COLLIN Kasirori (38) tried his hand at several trades, but the passion for artistic endeavour, deposited in his heart by his late father, would not let him go.
Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi
Since childhood his dream was to become a technician and he pursued it, graduating from the Harare Polytechnic in 1992 after doing a course in refrigeration.
“I even tried panel beating,” he says. “But the job was physically taxing such that I would fall asleep the moment I got home.”
Finally, he settled on sign writing in 1994.
Although he recalls that he was bad at art during his school days at Zengeza 8 Primary School and later Zengeza 3 High School, he fell in love with the trade after watching his father Willard Kasirori at work.
“When I later started working, the passion continued to grow as I was inspired by my father,” he says.
In the early 1990s, the industry was dominated by white players with companies such as Tennon Signs, Capri Signs, John Kiff and Signet Signs.
Kasirori still has fond memories of his earliest signage works after he started working for Four Signs, a company in which his father was in partnership with three other entrepreneurs. These include signs he did for Enterprise Car Sales, Carpet Kings, Blue Ribbon (Chibataura advert) and Car Guard.
“Some of the signs are still there and I treasure them. Back then we used just paint,” Kasirori says with nostalgia.
Soon afterwards, the partnership collapsed and a family business, Sign Print, was established in 2008. His father, however, decided to call it quits as the economic meltdown took a toll on the signage enterprise. Out of this company’s ashes was born Kasirori’s own Signs Anointed.
“The name was inspired by my Christian faith,” Kasirori says. “But it was tough (at the time) and I had no option since I had a passion for sign writing.”
He says he has been able to ride the storm and at the moment was trying to increase his visibility. The rise of many signage companies in recent years has also posed a stiff challenge.
“Things are better now, but at the moment most of our clients are brokers who represent other people,” he says. “We need continuous cash flow, but then sometimes we have no jobs. We need to get many jobs to sustain our operations.”
In a good month, Kasirori rakes in $3 000, while on lean months he pockets between $800-$1 000.
Due to the increase in the number of players in the industry, prices of signage have been going down and that has affected profitability.
But despite the lean moments, Kasirori says the business has afforded him and his family a fairly comfortable lifestyle. He is married to Moreblessing and they have three children.
Kasirori – who has four people on his payroll – has an impressive client list. It includes Printflow, Delta and United Family International Ministries (UFIM).
“We did full car wrapping for a car that was used to advertise (UFIM leader Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s programme) Judgment Night,” he said.
Kasirori’s firm also does vinyl printing, full-colour digital printing, fabrication (of boards from scratch), full-car wrapping, vehicle graphics, shop branding, exhibition signage, illuminating signs.
He uses two primary machines in his line of work: full-colour digital printing machine and cut-vinyl plotter machine. Although his company is based in the central business district – (Asia House) at the corner of Robert Mugabe and Inez Terrace – they use their factory in Belvedere for fabrication jobs, which are bigger. The fabrication is mainly done by Sign Graphics, a sister company run by his cousin, Martin Kasirori.