KEETMANSHOOP - Louise Stein (31) said they as unemployed youth do not see lying idle and waiting for opportunities as a solution in their lives.
She reasoned as such when interviewed by New Era during the recently-concluded Keetmanshoop Agricultural and Industrial Trade Expo (Kaite).
“Me and my younger sister, Lillian (23), are both unemployed and have not pursued any tertiary education courses. We thus decided five years ago that if we do not start finding ways to sustain ourselves, nobody will,” she stressed.
Stein added that it was during that time that they started to bake biscuits and small cakes, selling it door-to-door in the community. “Soon after this, we started to cater for kiddies’ birthdays, and also bake cakes as requested by customers,” she said. Recently, all their products (biscuits, small cakes, tarts and ice-cream) were sold out already the night before the expo concluded.
“Standing here all these days until late at night was really worth it, as we made good profit from our sales,” she beamed.
Stein said her passion in the confectionery fraternity started at a very young age. “I used to assist my grandmother on the farm when she baked cakes for our birthdays or during the festive season, and also tried out various recipes under her mentorship,” she added. The entrepreneur said it is her big dream to get an official confectionery qualification and start her own bakery with her sister.
“The challenge we as youth are experiencing here in this town is that there is not much to do. There are no forms of relaxation, which lead to some turning to substance abuse out of boredom, or staying on their smartphones the whole day,” she said.
Stein furthermore urged her peers not to rely only on government for assistance, but to rather strive to become creative, follow their dreams, and try new ideas, even if they fail.
“In today’s world, the ball is totally in our hands to explore opportunities waiting outside, and to make the best of our lives,” she continued.
Turning to another issue, she advised the Kaite organisers not to increase entrance fees when there are activities like sport events or music shows.
“By doing so, they deter our potential customers to visit our stalls and support us as they cannot afford those high entrance fees,” she emphasised.
Stein then called on the youth ministry and other agencies to actively disseminate information on opportunities pertaining to capacity-building and practical short courses so that the youth can empower themselves through this for the unforeseen future and become self- employed.