The 25-year-old William Kondjeni lives in Omafo, Ohangwena region, and pursues his passion and talent for tailoring and sewing every day to produce an income whilst defying the myth that such crafts are only for women.
“When my mother bought me big clothes, I always adjusted them so that I perfectly fit in, and designed them to look more stylish,” he said.
Kondjeni told Youth Corner that sewing has been his hobby ever since he was a young boy.
His journey behind a sewing machine started at the Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre (Kayec) in 2018. But due to a lack of finances, he was unable to complete the course. He later chased his dreams at the Enongelo Sewing School in Engela, Ohangwena region, where he finished a six-month sewing course.
“In 2019, I started my job attachment at Mr Werner Tailoring shop in Oshikango, and in 2022 moved to Twins Boutique, where I have been sewing Oshiwambo traditional attire, wedding outfits and baptism clothes,” Kondjeni said proudly.
“It truly makes me happy seeing the products that I made through my skills.”
The young Namibian is, however, still facing community criticism that sewing is women’s work, and that he is wasting his time. But this has not discouraged him, and he is adamant to continue pushing forward with his dreams.
Another challenge is slow production because of the small sewing machine he uses. He thus needs a faster and bigger sewing machine to deliver his products on time.
He then thanked the Omuthiya Community Library for gifting him a free sewing machine and space to work from at their facility. This opportunity, he said, paves the way for him to become an independent tailor.
“We have a lot of unemployed men who believe sewing is only for women. I am advising them to stand up for themselves and show their talents,” said Kondjeni, suggesting that getting a dollar is better than nothing.
His contact number is 0816180228.