Invest in your own people
It was not surprising to hear at the weekend that some big chain stores and retailers do not even bothered to be in the mainstream of the local economy by giving back. But only interested in the benefits or the profits.
The Crayfish Festival which ended on Saturday, was a typical example of some retailers at that town who did not even see the need to support the organisers by giving donations towards hosting the event.
An event of this nature costs thousands of dollars and it is merely organised to expose the town to foreign investment and to also boost the local businesses.
The boost is for them to benefit in terms of sales over that period, while they could also enter into partnerships with exhibitors and if need be, tie up possible deals tthat are in line with their businesses.
For a retailer such as PEP or STYLE to keep idle and not support the ideals of the organisers in an attempt to bring business to them, is laughable.
It is really embarrassing to have a town of over 50 solid retailers who can join in the celebrations of such an activity and give donations or sponsorships to the organisers, but only a handful are interested.
We know that they all channel their profits to South Africa or elsewhere, but at least they must be compelled to leave a certain percentage here.
Some of these shops claim that their funds are approved in foreign countries like South Africa, that they don’t have such budgets (donations) and all kinds of excuses, but what is their social responsibility?
Are these shops just here to take from the massive poor and re-invest nothing?
In fact, the Patron of the Crayfish Festival Tim Ekandjo, is correct in blasting the non-supportive attitude of these retailers.
He also said the youth at the town must take up their rightful places and start showing interest in what goes on in their town.
He also encouraged the festival to create more business opportunities and jobs, or it will lose focus.
That element of creating job opportunities is crucial. As matters are now, the festival comes and goes and there are no long lasting and consistent jobs that emanate from the event.
The event has grown in such a nature that there was not even exhibition space for the traders and at least 20 were turned down.
That in itself tells you that it is a popular event, but it needs to better marketed, to attract sizeable donations and create those long term jobs.
Exhibitors should be keen to come back and set up shop there or elsewhere in Namibia if they wish to.