Namibia: Entrepreneur Devises a Plan to Revive Town Economy

A community member of Mariental has come up with a plan to help handcraft producers at the town.

The owner of Kanyanga Media Group, Romanus Kanyanga, has decided to revive the town's trade exhibition, which has for years served as a platform for local art creators to showcase their products.

Trade exhibitions were cancelled countrywide last year due to Covid-19, which made it impossible to hold large gatherings.

With the help of local musician Kalux, the media company recently held a music show to raise funds towards the hosting of an exhibition of crafts produced at and around Mariental later this year.

"What I want is to assist our people to promote their arts as well as our town. Just because the council cannot host the exhibition does not mean we should let our people down," said Kanyanga.

He added that his idea is to promote local art and to ensure that the skills of the artists do not go to waste.

In addition to the planned exhibition, Kanyanga plans to incorporate a business management and marketing workshop.

"Most of our people don't know how to market their products, we will use the exhibition to train our people to sell their products online and not just stand along the main road hoping for people to stop," added Kanyanga.

More fundraising initiatives are lined up. Kanyanga also called on successful entrepreneurs to offer their time to go to Mariental to share their skills with the impoverished region where unemployment is rife.

Artist Chester House Prince, who also took part in the fundraising concert, believes that Covid-19 is a blessing to small communities.

"Covid-19 is a blessing in disguise because before the pandemic, we were focusing only on music. But now, it has opened our eyes to commercial ideas to make money. We won't be musicians forever," says Chester.

Kaptein Tswazis and Kallo on the Beat also participated in the fundraising concert.

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