stardom, Munana shared the success formula on how he has been able to penetrate the international market, pointing out authenticity as the key element to it.

“There is actually no specific secret to being recognised outside Namibia. My way was being authentic and unique and through offering a vision that isn’t readily available. They want to see something different from what they’re used to … something that isn’t everywhere hence why I say authenticity.

The former Big Brother Africa participant said determination is also an important factor to have when it comes to making it in the creative industry including being hungry for success ‘like a lion hungry for prey.’

“You need to want it so bad, because there are other 100 people willing to take your spot. You need to be very strong to survive and make it far in the fashion industry.”

Through his inner drive, between 2010 and 2012 while in university, Munana co-founded Voguish Africa, a Namibian lifestyle and entertainment show, with Tuwilika Nafuka and modelled around the world doing TV commercials for global brands such as Pepsi and Shield.

Describing his travelling experience, Munana said roving around the world taught him how things are done in other countries while he has gained good skills on the runway as he took part in fashion shows in different countries.

Being the go-getter that he is in 2016 Munana co-founded the now MTC Windhoek Fashion Week while in 2017, he founded Waka Waka Moo, a children’s programme that airs on the national broadcaster, NBC. This programme has been followed with the Standard Bank Waka Kids Choice Awards, another brainchild from Munana.

The inaugural Waka Kids Choice awards will take place on December 12 in Windhoek.

In 2019, he was named as one of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30, a list that honours entrepreneurs and innovators across the continent for their hard work and dedication to changing the world, and was interviewed by the BBC World Service about his efforts.

Asked on what inspired him to come up with a kid’s programme, Munana said, “The necessity and the need to have an original kids’ programme that speaks to Namibian children in their own language.

“I got tired of watching my nieces and nephews viewing Westernised cartoons that didn’t teach them about their culture, heritage and didn’t even speak their language, so I thought a change was definitely necessary.”

Although he has found himself reaping the fruits of being a creative, Munana said he had always dreamed of becoming an accountant as he really never understood what it meant to be a creative.

“It was always accounting for me. Creativity came after high school plus, creativity in Namibia was and is still viewed as a hobby or a side project which makes it difficult to commercialise it and unlock its true potential.”

He went on to state that as much as there is high potential in the creative industry, there is no significant investment from the private sector which makes funding very difficult to attain.

Munana said on the other hand Namibians are however starting to catch up when it comes to fashion.

“Back then it was a foreign concept only known and accepted by a few people. But the industry has grown and is still growing with more acceptance”.