The Windhoek Observer sent its intern reporters to Wernhilpark mall in the center of Windhoek to observe and report on random lifestyle trends on display that day. They focused on fashion and fitness.
These man-in-the-street interviews were largely practice, but the interchanges with the public were interesting.
The usual belief is that what you wear can say volumes about the type of role you’re in. For example, you wouldn’t turn up for a job interview in booty shorts and a tube top or comfy sweat pants and an oversized shirt. Recognizing that offices usually have dress codes, shoppers we met differed with the normal dress-for-success expectations. They preferred the casual look at all times, regardless of other people’s expectations.
Speaking about what was best wear at work, Charity Mugaviri, a regular customer of Woolworths said that she shops more for casual wear, as she is more laid back and prefers comfort over style. “Casual wear suits me more and I prefer to go to stores where I can find easy fitting, uncomplicated clothes.” She said that she prefers to dress casually, no matter what.
Rachel Ndipwashimwe, a student at Unam, is completely against the idea of having to dress smartly at work. “No work uniform is good I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of working for a company where I couldn’t dress casually,” she said. “Eight plus hours of my life every day wearing something I don’t feel comfortable in is not how I want to spend my life. Moreover, wearing what you want allows for personal expression, something which is vital for any creative job.”
Another shopper said, Johannes M, who said he was an ex-retailer, agreed with the others who stated that the casual look is preferred, regardless of the situation. “I love the fact that I was allowed to wear geeky t-shirts at work. It helped me focus on the work instead of worrying about what I was wearing.”
Walking through the mall also included running into people who exercise regularly.
J. Kaumba on staff at Fitness for Africa in Wernhil Mall told the Windhoek Observer that, “Exercising is a good way of living a healthy life in today’s world. An increase in the number of members who joined the gym has been noted because it shows people value their longer term health and fitness, even in tough economic times.
“Regular physical activity that fits one’s age and health requirements can help to improve muscle strength and boost endurance. Exercise can deliver oxygen and nutrients to one’s tissues and helps the cardiovascular system to perform more efficiently,” Kaumba said.
Simana Sibalatani, who is a member of the fitness club, strongly believes that being engaged with a gym can help a person sleep better. Having a good night’s rest is essential in any fitness plan. Sibalatani also added, “Exercise can improve a person’s health physically and mentally. Regular exercise can release the brain from stress hormones and anxiety. When you feel better and rest well you can think better.”