Namibia's port of Walvis Bay is a town experiencing rapid population growth from individuals in search of greener pastures.

However, the hopes of many to find employment here are, more often than not, dashed.

Vendors come from all corners of the country to sell their arts and crafts to passersby at the southern gate of the Namibian Ports Authority.

This is their surest means to sustain their livelihoods, they say.

It costs to endure all manner of weather, from the scorching sun to the cold breeze from the Atlantic Ocean.

And with a lack of storage facilities, most of the vendors end up leaving their stock exposed to the harsh elements.

Life has not been easy, says 26-year-old Juma Kawa.

A refugee from the Osire Camp, he dropped out of school in grade 10, opting to pursue a living in the world of art. 
Kawa says tourists are not as supportive of his craft work as he would have liked.

Another vendor is the 49-year-old mother of three children, Hilaria Shilimetindi, who has resided at Walvis Bay for almost two years now.

Her biggest issue is with shuttle bus drivers, who she says prefer to link tourists with well-established businesses only, preventing them from mingling with the informal vendors.

Self-employed taxi driver Paulus Sikongo is equally frustrated with the ever-growing number of shuttle buses.

The sole breadwinner in his family says that as shuttle buses offer doorstep delivery, taxi drivers like him lose out on business. 

The provisional port log released by the Namibian Ports Authority shows that an estimated 57 vessels could call at the Port of Walvis Bay in March.

Photo Credits
NBC Digital News


Stefan |Uirab