The Future is DonluAfrica - A chat with Llewelyn Adams
DONLU is an E-commerce business that was launched in 2017. The company has its focus on music technology and market development
Llewelyn Adams is a young 28 year old innovative entrepreneur, born in the capital city, Windhoek. He won the Launch Magazine Start Up of the Year 2020 for his business called DonLuAfrica.
Here is a one on one with Llewelyn regarding his business
VC: What is DonLuAfrica?! Tell us about your business?!
- DONLU is an E-commerce business that was launched in 2017. The company has its focus on music technology and market development. We have since gone on to host some of the most sought-after talent in the country on our premier site donluafrica.com Since going live with the site, we have gone on to receive more than 5.6 million streams from a combined more than 3000 songs.
VC: What is the inspiration behind DonLuAfrica?!
- For me personally, I love Namibian Music and it saddened me that our artists did not have the necessary platforms at the time to promote their music online, hence the start of DONLU. At the time there were other platforms like Deezer, Apple Music and so on, but it was rather difficult to get music on it, so I decided to start a platform that can help them.
VC: If we had to quote you on one thing, what would you say?!
- Just Start and give it your all. You’re only doing injustice to yourself if you’re not going to give it your all.
VC: What are the challenges you’ve faced?!
- Just like any start-up – lack of finances was a big challenge for us as well, but we somehow managed and to date we are still managing.
VC: What are your motivations?!
- Honestly, the artists that keep on putting out great music, who keep putting in the work, being consistent, pushing the boundaries and so forth, those are the guys who motivate me to keep going.
VC: What would you like to achieve?!
- I would like DonLuAfrica to become a complete music hub not just for Namibian artists, but Zambian and Angolan artists alike and hopefully expand it into more countries in the near future.
VC: What advice will you give to someone that wants to start a business?!
- It’s not going to be easy, don’t let anyone fool you. Being an entrepreneur is no child’s play and you need to be really committed if you want to become one. To continuously try and remain relevant too is not easy, but if you put in the hard work (even if it doesn’t pay off in the first few years, which it probably won’t) you definitely can make it!
VC: Apart from DonluAfrica, what else do you do in your time?!
- Apart from DONLU, I am a web developer and graphic designer, so that too tends to take up a lot of my time and I’m also employed on a full time basis as a web developer/graphic designer/marketing co-ordinator at one of the country’s biggest private entities.
A brief background check on your innovative business idea.
My interest in Namibian music started back in school when I started managing artists such as Mr Diamonds and Nam-Bantwan a female duo. I soon found myself feeling that there was still something lacking to the industry and that there is more I could do.
In 2017 I lost my full-time job and pretty much lost everything - I ended up doing laundry, cooking and cleaning just to be able to pay my server on which I hosted my site. I still didn’t know anything about coding websites, so I taught myself by watching and following YouTube tutorials. I downloaded a few templates and practised on that.
During this time of unemployment, I did what I could to ensure I paid the server which was N$ 258 at the time. I didnt have access to WiFi so I had to make use of the Happy Hour service that MTC offered at the time for N$ 10
During the day I cooked, cleaned and did laundry and at night from 00h00 - 06h00 I had to teach myself coding and graphic design whilst at the same time doing the DONLU Africa site, all on a broken laptop that I had to fix to
Looking back, I believe that that experience made me stronger and it’s because of that, that I refuse to give up on the platform as I firmly believe that it has impacted the lives of the Namibian artist thus far and will continue to do so as its set out to do.