26 November 2012

Namibia: Making a Living From Beads

Windhoek — Two unemployed young women from Windhoek eke out a living from a bead product business previously operated by their late aunt. Even though business used to boom at the time their aunt ran the business, it has now become a hassle since the number of customers for the product have shrunk.

This has forced Sara Angula and Selma Mungonena to reduce prices significantly. The two women create mainly Namibian flags and 'Take control' signs, which used to cost N$25 when their aunt ran the business but now cost only N$4, in a bid to sell more products.

Angula and Mungonena said unemployment forced them to take over the business that their late aunt started in 2008, and operated from home.

They say their aunt was always willing to help them and decided to train them how to make the flags and other products.

Decorative doilies are lacy mats used under plates, as well as under cakes or food in order to display the food attractively with different colours.

"We took over last year after life became so hard for us when our aunt left us because she was like our mother and we were staying with her in her house, which she bought from selling bead products," said Angula.

The two young ladies say the business is doing better now because they have entered into some sort of partnership with the owner of the Out of Africa art gallery.

They say although the business has made a slight difference to their lives, challenges such as lack of buyers for art products still persist. "We always deliver our products at Prosperita ourselves, which is a distance from where we are staying, therefore we have to use N$35 for transportation going there, and N$9 for coming back," said Angula.

"Our auntie was always selling her products to the Cancer Association of Namibia, First National Bank and Bank of Windhoek, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture, as well as the Ministry of Education but they are no longer interested in our products, it would appear," said Mungonena.

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