Namibian poet and musician, Brian Japii has been missing in action for a long time but The Villager found him this week working on his farm-based trailer-making business, Japii Meat and Trailers in Outjo.
Japii says he has taken a two-year break to concentrate on his meat supplying and trailer making business he operates from his garage at his farm in the Outjo District.
“I was born and raised on a farm. This is the life that I know. I am a farmer,” he says.
The 29-year old poet started his business in 2009 with two employees. Japii made his first trailer after selling meat.
“I had a trailer and people were always asking to use it, so I decided to make money out of it. That is when I came up with the idea to make more trailers and sell them to farmers and transport companies,” he said.
He now makes up, to three trailers or more a month according to demand. The trailers can be used for transporting animals, luggage, goods, furniture, building materials, all depending on the type of trailers his clients need.
His company, however, mostly manufactures trailers for farmers who use them to transport their animals.
Bus owners are also some of his target clients as they are the biggest users of trailers, transporting goods across the country.
“Any person who does not want to overload their car can buy the trailers. If you have a Sedan, which does not have enough loading space, you will probably need a trailer to load your goods,” he says.
Japii draws the designs; “I do not do the welding myself but I supervise the work my employees do,” he explains adding that He also sells live animals at auctions.
A trailer costs up to N$25 000.
Although business is going well for him because he has been able to provide for himself and sustain his farm, he says competition is tough as there are bigger trailer-making companies who have been around longer.
Like any small business owner, Japii is planning on expanding his business by setting himself up in a proper warehouse before he expands. Japii also operates from Windhoek.
Although he has been occupied with his farming business, Japii says two years has been a long enough break as an artist and he expects to release more work following Missing Pages his poetic booklet released last year.