Vendor turns to shoe sales to provide for family

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Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek-Every day 34-year old Johannes Kashipunge makes sure he is on the dusty streets of Havana and nearby informal settlements to sell shoes, from which he derives a steady income.

“I just sell in the location but I have one employee who sells shoes for me at a permanent structure in Soweto,” Kashipunge told New Era yesterday. This reporter spotted Kashipunge in Havana, where he was selling shoes – mainly sandals – that he sourced from Angola.

Kashipunge said he started selling apples in Damara location when he first came to Windhoek in 2003. “But I didn’t make much profit and so I decided to try out something different,” he says.

That is when the idea of selling shoes came to him about some seven years ago. “I buy my shoes in Angola and I sell them here,” he adds.

Kashipunge says there are times that he does not make much profit, as some of his shoes are sold for between N$80 and N$150 a pair.

“Having a business is not like having a job where you are guaranteed a paycheck at the end of the month. It’s tough, sometimes customers take my products and promise to pay at the end of the month and then they don’t pay. At times customers are just hard to come by,” he adds with a sigh.

Kashipunge says he fathered 18 children. “The youngest one is two months old, while the oldest one was born in the year 2000,” he says.

He further explained that although he is married, he has three other women that he sees. “They all know about each other,” he adds, saying all the women are based at Omafo in the Ohangwena Region.

“In Windhoek I stay alone. I am just focusing on my work and getting an income. Each month I go home to take some money for my family.”

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