Not too long ago, the NBC’s Whata-Lifestyle team was in my living room asking how exactly I got into content creation and honestly, the answer was, and remains, “I’m not quite sure”.
Like many people, travel to me existed only in movies.
I grew up in a normal black household where standard procedure for school holidays was to spend it entirely at home. There was the occasional trip to town, short but frequent visits to the grandparents, and you know we had to see Bennie’s Entertainment Park at least once a holiday, living that northerner Namibian soft life.
I opened up to travel much later in life when I went to high school. This is where I was exposed to classmates from different ethnic groups, races, religions and nationalities.
I remember being in Afrikaans class (I hated Afrikaans class), thinking – after what I perceived to be yet another dull “My Vakansie” oral piece – that when I could afford to, I would definitely travel.
Everyone else’s stories sounded so exciting!
“We saw elephants in Etosha National Park.”
“We went swimming with dolphins in Swakopmund.”
“My dad took us to Ruacana falls last weekend; the falls have so much power.”
Those were the experiences I too wanted to retell.
I enjoyed being home, don’t get me wrong, I love it there. I just wanted something outside of my home to talk about too (I was a child, and children are impressionable).
Lo and behold, a couple of years down the line, here we are.
Where it began
Like I explained earlier, I knew very early on that I wanted to travel. I also knew that when I did eventually start doing it, I would want to start at home (Namibia), so that’s what I did. I made that decision, and it was an important one to me.
I sing this song often, but loyalty cards from tourism companies that afford you discounts on food, accommodation and activities were very significant in my journeying around Namibia.
Lastly, because I was committed to travel, I consciously put away money specifically for that. This is key.
Was the temptation to touch the money there? Yes.
Did I give into it sometimes? Of course.
Did I replace the money I sometimes took out? Not always.
But did I let that derail me? Never!
My first exciting trip was to the Popa Falls in the Kavango East region, and oh my goodness, what a special trip this was! To be honest, this is where travel blogging truly began for me. It was after I first saw the Kavango River flowing and the greenery of the surrounding areas that I felt compelled to just... share! I wanted, not just for everyone to share in my joy, but for them to also want to experience that very joy themselves.
My first gig
You know, people often speak about God’s plan for their lives, and while I cannot fully relate to that kind of faith, I did believe something or someone was looking out for me on that specific Tuesday afternoon when I got my first-ever influencer proposal. As a matter of fact, I did not even know they had a name for it until it happened to me.
I did not get monetary remuneration for my first gig, but it was so crucial in my content-creation journey because this is when I realised three things:
This is something that could yield fruits, monetary or otherwise; I was doing something right; People (brands) were watching.
It has been a little over three years since my first official influencer gig, and I have, since then, managed to work with a number of very notable Namibian brands. Content creation, which I started simply as a hobby has now become an extra source of income (and who doesn’t need that in these trying times?) This is also how I saw myself become an entrepreneur through my now travel consultancy: Ndapanda’s Consultancy. Many people had now branded me the ‘Namibian travel expert’ and valued my input that this was almost inevitably the next step.
Ndapanda’s Consultancy deals with planning family/friend/romantic vacations, honeymoons and corporate retreats. Our value proposition is having been to these destinations and offering consultation based on experience.
To conclude, is content creation worth it in Namibia?
The concept of content creation and influencer advertising is still fairly new and largely looked down on in our country, but it exists and can be lucrative.
Therefore, if you have the urge, the talent and/or the will to create, then do it!
Just start, that is the most important step. You cannot improve and grow if you never start.
Do not hesitate to contact me should you need travel consultation/ wish to collaborate or have any further questions.
Facebook: Ndapanda Haininga