Hard work and big dreams in Okahandja Park

With dedication and hard work, Aino Kaapangelwa has built up a small businesses that sustains her family.

13 December 2017 | Life Style

Five years ago Okahandja Park seamstress Aino Kaapangelwa (40) quit her job as a nightshift security guard to launch her own business, which empowered her to singlehandedly support her three children and two siblings since then.

Her journey from took willpower, passion and dedication.

“I would work from 17:00 until the next morning as a security guard, and then attend the seamstress classes from 08:00 until 12:00 each day, for eight months. I was always interested in sewing, and I really wanted to acquire these skills,” Kaapangelwa told Namibian Sun this week.

She runs her small, but thriving business from her home located in Okahandja Park informal settlement.

Despite living in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Windhoek, without indoors water or electricity, Kaapangelwa radiates passion and joy for her work and is devoted to growing her business.

“When I sew, someone can talk to me, I probably won’t hear them.”

One of her goals is to build up the business to the extent where she can employ, train and mentor others.

“If the business grows, I hope to be able to reach out and perhaps start teaching others these skills. I want to be a mentor, just like the woman who taught me, and who still helps and advises me when I call her.”

Yet for now, she lacks the funds to buy additional sewing machines and material.

“I really want to help others, to teach them. If I had a bit more funds, I could show them, because I want to help.”

Being her own boss is a dream come true and she is determined to inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

She says what is key is the will to work hard and to be dedicated.

“People must just try to do something to earn their own money. It is better to stand up for yourself, and to be your own boss. Don’t just wait for something to happen,” she advises.

Kaapangelwa works seven days a week, depending on her clients and their requests.

“If I had electricity, I would probably work through the night too. Many people come with emergency requests, like uniforms that have ripped and need to be fixed before work the next day. Then I help them.”

Because her community is poor, she says she often gives discounts to help people in urgent need.

“Sometimes persons come, like a grandmother whose grandchildren need to go to school, but their clothes are torn or don’t fit and they desperately need help. You can see how they struggle, so I help them, even if they don’t have any money.”

Her business now consists primarily of requests for mending or altering clothes, or making tailor-made clothes for special events such as weddings, baptisms and choirs.

She has also earned a reputation for her quality work in making traditional clothes and men’s clothes.

For Kaapangelwa, one of the biggest rewards of her job is to see someone once a piece of clothing is completed.

“I say, look meme, you look so nice, and that is because of me,” she told Namibian Sun with a proud smile.

And as her quality designs have been worn at events, word of mouth has become a crucial part of her growing reputation and lengthy to-do list.

She says her income now is higher than what she earned as a security guard, even on the night shift rotation.

Kaapangelwa moved from the north to Windhoek in 2010 in search of a job and to help her siblings after both their parents had passed away.

After she had worked for four months as a security guard, she heard about a City of Windhoek initiative to teach sewing, mending and related skills.

She decided to grab the opportunity, asking her boss to transfer her to permanent night shift at the security company and attending the morning classes.

At the start of the sewing course Kaapangelwa bought a manual sewing machine in China Town.

Since then, the machine has faithfully helped her in achieving her goals.

But now, “it’s getting old and I will have to try and get another one.”


Similar News


From her kitchen to you

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | Life Style

Justicia Shipena Shiwomeho Kalla is a highly ambitious young woman.She is resolute in her resolve to build, transform and inspire. In August...

Inspirational retired nurse plants her own forest

1 week ago - 09 October 2019 | Life Style

Retired nurse Emilia Angala (63), a resident of Ongwediva, has created her own forest of more than 400 trees which all grow together, competing for...


1 month - 10 September 2019 | Life Style

Yolanda NelDie wenners van vanjaar se Skolesjef van die Jaar-kompetisie wat verlede week plaasgevind het, is Olajumoke Lenntich van die Waldorf-skool in die afdeling vir...

Ellen Pakkies shares all

3 months ago - 09 July 2019 | Life Style

“I just wanted to talk to him; ask him politely why he refuses to leave the drugs; that is all I intended to do that...

We are kept in dark places - Katrina

4 months ago - 14 June 2019 | Life Style

Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says 'The Journey' human rights campaign, which ends today, is the perfect platform for even the most timid voices to speak...

CSR is a powerful tool

7 months ago - 19 March 2019 | Life Style

JEMIMA BEUKES Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not just about making a social investment grow, but also about fostering smart partnerships between profitable entities and...

Navigating your finances as a couple

7 months ago - 22 February 2019 | Life Style

February may be the month of love, but we all know financial differences can place a huge strain on any relationship. Fortunately, if you approach...

Auntie Nangy

1 year - 20 July 2018 | Life Style

Is my lover too young?Dear Auntie Nangy, I am a girl of 20 and I am dating a man of the same age as me....

Veteran educator dies

1 year - 01 July 2018 | Life Style

Veteran educator and politician Otillie Abrahams passed away on Sunday morning, a family member has confirmed. Abrahams passed away in her sleep at the Paramount...

SRT joins in Queen's birthday celebration

1 year - 08 June 2018 | Life Style

In honour of Queen Elizabeth II's 92nd birthday, and as a wedding present to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the day was celebrated with the...

Latest News

Energy-efficiency key to fight climate...

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | People

Ruan BestbierThe Bank of Namibia report on Namibia’s second quarter performance found that fuel imports significantly contributed to the decline in the country’s current account....

Nursing students left high and...

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | Education

Disgruntled nursing students, some of whom have already completed their diploma course at the Rundu national health training centre, have laid into the health ministry...

Cops dish out schoolboy haircuts

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | Education

A group of Mariental High School boys had a rude awakening this week when they were forcibly shorn of their hip-hop hairstyles.According to school principal...

Smooth operator

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | People

Michelline Nawatises Zaskia Joubert has been part of the Sanlam family for more than five years. She joined the company immediately after the successful completion...

Let’s get fiscal

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | People

Michelline NawatisesAstrid Jacobi is a born and bred Namibian. She went to school in Windhoek and completed her bachelor’s and honours degrees in accounting at...

Going for it

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | People

Wisdom is a girl’s best friendEvany van Wyk In her current role as Bank Windhoek’s communication practitioner for electronic and new media, Veno Mbuende has...

Our hunger games

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | Columns

A global report that tracks the state of hunger worldwide has found that Namibia’s ‘score’ is worse than war-torn countries such as Iraq and Iran.We...

Passion is energy

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | People

Mariselle StofbergGrowing up, Uvatera Kamberipa always dreamt of becoming a soccer star and would always be running in the dusty streets of Ovitoto, just for...

Adding value

2 days ago - 18 October 2019 | People

Michelline NawatisesErika Kahelende Kaukungwa-Thomas was born in the harbour town of Walvis Bay.She matriculated at Augustineum Senior Secondary School and after matric she taught at...

Load More