KEETMANSHOOP – From humble beginnings, including starting as a street vendor, businessman Henry Jongwe has made a name for himself in the business sector. Jongwe owns Hennima Investments, which includes various companies, such as a garment and textile business.
“I used to walk door-to-door, selling good quality clothes at affordable prices to less fortunate people after seeing it as an opportunity to make a living,” he says. He added that he opened his first branch of Hektas Fashion before branching out to sportswear brands.
“As my business grew further, due to customer demand, I was then able to open five more shops from Keetmanshoop in the south to the Oshikango border post in the far north,” said Jongwe.
He continued that due to stiff competition in the market, he decided in 2011 to change his business angle to the construction sector and closed all the Hektas branches, except the Keetmanshoop one.
“It then became too expensive for me to travel to all the branches and pay rent,” Jongwe added. The businessman is now also venturing into construction. “When awarded big tenders by government and the private sector, I used to employ up to 650 Namibians on contract,” he emphasised.
Jongwe also said it was in October 2018 that he opened the first garment factory, Hektas Holdings. “I currently employ 18 youth from the //Kharas region, of which females are the majority,” he said. He continued they are at this stage concentrating more on manufacturing school wear, with the //Kharas and Hardap regions as their main target. “Plans are, however, in the pipeline to expand into manufacturing safety gear, African attires and wedding outfits in the foreseen future,” he elaborated. He went on that they are currently only catering for the Namibian market but will expand to outside markets once the local demand has been met.
“Through this, one can generate more local income to boost our economy and it creates more employment opportunities,” he explained. The entrepreneur continued that he intends to hire experts from outside to train his employees in specialised fields of graphic and fashion design. In terms of the company’s corporate social responsibilities, he explained they are continuously sponsoring sanitary pads to the least fortunate schoolgirls in the //Kharas region.
According to him, his company has also provided financial assistance to five students from the region to study at the University of Namibia (Unam) for the current academic year.
“I am also paying accommodation for some students from the region, studying in Windhoek,” Jongwe explained. Another goodwill gesture, according to him, is the annual handing over of food hampers to disabled people every December.