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Sihova presents Osande Baskets

2022-05-20  John Muyamba

Sihova presents Osande Baskets
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RUNDU – Using the knowledge she imparts daily to learners of her entrepreneurship and business studies class in Swakopmund, and combining it with her weaving skills, teacher Naira Sihova created Osande Baskets. ‘Osande’, means luck in a native Angolan language.

Sihova learned the craft of weaving baskets with wild palmtree leaves, or Nombare as they are referred to in the Kavango languages, from her grandmother.

“The 2020 lockdown reminded me of my childhood hobby and with a touch of modern crocheting, I found myself falling in love with it all over again and now here I am doing baskets every single day,” she told VIBEZ!

Making baskets has now become her side hustle, but she does not use palm tree leaves anymore; she uses wool and yarn and modern crocheting methods to form a variety of baskets – from pot plants to toiletry baskets, gift hamper baskets and picnic baskets.

“I also do food trays that you can use when you have guests, storage baskets to use in your pantry or in the kitchen, baby goodie baskets to store nappies, cottons and earbuds in a stylish way and to easily access them,” said Sihova, who hails from Rundu.

Her personal favourite product is the ‘Moses basket’, imitating the basket used in the Biblical story of baby Moses who was put in a basket to float down the Nile River.

“I also make big stylish laundry baskets that you can use in your house, either to pack dirty clothes or just to put some clean clothes before they get ironed. Not to forget beautiful cushion covers and rugs. So, basically, it’s goodies one can use at home or office,” she noted.

“Just so you know, all my baskets are made with so much love. I pay attention to each and every single detail, making sure my client gets mesmerised by the end product. In other words, quality over quantity is my main priority.” 

 

The challenges

Like in many entrepreneurs’ journeys, start-up capital was the biggest challenge for Sihova.  

“My wish is to get a surprise call, telling me someone is buying me a whole 12-feet container filled with yarn and I don’t need to return the money; I must just create employment. What a wish, right?”

She stressed that getting good quality yarn is not easy and when she does, it’s quite pricey, making it difficult to make a good profit. However, Sihova said she is a person who perseveres in whatever she sets her mind to which helps her stay focused. 

 

Advice to the youth

“I know our country’s population is very small thus making it difficult for many small businesses to survive. The market gets saturated fast, especially when everyone sells or does the same thing. So, my advice is, do what you love most. Don’t copy what someone else is doing, chances are you won’t make it because you will get bored quickly,” she said.

Sihova encouraged youngsters to explore and use their time to research on the internet and get started.

“Don’t wait for the perfect time to start a business. Just start with the little you have. We all have some hidden talents that need to be uncovered, don’t hold back. Here on earth nothing is impossible. As long as you set your mind to it, you can do it. You will be surprised what the power of a (positive) mindset can do. As long as you focus, you can achieve great things,’’ she said.

 

Big dreams

Sihova wishes to see her products sold in the biggest retailers countrywide and abroad. 

“Well, as they say, the sky is the limit and so are my dreams, right? Endless possibilities await. Making Osande a household name like other popular brand names that we grew up knowing; that would be a cherry on the top. Like one of the great African authors Chinua Achebe said: ‘Procrastination is a lazy man’s apology’.” 

The baskets are currently stocked at Orca Pharmacy in Swakopmund, next to Pathcare. From next month, they will be available in selected outlets in Otjiwarongo and Windhoek. Customers can also place orders via the WhatsApp number 0811691948. To view the catalogue, follow Osande Baskets on Facebook or Osande_Handmade_baskets on Instagram. - jmuyamba@nepc.com.na


2022-05-20  John Muyamba

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