OUR STORIES

Tyson Nemukula

InDuna

Tyson is a talented self-taught musician and producer who runs his own music production company.

His success comes after years of fighting against the odds, defying the demons of a childhood scarred by hardship. 

Tyson was born into poverty in South Africa and spent years in an orphanage there before being adopted as a teenager and moving to New Zealand. When his adoptive placement broke down, he found himself entirely alone in a new country, and was taken into state care. 

Alongside this emotional upheaval, Tyson’s schooling was further disrupted by dyslexia, bullying and the extra challenge of trying to navigate learning in a second language. He left school barely able to read or write. 

But Tyson, now 26, has drawn on immense reserves of strength and resilience to overcome these hurdles, and has found both solace and purpose in making music. Tyson taught himself, initially from Youtube videos, and then went on to gain a university degree.  

Although he had talent, Tyson had no mentor, networks or connections to support him to break into the industry and had to work multiple jobs to support himself while trying. He signed up to The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme to help him take his next step forward. 

“The programme was a guiding light, helping me identify my target audience and clients.” Tyson said. 

After completing the basic workshop, Tyson was matched with a business mentor, award-winning filmmaker James Barr, who has supported him to build the skills to expand and accelerate his business.

He explains that the knowledge he gained around marketing himself was particularly useful in boosting his profile and creating new opportunities, and he was also able to successfully apply for a growth grant from the He Kākano seed fund. 

Tyson now works full-time in his own successful music company, InDuna, where he creates and produces his own unique Afro-Dance pop, as well as producing music for other clients.

His work often features on popular playlists on Spotify and Apple Music, with his song Dreams reaching number six on the New Zealand Music Charts. Dreams also won Best Original Song at the International Online Web Festival earlier this year. 

Funding & mentorship is really important because it’s one of my first endeavours of many to come, so it’s bascially the start/seed of all the crazy stuff that I’ll be up to.