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The rise of Kasi Vibe festival

2022-05-06  Paheja Siririka

The rise of Kasi Vibe festival
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Bomba Shiguedha, one of the founding members of the Kasi Vibe festival, said the popular event was born on the premise that young Namibian entrepreneurs were denied opportunities to promote their businesses.

He said money meant to circulate and cater to entrepreneurs was going somewhere else and not catering to the group and the areas they were based.

“My wife (Salmi) and I went to one of the markets in town, and upon return, I had a talk with her about how the Sam Nujoma Stadium was just idle with no activities, and l suggested hosting a market there,” he recalled.

He said: “We used to live in Golgota then. Imagine how many people went to the markets, coming from other parts of the city. So, Kasi Vibe was born out of anger”.

Shiguedha went on Twitter and suggested the idea, where black young entrepreneurs had their platforms for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to keep money in the community, and that tweet started trending.

He shared the idea with one of his friends, Helena Ngaifiwa, who did not understand the concept of hosting such an event in the beginning.

“Initially, we struggled and had few people who believed in the idea. I wish we had more people who believe in our ideas. After the fifth event, I started telling people that this will be my last event. The stress and the effort weren’t matching. You come back home exhausted and there is nothing to show that you were working,” said Shiguedha.

From the first edition, held in March 2017 and nine editions later, the Kasi Vibe festival is known to be a household name, where young and upcoming entrepreneurs get the opportunity to showcase their ideas and market their products and services.

Shiguedha’s ally, entrepreneur and media personality Helena Ngaifiwa said Kasi Vibe gives her goosebumps, and she recalls the first time the idea was brought to her attention.

 “Bomba is ambitious and thinks over the top; he is the most daring person I know and doesn’t settle for anything less. He is that person who wants to break barriers and tap into the untapped market,” recalled Ngaifiwa.

She said Shiguedha has the heart and passion for promoting entrepreneurship and giving back, which was and still is the vision with Kasi Vibe. 

“The festival has grown to be a household name that many look forward to; it has boosted many dreams, and I know for sure that’s not where Bomba wants it to be yet. I remember the first Kasi Vibe; he was adamant about the vision,” she said.

Ngaifiwa added that although the initial dream never included the music aspect. 

The fiesta has opened doors for some in terms of boosting and getting them into the industry.  “He has developed that hunger for creating a platform for promoting local musicians, where entertainers can be celebrated. There are few people I know who believe in local musicians, and he is one the people committed to that,” she said.

 

She added: “Whenever I see him at the festival, pacing up and down, trying to make sure everything is running smoothly, I always think back to the first days. He fully invested in this idea. If I can take Bomba away from the festival, I would still believe in the brand because I love seeing the ownership that young Namibia entrepreneurs have taken. Everybody took that ownership that it’s their event, and post Bomba, it will still exist. It’s not a Salmi festival and Bomba festival”. 

 She believes it is a local event for entrepreneurs; they go all out and have changed the phase of the exhibition. 

In its setting, it is in the Kasi - the hood - where locals can thrive and keep the money circulating in the area.

Owner of Ila Tulye (Let’s eat) Kitchen Queenteline Nanus said she witnessed the birth of Kasi Vibe on Twitter, which is part and parcel of what she does as an entrepreneur. 

“Bomba’s beliefs and mine match because at its core, it is a proudly Katutura festival - a proudly Namibian child that creates space for us. It is a festival where if one has N$5 000, they can make N$10 000 and settle tuition fees, ” she shared.

Nanus said the fiesta came at an opportune time when a lot of young professionals were getting into management positions, which led to various collaborations in terms of upliftment and so forth.

“This is where my business was born; where the seed was planted. I remember in 2018, the March edition and while a volunteer at the Kiddies Corner, my fellow volunteers and I were walking around and noticed only one stall selling traditional food; we said, how are we from the Tura and people are selling braai vleis? We love matangara and smileys, so we decided to team up for the following edition. That’s how the Ila Tulye Kitchen was born, which later led to the partnership with Namib Mills,” Nanus said ecstatically.

Founder of JNTBoutique Johanna Nandi Kanelombe said they were privileged to be part of this creative event, which they believe did not only benefit them but many other young entrepreneurs at large.  

“It’s proof that we, as young people, can play a role in combatting unemployment. JNTBoutique has not only gained good sales from that event but our clientele has increased; we gained customers who trust our brand and are willing to grow with us,” stated Kanambole, adding they highly recommend young Namibians to be open to these innovative events.

The festival has had the pleasure of accommodating Sai’s Kitchen, which offers traditional local cuisines, something that has been a great opportunity for the kitchen, as it was exposure and a way of marketing as well.

“It helped us reach new clients and get noticed - not only was it that, but it was also a learning and improving opportunity through interacting with other different vendors. Kasi Vibe has also been an opportunity of growing the business through sales because it’s a bigger market,” shared the founder food enthusiast Saima Mukwiilongo.

psiririka@nepc.com.na


2022-05-06  Paheja Siririka

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