Amin Swai is the Founder of East Africa’s leading youth magazine, onSpot Magazine. He is also the Director of Aspire Youth International Limited and Managing Partner at Xtreme Sparkle Solution At 23 years of age, he is accomplishing what many people of his age, and even older, merely dream about. And that is the think about him. He takes his dreams, and turns them into realities, no matter what it takes. The One Question Network is honoured this week to have Amin Swai in person.
Who is the real Amin Swai?
Amin (23) is young, creative, energetic and ready to use his mind, body and soul towards achieving solutions for the various problems facing the youth. In November 2011, Amin and A3N Publishers rolled out their first issue of Teenspot magazine(currently onspOt Magazine), which is a quarterly youth magazine, and has become one of Tanzania’s leading youth lifestyle publications credited as being the most successful magazine launch in recent years and currently has a circulation of 6,000 readers all over East Africa. As Founder/Managing Publisher, Amin oversees all matters regarding the publication, management, editorial support and development, website, social media and marketing, design and content. Amin is also responsible for maintaining onspOt as a strong visual brand.
You are the Director of onspOt Magazine. Did you have any help starting out?
Yes I did and I appreciate the great sponsorship from the Grand Malt(a product of Tanzania Breweries Ltd), family members especially my sister (who is currently my business partner), my mentor Mr. Dismass Massawe (C.E.O of Man magazine, Tanzania) and great teammates the likes of Paque Mawalla, Kaaya Paul, Egifrid Mayunga, Michaelmas Anne Marie, Rio Paul, Peter Muthamia, Gomono and Ricky. I can’t forget the sleepless nights we spent making the draft which got sponsored at first.
How long have you been running this enterprise?
For one and half years, will be making two years in August this year.
What message are you trying to get across?
Our slogan being ‘we do it for the youth’, by educating, inspiring, informing and entertaining them.
What audience are you targeting with this publication?
Our vision is to be the best youth magazine across the Africa by disseminating through inspirational, educational, life style and success articles that influence and inspire youths’ daily lives. We are mainly targeting college students, universities and young professionals.
Where and how does one get a copy?
We have a direct and exclusive access to over 20 universities, institutes and colleges across Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Besides conventional outlets, the magazine is sold through all major supermarkets and retail outlets in East Africa. We are now going online through our website and mobile application.
In light of the current level of unemployment among graduates across East Africa, do you think those affected are doing enough to change this trend?
To some extent I can say yes. Government and other social ventures have been working towards reducing this problem. In my opinion we youth first need to change our perspective regarding employment, not only being job creators. We need to be problem solvers to the organization.
You seem to be going places already. Are you just lucky?
The only limitation to your impact is your imagination and commitment. If you can imagine and be committed to your dream, then can take it anywhere you want.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
I derived my inspiration from a number of youths whose lives I’ve touched through onspOt magazine.
Where do you see yourself five years from now with onspOt Magazine?
I see onspOt magazine in leading stores across Africa, as we continue to grow globally.
A word to those out there who are pursuing a life for themselves.
Failing is the beginning of success. I’ve tried several times and failed, I once was a magazine distributor without being paid but I used my creativity to increase sales. Though I failed sometimes, I learnt from the failure to meet my targets. Most of us are money-minded, instead of considering our impact on what we do. Always do your best and everything will come along later.
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