Namibia: Magdalena Nambinga

Date: October 4, 2018
  • SHARE:

“This idea has changed my life. I am independent and in control of my destiny.”

Madgalena is a single mother of 2 who runs a mobile shop in Outapi Namibia. She was inspired to start this business by the fact that she was unemployed but had children to feed, school fees to pay and parents to take care of. Thus she opened a mobile shop selling groceries and household goods to the communities around the hinterland of Outapi town. She says she finds the business very productive because she brings goods to the people`s doorsteps and the old members of the community loves it.

Her products includes mealie meal, sugar, salt, Vaseline and other utensils. Her life has changed dramatically because now she can afford to put food on the table and send her children to school and also provide for her old parents. Magdalena says that through attending Gender Links’ Entrepreneurship workshop she learnt the importance of opening a bank account. This helped her save a lot of money and to avoid losing her money to thieves.

In Outapi the weather can be very hot and selling goods in the sun can be daunting. The sun and winds can affect her products making her to lose thousands of dollars of potential income.

Ms Nambinga credits Gender Links for teaching her important business skills like budgeting, planning and marketing. Although her products are selling well, her complaint is the serious competition she faces from established entities like Shoprite. She also says that at times she suffers because creditors who owe her for the goods they would have borrowed fail to honour their commitments.

Magdalena has managed to employ 3 people to help her sell products. She says her future plans include to buy a bigger truck which can carry her goods across the vicinity. She also hopes the council of Outapi would allocate her a place to work from so that she may stop commuter business.

Magdalena grew up in Outapi and she understands the business environment of the council very well.

The business is not yet registered with the ministry of finance, ministry of trade and industry and social security. Magdalena hopes that the business will eventually self-promote or market its products but meanwhile she is giving out business cards, brochures, and using word of mouth to advertise. She understands the local environment and she has good communication skills with potential customers.

Magdalena says she was lucky to be included in Entrepreneurship Phase 1 and 2 training which taught her a lot about drafting business plan, budgeting, recording of transactions and basic bookkeeping. She is very grateful that the training Gender Links Namibia provided to her for free helped turn around her business fortunes. She started to realise profit and growth exponentially. She says that writing her I story helped heal the wounds and was very therapeutic psychologically.   She says the programme she has went through so far has taught her to be very innovative.

Magdalena is a driver of change because she is a living example of a woman who bravely survived Gender Based Violence to become a successful entrepreneur through the help of Gender Links. She is an inspiration to many women in her community and has vowed to preach against GBV to other women and men. Although she is not highly educated, she intends to conduct a market research to see the potential for growth in her business. She is looking forward to employ more women as her business grows and her merchandise diversify.

Securing registration with the relevant ministries will make it easier for the business to be used as collateral when borrowing more capital from the bank.

Ms Nambinga says her potential customers are community members and can be reached via cell phone or directly approaching them. She already has a database list of potential customers. She credits Gender Links Namibia for exposing her work to the council hence enabling her to demand working space from relevant authorities.

Magdalena’s most memorable experience was when she won an award at the National summit in Namibia.