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'We are not broken'

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She then moved from Okahandja to Keetmanshoop which seemed to present more opportunities for her chosen field. Biwa loves waking up to her favourite scripture before facing the challenges of being an entrepreneur during the Covid-19 pandemic.Little did she know challenging times lay ahead for businesses, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, shaking everyone and every industry in the country.“The lining was no longer silver but darkness dominated my being. Long enough I blamed the pandemic over and over but it was time to rise and take charge of my life,” says Biwa.She started to make traditional necklaces and, in the process, made YouTube her best friend.Many times she would still ask herself what she could do with her hands that would be different and that people can keep in their houses.The answer was wrapping gift boxes made from cans with rope and dry sisal twine.“To my surprise, when I started advertising on social media platforms, orders started to come in and I'm enjoying every moment of wrapping and decorating. I use any type of can/tin and so far, I made gift containers, desk organisers and cutlery organisers,” says the entrepreneur.This has made Cynthia realise that the sky's the limit and she can do more. Her second realisation was that one cannot put all your eggs in one basket but must explore multiple business opportunities.One of these will be becoming a distributor for cleaning materials and making her own candles. “The Covid-19 pandemic may have come to destroy but we are not broken. We are distraught but not destitute. There is hope on the horizon,” she says.Biwa thanks her family and friends for believing in her through her time of difficulty and transformation.“Today, I express a word of gratitude to my friends. They reminded me of my potential and that I need to start to think outside the box. That there is life and opportunities out there. That I can make something for myself,” says Biwa.One of these friends is Anneline van Wyk. Their journey stretches over a period of 18 years. They have been youth development organisers which gave each of them a view into each other's skills and talents.Van Wyk says during the youth development works, she realised that Cynthia always leaned towards organising and dealing with the logistics side of things. She believes that circumstances drew Cynthia to the point where her gifts came to fruition.“Cynthia is an artist by default is what we realised. And even though when Covid hit and she wanted to become depressed and just give up, we pushed her until she got into the necklaces and now the gift boxes, because I knew she had it in her so I just tapped into that,” said van Wyk.Edwin Jacobs described her as having the best executive qualities. Jacobs notes whatever she puts her mind to she will succeed in. When Jacobs ran the cemetery clean-up campaign at Keetmanshoop under Youth Pride Funerals he asked her to do the arrangements for him and be the master of ceremonies at the launch of the event.“She will always do what she does to the best of her abilities. And that is what lines up opportunities for Cynthia. She is among the few who possess those qualities,” said Jacobs.The pandemic has tested the faith of many. Therefore Biwa hopes her story will encourage other entrepreneurs. “Never give up but chin up. God will restore our situations and though it might take longer, we will surely rejoice one day again,” says Biwa.

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