Derek Antonio Serra is a South African born photographer/filmmaker/writer of Italian heritage who has been involved in the photography and film industries for more than 30 years. He worked as a fashion and travel photographer, has produced and directed 12 documentaries and numerous promotional video’s and has written travel articles for several publications. As a qualified English teacher he has also taught senior high school English. Derek has travelled to over 35 countries thus far for both business and pleasure. He is a successful entrepreneur who has started several businesses from scratch and run them for many years, including Central Castings (25 years), Controversi Films (10 years), Classic Camper Hire (3 years) and Derek Antonio Serra Photography (30 years).
Akhona Kraai is a South African born entrepreneur/photographer/blogger of Xhosa heritage who has an intense interest in travel and culture. She has studied Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the Cape Town University of Technology and is also a qualified TEFL English teacher. Akhona has worked for international companies including Marks & Spenser, Accesorize and Viking, as well as for Emerging Stars, which assisted young entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Derek and Akhona will be selling their house, cars and businesses to pursue a true nomadic lifestyle…Now they travel the world in search of volunteering opportunities with NGO’s, charities, community projects, eco-tourism lodges and projects and private projects, bartering their extensive skill set in exchange for accommodation and meals.
Derek writes: I am a university graduate with almost 30 years experience working as a photographer/filmmaker/entrepreneur. After successfully establishing and running three businesses in the film, photography and tourism industry for over 25 years, I decided to sell my businesses and my house and start traveling the world on a new life adventure, together with my partner of 5 years Akhona, who is also a graduate in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.
I am able to photograph and film virtually anything that a business, charity or NGO may require, and am able to shoot and edit short films/documentaries as well. I have my own professional camera equipment including a stabilised GoPro, and Macbook, and I’m ably assisted by Akhona, who also has a great eye for photography and has her own camera. Akhona is the social media guru, and handles our Instagram and Facebook accounts. Her background in sales and marketing makes her well-suited this role. As a qualified senior English teacher, I am also able to teach English to scholars of all ages, and Akhona, who is a native English speaker, has recently completed a TEFL course which has also equipped her to teach English. Both of us have experience in the tourism industry having run Classic Camper Hire in Cape Town together.
Volunteering at charities, NGO’s and other deserving causes in exchange for board and lodging will make up much of what we hope to do over several travel phases of 2-3 years each.
I have already run a successful travel blog: www.the-phototraveller.com which covers trips to Namibia, Mauritius, Bali, Reunion and South Africa. and we have started our new blog www.travellernomads.com to detail our life-changing decision to lead a nomadic life rather than stay rooted in our country of birth.
While we are aware that at first glance we may be seen as an ‘odd couple’ given the differences in age, culture and race, in reality we are soulmates who share a feeling for people and a love of life which binds us together.
DEREK: Qualifications / Experience
Photography at professional level – www.derekantonioserra.com
Filmmaking at professional level- www.controversifilms.co.za
Tourism – Tour guiding, marketing, advertising
Teaching – Bachelor of Arts with English major + Education Diploma – Senior English teacher
Writing – Websites, blogs, magazine articles
Computers – advanced
Managerial – ran several businesses
Advertising and marketing
Experienced driver (including 4×4)
AKHONA: Qualifications / Experience
Social media expert
Teaching English to junior students
Excellent people skills
They are both very friendly, outgoing people who can mix easily with anybody we come into contact with. As a team they are able to teach and practice English, Photography and Film-making from beginner to advanced. Their combined skill set is advanced and will benefit their hosts as they are happy to assist in a variety of fields. Charities, NGO’s and eco-friendly tourism businesses can benefit from professional photography and promotional video’s shot by this talented couple.