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Winner selected to demystify SME startups

2021-06-25  Staff Reporter

Winner selected to demystify SME startups
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Local photographer Willem Vrey was selected through a competitive application process to partner with the Omeho Project. Vrey is tasked to capture the spirit of startup entrepreneurship in Windhoek with the aim to raise awareness of what it means to be a business founder in Namibia. 

The Omeho Project intends to produce a documentary photography series about the everyday lives of entrepreneurs to represent the contemporary and urban side of Africa. The project aims to demystify startup entrepreneurship locally, and to diversify Africa’s imagery, particularly in the western world. 

Vrey is to play a critical role in designing the way startup founders in Namibia are portrayed. 

“Vrey’s photograph submissions were technically flawless, and portrait photography is his signature. He really knows how to capture his subjects’ personality, and will do a great job in documenting Namibian startups”, said Toufic Beyhum, award-winning creative and photographer and the Creative Advisor for the Omeho Project. 

“The technology-based startup entrepreneurship is transformative to the economy, but this is not yet well-understood by the general public,” said Mark Mushiva, one of the judges of the selection panel. “We need local businesses, the government and consumers to wake up to the economic potential startups can have, and that starts with an awareness of who the local entrepreneurs are, and the work they do. This project can help with that”. 

Vrey has over a decade of experience in photography, working with clients such as individuals, businesses - both large and small -, NGOs and governments.  

“With the image of the model at Café Prestige, I wanted to share the story of an entrepreneur who is excitedly pitching their business idea to a potential business partner or perhaps an investor,” he explained. 

Willem Vrey competed in the application process against local photographers. The Omeho Project was launched just a month ago, and a social media campaign, designed in partnership with Turipamwe, called out for Windhoek-based photographers. 

Out of the 18 applicants, four photographers were shortlisted and invited to the next phase in the process, which was a trial photo shoot. The shortlisted artists all shot at the same location, Café Prestige, and worked with the same model, Disney Andreas, a social entrepreneur, content creator and sustainable fashionista. 

“This project will continue to Lusaka and Cape Town during the upcoming year, and we see great value in sharing these stories of Namibian startup founders as widely as possible” said Omeho Project coordinator Auri Evokari. “We will aim to organise an exhibition with the photos in Finland, too, and maybe even publish them in a coffee table book,” said Evokari.

2021-06-25  Staff Reporter

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