After a long struggle to find a suitable job to sustain herself, Mwaalwa Nambondi (28), seems to have found her feet in the business world and now she urges Namibian youth to find ways of becoming entrepreneurs to eventually grant them financial independence they so desperately seek. Today, Nambondi owns a clothing shop in Windhoek’s Maerua Mall, called Fashion Obsession, which caters for the style conscious.
Nambondi started the retail outlet in September 2019 after returning from California’s Diablo Valley College in the United States of America’s where she studied to become a dental hygienist in.
“Before I started my business, I was battling with finding a job that did not work out. As a result, I started thinking of ways to find financial independence,” narrated Nambondi.
Originating from the small village of Ontanda in Uukwaluudhi, a young ambitious, driven, and hardworking Nambondi attended most of her schooling career in northern Namibia. She narrated how she grew up from humble beginnings where, according to her, she did not have the privilege to have all the clothes she wanted as a little girl.
Remembering how she started, Nambondi said: “I first started the business from a suitcase by walking up to people I know until I moved to the back of my car. I embarked in this journey even if it was risky to walk around neighbourhoods, I was not familiar with on my own. Growing up I was obsessed with clothes. I loved dressing up and looking good,” she outlined.
She explained that the name Fashion Obsession came from the idea of being obsessed with fashion, adding that in today’s world fashion is one of the biggest industries taking over most of the young independent and professionals.
Now, Nambondi is already looking at collaborating with other Namibians and branching out into different regions and online stores. Nambondi’s dream is to grow Fashion Obsession into a recognised brand both nationally and internationally.
“I aspire to create job opportunities for Namibians and thus to reduce the high unemployment rate in the country. I draw my inspiration from all kinds of hardworking women in business,” she added.
Nambondi believes the Covid-19 pandemic came as blessing in disguise. Believing there is always light at the other end of the tunnel she used the pandemic outbreak as an opportunity to flourish to higher levels and in November last year she finally opened her shop in Maerua Mall.
Currently, only two people are employed at the shop while the garments are imported from the USA and European countries.
“For anyone looking for advice, I would say the key points are to have perseverance, commitment, patience and strong work ethic because handwork will always triumph with passion and talent. If you want to start a business you should have the courage to start with what you have available, anywhere you are,” advised Nambondi.