"After a cut, I than decided to choose my own path"

The company founder Roger Lufuta Kayoko studied media design in Wuppertal

How do you get from Kinshasa in the Congo to Wuppertal to study?

"My father was a smart guy," says Roger Lufuta Kayoko, "had many scholarships, lived in different cities in France and got a scholarship near Frankfurt." There he applied for a family reunion. This is how Roger, as his friends call him, came to Germany. He has always been fascinated by films. At the age of 13, he started shooting his first small movies and after graduating from high school, he was looking for an academic education. "I was looking for an university place because I was very interested in art and multimedia," he says, and since he lived near Cologne at the time, he began to explore the possibilities in the surrounding area. "The university in Wuppertal was the first thing that caught my eye. There was no way I wanted to go to a private university. They offered media design/design technology in Wuppertal, and that's how I ended up there."

The charm that this city has, no city in the entire area has

Roger doesn't think much of commuting and has been enthusiastic about the Bergisch city from the very beginning. "I immediately moved to Wuppertal. When you get to know Wuppertal as an outsider, the city - even today - after I no longer live there because my company is in Düsseldorf, always remains an option. The charm that this city has, no other city in the entire area has. You are really well connected, you have very nice corners and the proximity to other big cities is simply unbeatable.
The young student also immediately throws himself into work and conquers new territory. "Before, I only worked with amateur programs and taught myself everything alone," he explains, "and then I got to know how professionals work. It was perfect in media design." But the chance to study Audiovisual Media as an additional subject is not granted to him, despite the many credits he takes for acceptance. "That was my real passion! And I had also collected more than enough credits, but unfortunately I was not accepted. That was a great pity, because I couldn't pursue this course of study then", the 30-year-old explains, who does not lose sight of his goal, however. An assistant position in the ZIM (Centre for Information and Media Processing) at the University of Wuppertal enables him to realize his first projects. "I have made a dance video for the Equal Opportunities Office, I have realised small projects and I made a documentary film about a rapper from Cologne, for example, with whom I was also good friends," he says. "I worked in the media sector, where I was then able to realize all the audiovisual matters for the university that I wasn't allowed to study. That's a bit paradoxical. That's where I really got into doing things and gained more and more experience."

I have chosen my own path

"And then I made a cut and decided to go my own way." Kayoko uses his acquired skills and looks around the free market. "You see a lot of people on YouTube and all those channels who produce, even though they didn't go to college, in high quality. So I thought to myself: I'm at a university and I can do all of that. Why don't I give it a try?" He finally sees the problem in himself. "I was trapped in the thought that without a degree there are no opportunities. But this is complete nonsense. You have to jump over your own shadow." And that's what he does.

A "plate edge tour" leads to self-employment

"That's a great story," he laughs. Kayoko responds to a call for bids from an entrepreneur looking for a filmmaker to film a passionate cyclist for a fourteen days circumnavigation of Germany - which is why the name plate edge is used. "We always met at certain stages. During this time - we circled the whole country - I got to know this "making films" in a different way. He also gets on well with his employer, the management consultant, Dr. Nicolas Burkhardt. "In the aftermath, we never lost sight of each other."
Kayoko recognizes the need to incorporate videos into all aspects of business. "Companies are always looking for a medium through which they can reach out to employees, outsiders or the general public. And because I worked with Dr. Burkhardt from time to time, the decision was made to join forces and form a company. And we did that in 2019."

Kookaroo GmbH - colourful, loud and different

Kookaroo is actually a colourful, loud parrot that is different from all other birds. The media designer chose this name consciously and says: "Kookaroo reflects me because I'm also a colourful bird, loud and different. The pictures we display are also colourful, loud and different. Dr. Burkhardt and I are both personalities who make an impact, and that's where the idea of using this bird as a symbol came from." The client base is initially recruited from the contacts that both founders bring to the table. In the meantime, the network has grown to such an extent that even well-known companies like to charge the "colourful birds". "We are a video production company and offer the complete realization of a project from start to finish, i.e. from the concept, storyboard, planning of the video, shooting at the location, to permits, personnel and locations." Thus complete video productions are created as advertising measures for companies. Also audio productions, i.e. podcasts or influencing possibilities are possible with Kookaroo on site in a separate studio.

Explanatory videos

A current example of the diverse work are explanatory videos for a concern on which Kayoko is working. "Most of the footage is already in the can and I'm working on the editing. You have to imagine that you set up a small studio with a backdrop on the location and film the people in front of it. They read a script from the teleprompter. I then take the recordings with me and later add visualizations to accompany the spoken word. This is how the company later trains its employees internally. That's what we're currently doing on a grand scale."
With such a large number of orders, the company's own homepage sometimes falls behind, but the young entrepreneur wants to be perfect and is still working hard on the texts.

If you have a goal, everything always turns out well at the end of the day

Working on the free market has given the studied media designer a lot of self-confidence. That's why he can always give the advise to young students: "If you have a goal, everything always turns out well at the end of the day. With me, there were situations in which I thought I was going to throw everything away. You have to believe in yourself because self-doubt will get you down." From his experiences he can say, "If you work continuously with the goal in front of your eyes on what you want, then you will get there. Whether it's at university or in your personal life." Roger Lufuta Kayoko is well on his way.

Uwe Blass (Interview on 25.02.2020)

Roger Lufuta Kayoko studied media design/design technology at the University of Wuppertal.

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