There is no doubt about the severe economic impact of Covid-19, with the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) recently revealing that between April and June this year alone the country’s economic activity decreased by around N$4 billion compared to 2019, representing a reduction of over 11%, making it the worst downturn in the country’s history.

This drastic and unexpected economic slump on Namibian households is undeniable as many businesses closed, leaving many people unemployed and even more with significantly reduced salaries. However, these factors have exposed the resilience of Namibian households with many turning to backyard business to make ends meet.

One such household in Windhoek, belonging to Martha April, has taken to manufacturing ‘boerseep’, literally translated as ‘farmer’s soap’, which is a traditional soap that has for decades been used by various Namibian communities. April explained that the soap is an excellent addition to normal household supplies and has a range of uses including for washing dishcloths and to whiten laundry and is particularly useful for stubborn stains.

“When the Covid-19 lockdown hit us and we realised that my husband’s salary was severely affected we knew we had to do something,” said April, acknowledging that the lockdown was the main factor for her entrepreneurial decision.

April initially used social media to promote the ‘boerseep’ product and eventually managed to secure shelf-space at leading retailer, Spar. Today April’s home-made soap can be found in Spar outlets in Windhoek and Rehoboth as well as in smaller outlets in Walvis Bay, Otjiwarongo and Elisenheim outside the capital.