NKURENKURU – Sitting idle at home after dropping out of school never crossed the minds of two youths who decided to set up a mobile kapana business at the ever-expanding town of Nkurenkuru.
When 24-year-old Mashel Ashipala, a native of Nkurenkuru, failed Grade 10 in 2013, he called it quits with education but he travelled out of his region to what is better known in the native language of his home town Rukwangali as ‘kousimba’, as far as Windhoek and Karasburg in pursuit of a job with the hope that life would be much easier for him.
This was an overnight decision and he acted upon this but all that his level of education could land him was poor-paying jobs.
Ashipala said his earnings were insufficient for survival. Something he was unhappy about and so he was again faced with a tough decision to make about his future.
He then took the bull by the horns, quit his job and came back home.
Because life was going to get even harder without a job, he joined the informal trading business in 2015 by selling sausages, chicken feet, necks and eggs. Last year, he ventured into a new business that he still runs to date which is selling roasted meat cut into small pieces, locally known as kapana that he sells for N$1 apiece. He called Simon Ndumba, 26, who was also unemployed to partner with him.
“At times when I was away there would be no one to run the business, so I saw that it’s better to be with someone who will run it even when I am not around,” he reminisces.
The two sell their meat on two-wheeled mobile kapana stands they call ‘Land Cruisers’ because these mobile contraptions can pass through heavy sand.
When driving through town, one can easily spot the two pulling the mobile kapana stands as they search for customers for their mouth-watering pieces of roasted meat.
When asked how business is doing and if Nkurenkuru as young as it is, is good for kapana business, Ashipala said: “This business we call mobile kapana does well especially on pay days but after that you struggle, with customers here and there; perhaps it’s because the population is still low, but it’s better, people do buy.” Life is better than before for the two as they are now able to buy their own personal basic needs, put food on the table for their families and pay their water bills. Ashipala urged his fellow unemployed youths to do away with the dependency syndrome. “Let us not depend on parents or families because they also have their own personal commitments and once they are no more, you will suffer. If you try on your own, at least you will be able to provide for yourself,” he stressed.
On their future plans, the two said they want to secure a place to operate from so that customers easily reach them.
*Stefanus Nambara is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology based at Nkurenkuru in Kavango West Region.