Feature: Business burgeons ahead of elections in Namibia

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-26 20:00:59|Editor: xuxin
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By Ndalimpinga Iita

WINDHOEK, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- As Namibia prepares for the upcoming presidential and National Assembly elections on Wednesday, young Namibian entrepreneurs said rallies and election campaigns had propelled their business proceeds.

Albert Alex runs a branding and printing shop in northern Namibia's Oshikoto region. Amid political party campaigns, some clients would come to his shop to brand items with the political party logos to flaunt their attires at the rallies. After noticing the demand for branded items for political spectators, he rolled out a promotion to draw more people from the various political parties to brand items at his outlet.

The promotion was offered in various packages. If a client brands more than three items, they purchase at a discounted price.

"Since October when the various political parties and candidates undertook massive campaigns to draw in supporters, the business has been doing well in that area," said the 25-year-old informal trader.

Business proceeds have since increased by a margin of over 50 percent during the campaign peak season.

"In the past, I would struggle to make even 6,500 Namibian dollars (440 U.S. dollars) monthly. Nevertheless, now profits are over 13 ,500 Namibian dollars," Alex said Tuesday.

He is not the only one.

In the Oshana region of northern Namibia, Timo Penda acts as a sales agent for branded items in far-flung villages. He sourced T-shirts at a local printing shop at main town Oshakati to sell in his village and sells the attires at a premium.

"I buy t-shirts from local retailers and Chinese shops, I have them branded, and increase the price to cover the capital cost and make a profit," he said.

He sells the T-shirts at 70 Namibian dollars, making a profit of 30 Namibian dollars per T-shirt sold.

"I am unemployed. I thus decided to maximize on the momentum and demand of such products as most villagers cannot afford to go to town and brand the products," he added.

Fashion designers and tailors are also yielding significant proceeds during the peak election period.

For Rauha Namupa, a tailor based in Namibia's capital, Windhoek, profits has tripled since October this year.

According to Namupa, supporters of political parties and campaigners are seeking unique designs to conform to party brands.

"Not only to achieve a uniformed look with fellow spectators, but people come for distinct designs. They want to stand out," she said.

Some clients bring their fabrics. "For others, I source branded fabric at an affordable retail price from China Town stalls in Windhoek. In that way charge for both material and tailoring, from which I make extra profit," said Namupa.

Prices for outfits vary, but ranges between 70 Namibian dollars to 850 Namibian dollars, depending on how much time she would spend on making the outfit.

"All young, male, female, middle age and senior citizens are coming here," she added.

In the interim, Namupa said that she made a monthly profit ranged between 20, 000 and 45, 000 Namibian dollars since October.

"It's hard to make such profit, all thanks to the elections," she concluded.

Meanwhile, political party supporter Josia Johannes said he had to maximize on the peak political party rallies to wear clothes branded with his political party logo, as he cannot do so on the day of elections.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has discouraged the wearing clothing branded with political party logos on election day to promote nationhood and impartiality, said Theo Mujoro, the chief electoral officer of the ECN.