Known for his patriotic love for Namibia and his so-called #NamFlava style – EES launched his very own vitamin energy drink called WUMA in 2010. An idea that sparked in him while he was at the airport in Rome (Italy) for a video shoot, when one of the camera people filming him said he was always very energetic in front of the camera and he should really consider releasing his own energy drink. Right there and then he sat down to brainstorm the name of his vitamin energy drink and he came up with the name WUMA.
EES teamed up with Omaruru Beverages to conceptualize the ingredients and a special bottle for the vitamin energy drink. Together they worked on the project for over one year – and EES himself even designed the label and came up with the special shape of the bottle, which was supposed to stand out from the rest of the beverages in stores, with its broken 3D ice and colourful fresh look of fruits.
EES told Entertainment Now! that he feels so honoured that his local product has been in the market for over 10 years now. A market that is constantly flooded with influence and push from outside - as all other energy drinks sold in Namibia are from the outside.
“They come with big promotional budgets of millions to penetrate, which gives us local guys a very tough time to stay on the shelves if many times space gets sold to the highest bidder, etc. But we made it man - with the support of so many Namibians loving the taste of WUMA and supporting it and obviously a lot of hard work to keep it in the market and relevant,” he narrated.
WUMA has quickly become a lifestyle drink amongst the younger generation with scores of people employed by the energy drink company. “Around 350 people are involved in the making, distribution and promotion of the drink, all locals making a living off a local product. This is something we can all be very proud of and that’s why we really wanted to celebrate this special 10-year anniversary with a limited edition Gold Label WUMA bottle, a heavy price drop and a competition,” he explained.
But it wasn’t always just sunshine and roses – there have been some rollercoaster years in which WUMA was in some great difficulty in terms of sales and getting pushed out by some other international energy drink and beverage companies as they realised the potential threat of WUMA. With not having the massive financial backing the other international brands had to get the best shelf space in the stores, EES and his team had to hang in there and do promotion after promotion to keep WUMA in the market. He made sure that WUMA was seen in most of his new music videos and even sponsored and supported other artists like the Fresh Family and the Amazonkies with drinks for their promotions.
2017 was the first time WUMA was produced and sold in Germany by one of the biggest craft beer producer companies called Hanscraft. But it looked slightly different than in Namibia as it was bottled in a glass bottle – as the German bottle refund system is one of the best in the world and so way more eco-friendly. Due to the connection with Hanscraft, WUMA then also started selling in more European countries like Austria and Sweden.
Quizzed if he will one day follow in the footsteps of rap superstar 50 Cent when he sold his energy drink to a beverage company for millions, he said he is not sure if that is possible.
“Well to be honest, everything is for sale if the price is right – but as my main focus is not money but rather the whole authentic Nam Flava experience (which includes WUMA), I guess the price really needs to be right before I will sell it,” he ended.