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Meet Mombasa-based Abdallah Omar Choka – ‘MacChoka’

Mombasa-based Abdallah Omar Choka better known as MacChoka is one of Coast’s best videomakers. He chats with Elly Gitau about his career as a top videographer

How did you grow your interest for videography?

While growing up, I used to watch a lot of movies and music videos from artistes such as P Diddy and 2pac formed part of my daily watch. I was always fascinated with what they were doing and wanted to try out things when I grew up. I think curiosity grew to passion, which then became a profession.

What inspired you towards this direction?

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by visuals. Capturing important or precious moments on camera is a great high for me. Working as a videographer was a natural career choice.

Did your family support your ambitions to become a pro-videographer?

My family has always been supportive. The fact that they believed in me and supported me by any means possible has kept me moving. It doesn’t end with the family though; my hometown, Mombasa, is loyal to my work.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

I’m a big fan of English film directors and videographers such as James Cameron, Edgar Wright, Danny Boyle, Guy Ritchie, Chris Cunningham and Justin Kerrigan.

Musically, the legendary Hype Williams and Jesse Terrero are my old school icons, while Juliet Lutz, Justin Campos, Eif Riveria, Clarence Peters and Ogopa Deejay’s Lucas Bikedo are the players who really inspire me in the new school.

What was your first professional shoot and how was the experience?

I did my first professional shoot in 2014, a film project funded by the Kenya Film Commission. The experience was great, as I managed to work with great minds and had the opportunity to network with professionals who have since been vital to my career.

Are you settled on specific genres?

I’m a multifaceted guy; I don’t like to be restricted to one world. I think it’s the best way in discovering new things, opening your mind and improving yourself. I do more than just music; I also handle TV shows, documentaries, movies and short films.

Having to work with the so-called celebs, how is it like being a videographer?

Working with them makes my job simply amazing. Unforgettable moments and most of these works have an impact in the community and society at large. I’d say it’s uplifting.

How has technological advances helped your line of work?

With the advancement in technology, I have been exposed to a lot of useful information that help me better my trade, as research has become easy to conduct. I then challenge my skills with the new information.

What are the main challenges working in this industry?

While I enjoy doing this work, at times it does get both trying and tiring, especially when the clients do not understand your execution modalities. Also, working for long hours, especially in the heat or cold, sometimes gets to me.

Where do you aspire to be in future?

I aspire not only becoming the biggest, most influential and well established music, film and TV director in Africa, but to work on film projects in Hollywood. My dreams are valid and the sky is the limit.

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