By Foibe Paavo
Swakopmund, Aug. 30 — While other people are crying for jobs and looking to the government to give them work, Louis Petrus finds pride and honour in working for himself.
“Even if somebody gives me a job, saying I’m going to pay you 10 grand (N$10 000), I would flip,” he said adding that he would rather sell his own merchandise than have somebody bossing him around.
He said life in the streets had made him wise.
It all started when he was only a little boy hailing from Okahandja. He quickly learnt arts and crafts from his uncle during those elementary years because he used to volunteer to help the uncle out with crafting during school holidays so that he could get pocket money when he returned to school.
When he completed school, Louis decided to venture into the arts and crafts business, with his drive and dedication pushing him to higher limits.
“I’m a father to one beautiful daughter and it’s my responsibility to ensure that she gets whatever she needs without having to struggle,” he said.
Eight years ago, Louis relocated from Okahandja to Swakopmund in search of greener pastures as he believed that most of the tourists who come to Namibia always end up at Swakopmund, and that would be good for his business.
“My childhood friends are very shy – they don’t want to sell things in the streets, they say it’s a dirty job. That’s why you find most of them would rather choose to work in shops… but what they don’t know is that there’s much more freedom here as the income here is sometimes 10 times better,” he said.
He highlighted that good customer service is all one needs to succeed in this business.
“You need to know how to be kind to people and when to smile, even when you don’t want to. People are mostly pulled towards the most welcoming and well-presented businesses, with good quality products and reasonable prices. That alone brings them back tenfold as they might refer to others as well.
Louis said that during his self-made journey, he met a lot of people that motivated him to do better and with it comes connections from different walks of life – good people that will show him future support.
“ I just want to tell everybody out there; do what you think is good for you and forget about everybody else,” he said as a way of advice to other would-be entrepreneurs. – firstname.lastname@example.org