by Ndalimpinga Iita
WINDHOEK, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The live TV broadcast of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) games underway in Egypt is bearing fruits for rural dwellers in the northern part of Namibia.
Local business and entrepreneurial growth has received a boost from savvy residents who are fusing together business ideas, power connectivity, AFCON and television.
At Andreas Sheepo's open-sky yard at the far-flung village in Oshana region, northern Namibia, a group of people congregated around a television at evening time.
They gathered to watch AFCON matches, where 24 African countries' national football teams are competing for the champ title.
Living in an area where not every person has a TV, Sheepo is one of the rural dwellers maximizing on the pinnacle football season to generate an income.
"People here love watching football in a social group. I thus decided to turn my yard into the virtual stadium in the village," he said.
In the past, rural dwellers relied on radio for updates, said local leader Tate Mupetami on Wednesday.
"However, in this day and age, visuals and voice enhance the experience," he said.
Each of the football devotees paid an entrance charge of 10 Namibian dollars (0.7 U.S. dollars) to watch the live broadcast at his house, said Sheepo.
Solar energy was the source of power for the television. "My brother who works in Namibia's capital Windhoek installed solar power in 2018," he said.
To diversify and increase earnings, he also sold food and snacks. "Revellers bring their drinks with," he added.
Since the beginning of AFCON, which debuted with a game between Egypt and Zimbabwe on June 21, Sheepo has made 6,000 Namibian dollars (425 U.S. dollars) from his innovative endeavor.
He wasn't the only one. At Oshandja village in the northern part of Namibia, Thomas Shilongo, 35, ran a local commodity outlet selling alcohol, soft drinks and other food commodities.
"Realizing the potential impact of sports on business, I had to act quickly and tap into the peak football season," he said.
Shilongo temporarily moved his 85-inch flat screen television from his seating room at home to the bar premises at the local informal socialization area.
According to Shilongo, he was maximizing on the soccer period to draw in crowds to grow the business.
"I made sure it had the popular sports channels, in particular, that show a live broadcast of AFCON," he said.
Since the start of the games in Egypt, he has increased proceeds by 60 percent.
This week, when Namibia played against Cote d'Voire, Shilongo's outlet offered free entrance, provided that the person buys meat and two drinks and brings a friend, who does the same.
The approach is preferred by many revelers, mainly for the social fabric.
"This is also far better than watching the game at home. Here, I have fellow villagers to celebrate victory with and cry with when our teams lose," said Eino Penda, a reveler.