“Don’t be good, be great.”
Teofilus Tanga-omwene Adolf, better known as Adolf Dinholazo, is a self-proclaimed creative giant, graphic designer & website developer and the founder of DGD Namibia. He hails from the town of Ondangwa, in the northern part of Namibia. Having matriculated at Otjikoto Senior Secondary School in Tsumeb, Teofilus then proceeded to pursue a Bachelor of Geo-information Technology at the Polytechnic of Namibia (now NUST) in 2012. He studied until his 2nd year, when he was forced to drop out due to difficult circumstances. From Polytechnic, he served as a highly-trained Marine in the Namibian Navy between 2014 & 2017. He left the Marines to work as the Creative Director & Head of Marketing at AfriSay Vocational Training Center in Walvis Bay in 2018. It was during this time that Teofilus was able to gain valuable design skills through online courses and YouTube tutorials, with his focus mainly on Adobe Suite. He then began creating content as a side hustle until the income began to massively surpass that of his office job. That was when he made the decision to become a full-time entrepreneur – a journey which gave birth to Dinholazo Graphic Designs.
Tell us about DGD Namibia, the products and/or services you offer as well as the team behind the startup.
“DGD Namibia, an acronym which stands for “Dinholazo Graphic Designs Namibia”, is a creative agency that provides services such as content creating, branding, advertising and website development & hosting. Our foremost objective is to bring to reality exactly what our clients have envisioned.”
The startup comprises a team of three, namely:
Teofilus Adolf – Founder/Creative
Costa Unandapo – Projects Director
Lilongeni Nakale – Social Media Manager/Typist
What inspired you to start this business?
“It is basically the story of a hobby-turned-business because at first I used to do still & motion graphics for my own personal use until people started asking me to create graphics for them – that’s when I decided to turn it into a business. The faith, goodwill and support from the people has since been unbelievable and that’s why we’re still in existence to date.”
What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?
“Growing up, I wanted to be a Geologist, although art played an enormous role in my life as individuals around me always said I have a creative eye when they would see my work. Adaptability has to be the thing I enjoy most about being the startup’s front man. Other than that, it is the constant need & desire to develop and improve one’s self each and every day.”
What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?
“It has to be the effort and commitment. I am of the firm belief that by simply taking a gander at an item of ours, one can tell the measure of sweat and attention to detail that has been poured into a product during the creative process. Also, we generally attempt to show improvement over our past work.”
What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?
“There aren’t too many challenges of note that most entrepreneurs aren’t already familiar with, however, one that is significant to me is the pressure to grow as an entrepreneur. That is one of ways one can get ahead of the competition. I think improving is a practice that should be applied every single day and eventually you will get to where they need to be.”
Do you have a business philosophy? If so, what is it?
“Don’t be good, be great. These words by my favorite rapper Jay-Z keep me on my toes whenever I face a project. I believe it helps me deliver exceptional work because it reminds me to go above & beyond to create something great.”
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?
Do it. Have optimum faith to start the process. There is absolutely no reason for you not to pursue a career in graphics; especially on the grounds that the world is moving towards a world where almost everything would be digital at an unfathomable pace. To have the option to make your own content or products will reap you great fruits. Also, do not borrow large amounts of money to fund your startup early on; rather spare the little you’re getting from each project to fund its growth.”
How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?
“It is very vital – most startups emerge because of referrals and that stems from networking. You cannot make it alone and as the saying goes Iron sharpens iron.”
What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?
“We help maintain a modern and professional look for our clients’ businesses, events, brands, products, etc. which attributes to the growth of graphic design within the creative industry. I have also committed to grooming and mentoring three emerging designers and it is with confidence that I say they will be great creatives in the near future.”
What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?
“I think one significant recommendation I can make would be financial support, from government & the private sector, relative to the industry wherein a startup operates. Most startups struggle or eventually fizzle out because they lack the funds to advance their project and that assistance would go a long way.”
Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?
“DGD has still been operating virtually during the lockdown, creating digital projects & products for our clients. However, the pandemic has forced us to drastically reduce our products’ fees in order to accommodate those who are severely affected. We are optimistic that soon, we’ll be operating at a level close to where we were before.”
Cell: +264 81 214 5040 / +264 81 795 7611
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter: Dinholazo Graphic Designs