28 -year-old Pinehas “Zuluboy” Shikulo is probably the most contemporary, artistic, and vibrant entrepreneur Namibia currently has of his generation.
Even whilst studying Visual Arts at NUST, this Kasi Boy did not sit on his laurels waiting to complete his degree to commence his quirky expression of art to unfold in business in 2018.
Although he derives most of his style from a vintage corner, the ideas are hip, modern, and innovative.
Calling Katutura, a township in Windhoek his hometown chilling place, he transformed many youth’s perceptions to see the real and raw beauty found in his neighbourhood with all its rough and contemporary edges.
The positive approach to life first found its expression through a bold and daring business start up with the production of Namibian designed GWERI SOCKS. The knowing fact to be wearing super cool funky socks automatically brings about a spring in your step and makes you confident to take on life with ease.
The various posts on social media with photographs from the neighbourhood sparked a lot of interest from is generation and beyond. Soon enough companies such as MTC, NICTUS and Gondwana Collection Namibia also showed interest for a collaboration. The socks are a celebration of our diversity and heritage through unique sock designs such as the Ovahimba, Aawambo and San.
With a regular roll out of new sock designs, this business has grown steadily, and he used this success to give back to his community as well as inspire others.
In came the BUY A BRICK Campaign, which is running from 2020 to 2021 and sells socks in order to raise monies to assist the Shack Dweller Association of Namibia to build brick houses and provide dignity to families that have been living in tin shacks and under the breadline for years.
Zulu meanwhile did not overlook his love for vintage and has meticulously been preparing a collaboration with the known South African brand Simon & Mary, for a special release of GWERI FELT HAT.
The range of hats is scheduled to be released in 2021 and will complement a production of a limited clothing range in time for Namibia Fashion Week, thus pulling the unique Namibian Vintage style all together.
Gweri is also in the final stages of collaborating with Erongo Winery for the special limited release of GWINE, a special blend of Namibian grapes home grown in the Erongo Region.
It is clear to me that Zulu may be young and bold, he certainly knows and appreciate the finer things in life. The optimism he exudes will ensure that more young Namibians are motivated to work hard, pursue their dreams, and create legacies for their communities.
The coined brand name GWERI is associated to the term fighter as it was previously used to refer to Guerrilla fighters in a negative connotation. However, today the word is used in a much lighter and humorous way and moving on in a positive direction.
Written by: Sonia Noirfalise