Building narratives: Haihambo unpacks business nuggets in debut business fiction novel

Victoria Haihambo and former Namibian President Sam Nunjoma

NAMIBIAN entrepreneur, thought-leader, and author Victoria Haihambo has dared African entrepreneurs to build businesses that survive beyond generational legacies.

In her debut business fiction book titled The Journey to and from Wealth, she throws together insightful and inspirational business and entrepreneurship nuggets which are perfectly captured through the lives of the fictitious Nakale family.

Haihambo is the founder of Agelvipa Online–an e-commerce and women empowerment platform which aims to support micro-women vendors by linking them to the markets and offering them business management training. She is a holder of a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Namibia majoring in economics and accounting and a postgraduate diploma in management from Regent business school.

In the book The Journey to and from Wealth, Haihambo builds her story around the Nakale family who runs the Noleatria Outlets–an established and thriving business venture named after their children Noah, Leah, and Karina which they have built out of sweat, blood and skills. It is against this background that they are respected as a prominent and wealthy family and are a force to reckon within the nation.

In a quick race to transfer and impart his skills and knowledge to his children, Nakale finds his, own wife Isabella fighting him by giving and spoiling his children when she gives them several entitlements on a silver platter. Isabella is also haunted by the ghost of her past, which threatens to ruin her marriage.

Through the Nakale family–Haihambo unpacks several business and entrepreneurship nuggets, including the to-do’s and what not to do in building wealth that lasts beyond generations.

It is interesting to note that despite starting on the same page, each of the five central characters of the Nakale family travels through their own journey to and from wealth and the book ends with different outcomes which carries in them different nuggets and life lessons.

Sam Nakale, the apparent protagonist and wealthy businessman owning several chain stores dominates the storyline with a special focus on how he raises his children and manages his business empire. His business supplies retailers in Namibia with packaged food products and cosmetics sourced from different suppliers.

In raising his children, Nakale argues that his children should not be entitled to being spoilt on a silver platter and insist that they should work and learn how to run business and impart important life skills but sadly his wife opposes him and at one time rescues their son Noah when he is arrested for negligent driving under the influence of alcohol.

It is sad to note that despite building his business from sweat, hard work and skills, Nakale fails to groom his children and his business empire collapses just a few weeks after his untimely demise.

Nakale’s eldest son Noah, a spoilt drunkard and party animal who escapes prison sentence after his mother bribes the police is another character who matures and reforms for the better throughout the text.

He marries a good wife who transforms his habits and becomes a responsible family figurehead after his father’s demise.

The key takeaway is that for some, marriage is a key turning point in one’s life if they find the right partner.

It is Noah who becomes a solution bearer and shelters his family after they lose all their properties following their father’s demise.

Noah travels his journey to and from wealth and back to wealth after learning the hard-way and growing into a mature young responsible gentleman.

The younger spoilt kid, Karina experiences a mental breakdown following her father’s demise and fails to adjust to their new modest lifestyle after their family’s luxurious home is taken away due to debt soon after the funeral.

Fortunately, she undergoes rehabilitation and later on identifies her passion as a fashion designer.

The book seems to place emphasis on the significance of putting systems in business so as to build businesses that survive beyond generations and its tragic end lies not just in Nakale’s death but in his failure to enact his vision and ensuring that his empire Noleatria, named after his own children survives beyond his death.

Since 2019 Haihambo has offered support and training to over two hundred women through training, mentorship, and helping them to create business linkages.

Asked on how she started, Haihambo stated that she grew up in a family of seven girls in the coastal town of Swakopmund in Namibia and was motivated by her father who worked in a full-time job while concurrently running an auto-mechanic garage. She says her father has inspired her to become an entrepreneur from the early days.

Haihambo has won several business and entrepreneurship accolades namely,

  • Namibia Business Hall of Fame (2020): She was inaugurated to the Namibia Business Hall of Fame as an Emerging Entrepreneur
  • Laureate for Namibia (2019): She was selected as a Laureate for Namibia by Women in Africa Enterprise.
  • Country winner for BoostUp Southern Africa Competition organized by Southern Africa Innovative Support.
  • Finalist for Entrepreneurship World Cup Namibia.
  • One of the winners selected for 1000 Entrepreneurs Challenge under Africa France Summit 2020.

Haihambo has penned two other books namely Women Persistence (2019) and Before The Narcissist Strike which she recently launched last month.

In 2020 Haihambo was part of the delegates who attended the SoCreatives Hubs Summit–an initiative of the British Council Southern Africa meant to connect social and creative entrepreneurs–which during that year was hosted by Zimbabwe.

Fungayi Antony Sox works at TisuMazwi – a public relations and communication-centered social enterprise specialising in books, education, IELTS, and storytelling projects. He writes in his personal capacity. For feedback contact him on 0776 030 949, connect with him on LinkedIn on Fungayi Antony Sox, or follow him on Twitter @AntonySox.

Related Topics