WINDHOEK – Water melon seeds have made headlines for their various uses, chiefly of which are their health benefits in protein and Vitamin B when dried, roasted and eaten as a snack.
This is according to the United States Department on Agriculture, which lists several other important nutritional components of watermelon seeds.
But never have watermelon seeds been seen as a fashion assessory, that is until 51-year old Linda Nanyanga, a Windhoek resident, started turning the seeds into necklaces.
Besides watermelon seeds, Nanyanga also uses pumpkin seeds in her necklaces that cost between N$25 and N$30 a piece.
“I do not work. This is a means of sustaining myself. Even if I want to go to the hospital I can take money from what I earn,” said Nanyanga.
The watermelon seeds are first put in water to soften them.
“I then make holes and put thread in the seeds and after that I dye the necklaces. But with the pumpkin seed I do not put the seeds in water. I just make holes and put in the threads and after that I dye the necklaces,” explained Nanyanga.
Nanyanga, who works with other women, also make necklaces from beads.
Nanyanga is a resident of the Havana informal settlement in Katutura. She and members of her support group started making these necklaces in 2007 when the ‘Onyeka ya tema’ (meaning ‘Shinning Light’) HIV/AIDS support group opened its doors to community members infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
There were four members at first but the group grew over the years and now boasts 38 members. “We only have three men in our group and they also make necklaces,” said Nanyanga.
The project does not make much money from the sales as only foreigners are interested in buying such kinds of necklaces but they earn an income that is able to sustain them.
Nanyanga advised people to work hard to support themselves regardless of what they do. “Support groups must do everything to be self-reliant. All women should also stand up and do something for themselves and their families,” she advised.