Mandela sales soar as funeral draws near

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Sales lady Rachel Kaupukwa is pictured here with the only Mandela book (an Afrikaans edition) still in stock at the Book Den in Windhoek

WINDHOEK – The saying ‘every dark cloud has a silver lining’ seems to hold water now that vendors and retailers in Windhoek are reporting escalating sales of Nelson Mandela memorabilia following the death of the iconic statesman on Thursday last week.

Street vendors along Post Street Mall in the capital yesterday reported a spike in sales of all items bearing the image of Mandela, who has been hailed by many as the most famous African ever. One vendor at Antonio’s Art in Post Street Mall, Chris Shiweva, said that by Friday last week all his Madiba T-shirts were sold out and he had to order additional stock from South Africa to satisfy the huge demand. “One person on Friday morning bought out all our Mandela stock and we had to rush to ensure we get more stock in as soon as possible,” said Shiweva. At a local book store called the Book Den, sales lady Rachel Kaupukwa, confirmed that all English versions of Mandela’s books, which included Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself, were completely sold out.

The only Mandela book left in the store was an Afrikaans book called ‘Op pad met Mandela’ (On the way with Mandela). “We hope to get in more stock of the English books before Christmas, but that all depends on the availability of stock at our suppliers in South Africa,” explained Kaupukwa. Meanwhile, at various branches of CNA, which is part of the South African Edcon retail group, store managers confirmed a significant rise in the sale of Mandela books. Although these store managers could not provide exact figures on the sale of Mandela related items, they said they expect the soaring sales to continue until and even after the world icon is laid to rest on December 15.

By Edgar Brandt

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