My name is Levi Aurélio Maluvele, also known as Mr. King Dapper or Simply King Levi, I was born in Maputo, capital of Mozambique. I am an entrepreneur (CEO of the prestigious KLD AGENCY, KLD CREATIVE and VICIOUS SHOES), social activist, husband and creative director. At age of 15, I relocated to my aunt's - reducing the contact I had with my own mother and siblings. At my aunt's house, despite the family atmosphere - the bond and the feeling of closeness and tenderness I usually felt barely exist. It was in this phase that I grew up, became more and more autonomous and learned how to extricate myself. With my passion and experience in volunteering for organizations that had different cultural exchange programs between Mozambique and Canada. That opened up opportunities for me to travel overseas, living in diverse settings, learning new languages and cultures. This was an awesome feeling and it was a life changing opportunity for me. Moving forward, I later decided to pursue my education in Pretoria, South Africa. My first job was - an insurance salesman and I was paid by commission. It was a very challenging job, looking at the odds against me residing in South Africa. Example – I could not speak the local South African language nor speak fluent English. Some days – I was on the verge of quitting, but I refused to give up. After 3 years living in South Africa, I returned to Mozambique. Where I was hired as a project supervisor in an organization called VSO (Volunteer Service Offices). There, I had the opportunity to relocate to live in England. However, when I returned back to Mozambique, in 2014. I had the opportunity to work for the United Nations, as a project coordinator. The nature of my job opened up doors for me to engage the public through speaking engagements like: fashion innovation and other relevant topics on different media outlets.
In 2016, my immediate family and I relocated to Morocco and later to France. France is known as the fashion hub. It was a no brainer for me, since I was passionate about fashion innovation. KLD AGENCY emerged, and is responsible for changing the lives of young dreamers, training them as models and presenting them to the catwalks alleys, as well as giving opportunity to national designers to progress in their careers and showcasing their work to Mozambique and the world. In this regard, I was responsible for creating fashion events such as Street Fashion and Fancy Fashion Week, in a country where opportunities in the fashion industry were scarce, there was only one and only fashion event in Mozambique. I also went ahead to create my own brand of men's shoes called VICIOUS SHOES, launching my first collection in 2018, at my fashion event, the Fancy Fashion Week. In 2020, I won the award for Best African Fashion Influencer, in Ghana. And also nominated for the award for "The Best Fashion And Style" (an event for influencers, the World Bloggers Awards). In March 2021 I was blessed to open my office and image lab, introducing aspects of my vision: the photographic studio and the creation of digital content (KLD CREATIVE).
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
My family have been very supportive of me and my work.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
If I were to do something different I would say, I would or involve my family more in the process. Because I would like them to experience everything I had to endure – meaning every failure and victory.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Currently, I am reading Jonathan Reuvid's book, entitled "Start Up and Run your Own Business" (the essential guide to planning, funding and growing your new enterprise).
I will also advise young entrepreneurs to read the following books: "How to start a business without money" by Rachel Bridge, "Good to be Great" by Jim Collins and "The witch of Portbello", the Sunday Times bestseller, written by Paulo Coelho.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
My advice to young local and international entrepreneurs out there:
There is no brand or business that has grown overnight, it takes at least five to ten years to grow and above all, it also takes passion, persistence and consistency. Although you still can't see the top of the mountain, just don't give up, try to be a better professional every day, then trust the process. Do not be afraid of your adventures, your dreams, because they are yours and nobody else's. So Dream, Believe and Make It Happen!