Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay-A Grade 10 learner from Walvis Bay has turned her passion into a main source of income for her family.
Helalia Petrus from De Duine Secondary School in Walvis Bay makes beautiful mats, chairs as well as table mats from stripping tape, which she in turn sells to community members.
The 18-year-old Petrus, who currently lives in a small house which she shares with her mother, eight siblings and other relatives at the single quarters in Kuisebmond, is quite an attraction as she beads the strips at a street corner just outside their home.
“People love my art work and it is quite popular as I get many clients,” she said.
Petrus told New Era that she always loved art and entrepreneurship as subjects at school.
“But my attention was caught by a programme I watched during holidays and saw some kids making different items. The programme was fascinating and I decided to also try it with strips, but I was very horrible at it,” said Petrus.
She said that an uncle gave her N$100 last year shortly after she watched the programme. She then decided to give her mother N$30 and decided to buy the striping with the rest of the money.
It apparently took her a year and a few months before she could master the skill of beading. “Today it takes me just a day to finish one big mat, “she said.
She also collects old chairs and revamps them beautifully.
“I sell my items from N$150 up to N$300,” she says, “and with the money I make, I assist my mom.”
She explained that the family does not have a stable income apart from odd jobs the mother does. “We are eight children in the house and my father died and my mom is currently raising us all by herself. So it feels really good and worthy to be able to assist my mom,” she said.
She added that she does not allow her business to interfere with her school duties and is currently only doing it during weekends and holidays. She says she wants to become a businesswoman when she finishes school.
“I would like to start my own business but I also know I have to work hard and be innovative as the business world is tough,” she said.
Helalia’s mother, the 52-year-old Lydia Petrus, said she is proud that her daughter out of her own will decided to take on such a project.
“I am really proud of her that she has taken up such an initiative to assist the family. She is a bright girl with a bright future,” she said.