Eugene Mbugua started with a small canon camera that he used for events coverage. Today, he is an award-winning filmmaker and entrepreneur. Njeri Maina @njerimainar Eugene Mbugua is a young filmmaker intent on making African stories that dignify the African experience. He is the founder of Documentary and Reality TV (D&R TV) Kenya. He has won many awards among them Top 40 under 40, 2014 and Forbes Most Promising Entrepreneurs under 30, 2016.\u00a0 Eugene talks about how one\u2019s environment invariably shapes a person. He shares how his two relatives; one a pilot and the other, a filmmaker exposed him to the film world early. So, immediately after secondary school in the one gap year before joining university, he played as an extra on a few sets and also operated the boom swing on a few others. When it was time to join university, he opted for a degree in the arts with a major in television production and a minor in print media.\u00a0 \u201cPeople underestimate the power of making a decision and sticking with it. I decided film and television is what I was going to do and I ran with it. While it is attractive to pick one thing and leave it to try another one, there is a lot of magic in choosing one thing and sticking to it,\u201d Eugene explains. Eleven years on television On the age-long debate about whether passion comes before or after the decision to pursue something, he shares how passion also follows a decision. Eugene is passionate about filmmaking now, but it all started as a decision to pursue something, pour his creativity and a lot of hard work and man hours into it, and over time, passion bloomed. He talks of how a journey of a thousand miles starts with just one step\u2014 his one step being a small canon camera that he used to do event coverage with. He keeps it as a souvenir as testament to the numerous things he did and the numerous pitches he did before he landed his first television show on national television at just 22. \u201cGetting the approval for Young Rich to air on K24 was monumental for me, especially since I was about to finish campus through which a benefactor had taken me, and step out into the real world. The show aired weekly, specifically on Fridays.\u00a0 It was a culmination of hard work, and numerous pitches. I would borrow a bit of cash from a few friends and start the shoot where we were profiling young millionaires,\u201d the filmmaker who has eleven years in the film industry and eight with his own company explains. After his first successful show, he pioneered the creation of Get in the Kitchen, a show in which men were volunteered by their wives to go on the show where they were taught a recipe by a chef and taxed with replicating it. The show would get regional success with the format selling in Nigeria and South Africa. He would follow this with Stori Yangu, a show profiling the lives of famous personalities. Then came Our Perfect Wedding, Being Bahati, Foods of Kenya and then started the docu-reality shows with Sol Family, which centres on Sauti Sol and This Love, which follows Wahu and Nameless. While most filmmakers complain about the lack of market for the final product, Eugene believes in being proactive and actively putting himself and his work out there. \u201cI\u2019m constantly networking and speaking to broadcasters here to hear about their needs and find out how we can plug in to solve these needs. Regionally, I attend international markets such as Discop and Cannes. We put in money and go to those markets to try and learn about what their market needs are. So it is about working hard and putting yourself out there in the market as the market will not come to you,\u201d he explains. Lessons and drive One of his biggest learnings has to be to stick with what you want to do in life. Over time and if you play your cards right, life tends to reward you, he believes. He also believes that it takes time and effort for one to see results, but they do show up eventually. He cites his over a decade long journey in the television industry as testament to the fact that great work takes time.\u00a0 Having achieved so much so early on, one cannot help wonder how Eugene defines success. He explains that for him, it is a continuous journey of audacious steps. He intends to keep growing, making great stories, which honour and dignify the African experience with the aim of one day becoming the African Disney. He believes in being intentional about his life and dreams and a look at a day in his life pays credence to how hardworking and intentional he is. \u201cI wake up at 3:45am every morning on weekdays. I read reports and respond to emails immediately after that, before leaving my house at 4:40am for the gym where I work out for an hour. I head to the office where I prepare for the day and read for an hour from 6:30am. I work from 8am to 4pm daily,\u201d he expounds. Eugene is big on self-improvement, he loves books and is fuelled to attack each day with vigour. As to what motivates him, he says it is the inherent need to do bigger and better. \u201cI want to see how far I can push the wheel. My daily drivers include; to prove something to myself, to not let my team down, to not let my shareholders down, to escape poverty and to tell great touching and impactful African stories. Secondarily, I also love winning,\u201d he concludes on a light note.