Young food entrepreneur aims high after training

MONEY SAVVY … Tuhafeni Shiningwali started a food business at her village after receiving financial literacy training through the United Nations Population Fund.

After receiving financial literacy training from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) late last year, Tuhafeni Shiningwali (21) from Omuthiya in the Oshikoto region has now become one of the youngest entrepreneurs in her region.

She runs a flourishing food business.

Shiningwali says she is fuelled by her newfound financial literacy skills, and dreams of owning a restaurant.

“The training has brought my culinary business a new layer of empowerment,” she says, adding that she has been provided with essential skills to manage the little income she earns through sales efficiently.

“It gave me hope. I hope not only to make a small living for myself, but to dream bigger and grow my business. I want to own a restaurant one day!” she says.

Shiningwali says she sells homemade pizzas, omelettes and meat products.

She does research on what people like, she says.

She has also learned how to manage, overcome challenges, handle different customers, and run her business, she says.

Shiningwali, who is currently improving her Grade 12 marks at Iipundi Senior Secondary School, says she has managed to pay her school fees through her business.

“I just want to encourage my fellow youths to do business instead of sitting in their parents’ house if there is no money to continue with their studies.

“Financial literacy has shifted my mindset from just making omelettes to being an entrepreneur,” she says.

Shiningwali was among 45 individuals from Omutsegwonime village at Omuthiya who attended and participated in a three-day financial literacy training programme and were provided with sexual and reproductive health services by the UNFPA in collaboration with the Financial Literacy Initiative, Kongalend Financial Services Rural, and the Society of Family Health at the end of last year.

She says her culinary journey began in response to the financial challenges that kept her from pursuing higher education after failing Grade 10.

Living with her unemployed mother, the prospect of funding her schooling seemed distant, she says.

Shiningwali, driven by her passion for food, decided to sell food in her neighbourhood.

“Learning to save money is a valuable lesson in financial literacy. It’s not just about what I earn today, it’s about securing a better tomorrow for myself and my family,” she says.

“Managing money used to be daunting. I would just spend it as I received it without saving any of it.

“However, financial literacy has given me the confidence to handle my earnings wisely. I now feel empowered to make informed financial decisions.”

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