Maerua Mall did something that we don’t see happening much these days especially in January and something that really made all the difference in people’s lives.
When I first got the brief of what the Maerua Mall activation was all about my heart was filled with so much joy because giving back is something that I am very passionate about and something close to my heart.
The idea was to run around from shop to shop in Maerua Mall that are selling back to school goodies and find deserving shoppers that need a little hand getting all the stationary for their kids and make their back to school that more exciting. I knew this was going to be really exhausted and with a sore body after the activation but I needed this as things like this always ground me and leave me feeling a little extra warm and fuzzy on the inside.
So a quick back story of my upbringing, I was raised by a single mother and she had to work overtime and around the clock to provide for my sister and I. I remember a time when my sister was still a baby and in diapers and mom would carry her on her back and take her with to work because she didn’t have anyone to leave her with at 4 am or so and come back home late in the evening but mom has always sacrificed so much for us. Then comes the time of back to school and she would go above and beyond to make sure we get everything that we need. I can’t also forget the stress and frustration of trying to make all that happen for us. As a single mother now, I understand all too well the stress and anxiety that comes with just making a grocery run for the family.
Also with understanding the times that we are in and how everything is just so expensive making it harder for the average Namibian to really make it through, this campaign from Maerua Mall really meant a lot more for me. I did however know ahead of time that I was going to cry because well I am a cry baby and not just that I know moments like this always get me in my feelings.
Picture this, you are shopping for your kids with this long list of their stationary for the year and a calculator in the other hand and you need to get every item on that list for the year or just the beginning of the year because in all honesty we have to top up on those things throughout the year, you keep looking at the prices and you start feeling a lump in your throat and somewhat anxious because not only do you have the stationary to take care of but also groceries at home, oh wait the never ending school uniforms that get old so fast for some reason.
We ran into a lot of those types of families on the day. You could literally see the stress on their faces and as approached them we got to understand more that a lot of families even the ones that have two incomes are struggling in this economy.
We approached shoppers in PEP, Checkers, PnA, Crazy Store, Ackermans, Jet and Mr Price and Maerua mall handed out N$ 5 000.00 in total in gift vouchers, and that it would be divided as 10 x prizes of N$500 paid towards a trolley each to pay someone’s back to school shopping.
The All-Stars Activators on site were Moesha and TJ being led by Shai_Quan and they had to identify shoppers for the prizes. We were joined by Carmen from Maerua Mall and it was truly a great day.
There were a lot of moments on the day but there is one that truly warmed our hearts and that is when we approached a lady who had a few books in her hands and brown paper in her hands and we approached her with the objective to just hear how her shopping experience has been. She shared with the team that she only had N$ 200.00 to shop for a few things for her two boys and will return month end when she gets more money, truly heart breaking and this is the reality for a lot of parents truly so blessing her was truly deserving and beautiful.
Giving back is always something that will warm people’s hearts in so many ways, its gives one a sense of purpose, it grounds you, teaches us a sense of community and impacts people’s lives positively. I hope this also inspires you to carry the spirit of Ubuntu which is essentially to be humane and ensure that human dignity is always at the core of your actions, thoughts, and deeds when interacting with others.
Written by: Chareen Kauazunda