Luis Munana – the filmmaker
> Magreth Nunuhe
Windhoek – He is a runway model, an actor, an MC, a trendsetter and more and there is no stopping this young Namibian man, who has taken the African stage by storm.
Luis Munana, 24, is no stranger to many across the African continent, who have watched him lounging on the sofas in the Big Brother House 2014.
Even though he did not win the competition like his predecessor, Dillish Matthews, he won many hearts and has been invited to many countries to be an MC at award ceremonies or as an honorary guest.
But Luis’ is not merely an entertainer whose dreams may wane away with time as he grows older.
He co-owns a television production company called Voigush Media, which does commercials for big corporations and also feeds the national broadcaster, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), with lifestyle magazine shows, hottest trends in the fashion world and other interesting entertainment shows.
“We want to go into Africa with big projects. We are rebranding at the moment and look to have our own studio,” says the ambitious young man.
The company currently operates from home and Luis says that they are engaging investment partners to come on board.
“NBC wants to see new local productions. The culture of commissioning is picking up now,” he adds, saying that they are also looking at projects beyond borders commissioned by the likes of MultiChoice (DStv) to stage music across Africa and target celebrities and public figures across the continent for entertainment purposes.
Luis has a bachelor’s degree in Financial Information Systems from the Cape Peninsula University in Cape Town that he obtained in 2013 and as surprising as it may sound, as accounting/bookkeeping and the creative and entertainment world are worlds apart, he wanted to be a chartered accountant.
He worked at various investment and financial companies as a bookkeeper and data analyst between 2013 and 2014.
“I didn’t like it – to wake up early morning and be at the job from eight to five and rely on someone else to give you a pay cheque. I said to myself, I am in my twenties and it’s time to find myself,” he says.
What really sparked Luis’ interest in television production and acting was during his tenure as a student in Cape Town, where in order to make ends meet, he had to do jobs off campus to pay for his tuition fees, accommodation and transport as he did not have a bursary.
It was not easy to find a job as he had to be either a citizen or a permanent resident, but his good looks played in his favour and soon he was aired in commercials by international companies and could also do fashion runways.
“I would meet people in the entertainment industry and I immediately fell in love with television,” he narrates, saying that as soon as he came back to Namibia, he landed himself a job at a private free-to-air television station, One Africa TV, where he hosted the Yo! Music Show and there was no looking back.
While at that, he met his business partner to be, Tuwilika Nafuka whose initial idea was to start a magazine, but by 2013, they formed Voigush Media and through the financial support of family and friends, they opened the television production company.
But being a man who has always wanted to broaden his horizons, Luis landed in the Big Brother House in 2014 as he needed the platform, not only with the desire to win the big bucks, but to get a platform where he could market himself across Africa.
“I like things and I knew since I was little, I wanted to go beyond Namibian borders,” he says.
Luis adds that since the Big Brother show, many doors have opened for him and he can almost knock on any door and “people will listen”.
Two weeks ago, he was invited as a presenter to a music festival in Rwanda and in two weeks’ time, he is going to also be an MC at an event in Ghana.
He has been to corporate launches in Uganda and Tanzania and there is another offer lined up for him to be a presenter at a festival in Nigeria.
If he had won the millions at the Big Brother show, he would have opened a studio to produce daytime soap operas and talk shows.
“We have got to tell our stories to Africa,” he emphasises.
To add to his many achievements, just last month Luis was inducted into the Namibian Business Hall of Fame and received the Emerging Entrepreneur Award.
Luis was born and raised in Rundu in the Kavango Region in northern Namibia where he attended Noordgrens Primary and Secondary School, but upon finishing his Grade 10, he insisted on going to the capital city Windhoek to finish the last two high school grades and matriculated from Academia High School in 2009.
After that, he enrolled at the Polytechnic of Namibia in Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) Accounting, but transferred his credits to the University of Cape Town and then to the Cape Peninsula University where he graduated.