Founders Spotlight:Richmond Mouti(Founder,Bantu Vision)

From a career in accounting to building Botswana's first mobile game and dreams of his company becoming a leading game development enterprise in the world, Richmond's journey is proof that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. In this interview, the founder of Bantu Vision takes through his rather interesting career trajectory and what lies ahead in his quest for game development supremacy

In your own words, tell us who Richmond Mouti is

I am an Accounting degree holder with six years’ work experience in corporate accounting. I graduated in 2012 where I started my financial career as an accounts assistant at Peermount Metcourt inn located in Francistown. I was then hired as a Financial Accountant in Tri Holdings where I first experienced how to manage financial tasks without any direct supervision. That’s when I realized that I’m more productive working without direct supervision compiling reports for the Directors and supervising back-office operations.

I later moved to Gaborone in 2015 where I got hired as a Financial Manager at Chareu Investment. I got the taste of managing the entire accounting department. Setting up accounting procedures, preparing the annual financial statements and company tax returns. I really enjoyed my Managerial role to the extent of my enrolling in CIMA part-time at BAC. However, upon attaining my part qualification in CIMA I realized that there was not much control given to financial managers as all I could do was advise the company directors and the final decisions would be made by them. That’s when in 2018 I decided to take a leap into Public accounting where I got hired by Lil-Que, a public accounting firm in CBD and was assigned to assist BOCODOL/ Botswana Open University in preparing their financial records for an Audit. That was where I got a taste of the thrilling world of public accounting. Where instead of bosses I had clients. Upon finishing my assignment I resigned and started my own financial firm in 2020.  

Please briefly take us through your journey to a career in tech entrepreneurship?

- Attended the Shining Light Awards (De Beers, Botswana innovation Hub, Forevermark) November 2016

Where I got to interact and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.

- Hosted the Animation Explore workshop sponsored by (Youth Development Fund) in March 2017 with like-minded entrepreneurs with the goal of growing the industry.

- Attended Discop October 2017, a convention in Sandton that helps acquisition, sales and production executives connect with each other.

- Enrolled into the Botswana Innovation Hub incubation program December 2018

- Attended Discop November 2018

- Invited to compete in Seed Stars Botswana Competition sponsored by Stanbic Bank as a Wild card entry Nov 2018 

- Received funding by Youth Development Fund Nov 2018

- Pioneered the Future Makers program sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank and Hosted by Young Africa Botswana August 2019

- Invited to Botswana Innovation Hub business presentation Sept 2019

- Bantu Vision invited to take part in the Global entrepreneurship week Nov 2019

- Delegated the Smart Green Botswana Makeathon 17-21 Nov 2019

- Invited to participate in the Venture Capital for Africa program 14th February 2020

- Completed the VC4A mentorship program June 2020

- Launched the First Botswana mobile game on 22 April 2020

-Bantu Vision invited to take part in the 3x3x3 scale-up residency program hosted by Ngwana Enterprises in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021 sponsored by Stanbic Bank.

- Became an African Games Coproduction Market Competition finalist. Hosted by F6S. Sponsored by Orange France, Ubisoft Singapore, SpeielFabrique Germany, Devcom Germany, Africacomicade Ghana and Games Industry Africa 15 Nov 2021

What inspired you to pivot from a career in corporate to entrepreneurship?

Purely passion. I wish to create a meaningful impact on the world and it didn’t feel like I was going to achieve that as a corporate.

Game development is a very nascent field in Botswana. Was this a concern or motivation when you decided to take it up as a career path?

 I have always wanted to become a game developer since childhood. When I realized that it was a field that wasn’t really common I felt motivated to become the first Motswana to release a game. 

Please tell us more about your startup, Bantu Vision

BantuVision was founded in March 2018, with a vision to provide high quality, affordable services and content to an international community of customers and collaborators, as well as to develop into the leading African Game and Animation Studio.

What was the motivation for starting Bantu Vision?

Growing up my hobbies were largely playing video games and watching cartoons. So I decided to follow my passion for video games and animation – two things that had given many great moments of enjoyment, competition and laughter in many people’s younger days.

As an enterprise specializing in such a relatively new field in Botswana, what challenges have you faced?

The main challenge is that local potential investors and sponsors do not understand the value of animation and gaming. We even had to reduce our rates to be more accommodating.

How have you been trying to overcome those challenges?

We are currently in the process of registering a society in Botswana so we may have a proper platform to educate and inform the general public. With the goal of enriching and growing this industry.

We had success in our trial run when we hosted the Animation Explore Workshop sponsored by Youth Development Fund in March 2017. We had invited local stakeholders (potential clients, aspiring creatives and developers) and done a brief workshop on the process of animating and game development. Just so they may appreciate its value and workload.

On the other hand, what are some upsides to working on a startup engaged in such a new and niche field?

It is very fulfilling to have a vision and enforce a plan to materialize it. Waking up every day and taking a step closer to making your dreams a reality is the greatest feeling.

What are your goals for Bantu Vision in the next 3-5 years?

1. To grow into the largest provider of animated television content on the continent of Africa

2. To become a world-leading game and mobile application development platform

3. To invest in African communities and provide youth with the skills needed to succeed in a globalised 21st century

Are there any interesting features launching on Bantu Vision in the near future that you would like to share with our readers?

Yes, I’m very excited to share with everyone that we at Bantu Vision are very close to releasing an African themed role-playing game for Apple and Android devices, Trouble Times. Later on, we'll be launching a PC multiplayer game called Tribal Wars.

What has been the proudest moment of your entrepreneurship journey so far?

Bantu Vision recently got international recognition and made it all the way to the finals of the African Games Co-Production Market competition. Sponsored by Orange France, Ubisoft Singapore, SpeielFabrique Germany, Devcom Germany, Africacomicade Ghana and Games Industry Africa 15 Nov 2021. This reassures me that we are producing quality products on an international level which is definitely a step in the right direction.

What’s something you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your entrepreneurship journey?

That progress takes time, and patience is key. Sometimes ambition has us setting unrealistic expectations and we feel bad for not reaching them in our specific timeline. Ignoring all the progress (however small they may seem) compared to what we had expected to achieve. Overnight success rarely occurs so don’t feel bad when it doesn’t happen fast. 

If any, what is the best advice you have received in your career?

Don’t be afraid to be bad at something new, otherwise, you will never learn new skills. You have to be comfortable with being bad at something first before you may master it.

What is some of the advice you can give to young people who are interested in a career in game development?

It takes a lot of perseverance. This is something you have to be very passionate about, otherwise, you will quit when times get rough. It’s going to demand all you got and more, so you have to be prepared to give it.

From an entrepreneurial perspective, what advice can you give to people looking into founding a tech-centric startup in Botswana?

If people don’t think you are crazy then you are on the wrong path. Always think outside the box and don’t just follow the crowd. Not everyone has to understand your vision so stay true to it despite that. Find comfort in knowing that you are not alone and don’t always seek that comfort locally.

Lastly,please share with our readers where you can be reached if they are interested in getting in touch

They may contact me via email:

NB: Interview has been slightly edited for clarity

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