Three years ago 26-year-old Martines Kudumo, opularly known as Kakwena, started a clothing brand, called ‘Wayidiva Clothing’ under Wayidiva Clothing CC, a company he registered in 2011.
Business has since been good, leading him to open up shop in Rundu where customers can easily get his branded T-shirts. The boutique style shop opened last month at the new SME Park in Independence Street here.
Looks like Kudumo has heeded calls for Namibian youth to go entrepreneurial and provide employment for themselves, as the country battles with high unemployment. “I don’t only sell my brands, I also sell other brands but the Wayidiva brand is the focus,” Kakwena says.
“Business is [booming] and the response is positive. When I started the focus was only on Rundu, but we have designs that can cater for people from all corners. I started printing ‘Rundu we party hard’, ‘Rundu Ya Rocka’, ‘Rundu Wayidiva’ and other brands that had Rundu on it, but then I decided to focus on the broader market to attract everyone,” Kakwena says.
According to him the start was a bit difficult, because he did not have connections for quality materials and printing services. He admits tarketing was a bit slow at first due to lack of finance. “I could only sell to people close to me, like friends and family members, but now I have more connections.
“I have connections where I can buy quality materials. I have a partnership with a friend who can do printing and I have someone who can do my T-shirts in any shape and design I want. So now I’m on the right track. I’m just trying to get more connections with people from different towns around Namibian just to break through into markets in different places,” he says.
The number of his customers has grown bigger and by having a shop people can easily get access to the products, as it is easier to direct them to the shop, unlike selling the shirts from home, which some people may not be able to find.
“I was inspired by a friend, George Shiwayu, a professional fashion and graphic designer, who was involved in fashion designs. He once invited me to model for him at a fashion show in Windhoek and after that I got Inspired to start my own brand. That is where I started to have a thing for fashion and decided to start my own trend to join the fashion industry,” he adds.
“As a young person I just want to tell my fellow youths to have confidence in what they believe in and to work with others as teamwork helps a lot.