HE'S a long way from the streets of Mbale, Uganda where Emma Ochella learned to fix TVs and radios - it was a matter of survival.
"Life was quite hard - when I was a teenager, I grew up on the streets and the only way I could make money was to repair TVs and radios and small domestic gadgets," Emma said yesterday from the workshop of his small operation IT and Video Solutions at 268 Prince St, Grafton.
"It's something natural with me, gadgets, I just know how to fix them."
Though not formally trained in electronics, Emma said he did several courses in information technology, web development and graphic design in Uganda.
He said his village of Soroti in eastern Uganda was not affected by the fighting between Sudanese and Ugandans in the north. Emma met a Grafton woman on the internet and the couple were married in Soroti in 2003.
He migrated to Australia in 2005 and worked at the Grafton abattoirs for some time before starting his business three years ago. A keen songwriter and singer, Emma recently laid some tracks for some hip hop artists from Coffs Harbour and he also is available to video weddings.
"In my country, you have to know more than one thing to get a job," he said.
"I love the safety of the valley - kids can walk to school with no trouble ... there's no rat race, no hurry, I just love it."
Emma said he had split up with his Aussie wife about six months ago and was now focussing on growing his business.
Emma website is www.itvsolutions.com.au.