THE NALA Project marks its first anniversary as a flea market that fosters interactions between local small producers and the public to enable the latter to access locally produced goods and fresh produce.
The Project will commemorate the occasion at Sefikeng Sa Moshoeshoe in Maseru today.
The flea market, which is held on a monthly basis, is a community initiative by Mankabelane Communications in collaboration with Bonono Merchants, Kangfong, Meri Hy?ky Photography and Leseli Holdings.
Its primary purpose is to provide an avenue for local small producers to generate income and encourage self-employment while enabling the public to access locally produced goods and fresh produce.
The project brings together residents of Maseru and nearby towns to interact through shopping, dining and entertainment all in one venue. It was born out of the need for family friendly events that also foster business relations with small vendors and suppliers in the food and craft industries.
It also provides a stage for performers to share their craft in an open-mic setting to introduce their work to a diverse audience and provide entertainment to the public. Showcased merchandise includes arts, crafts, clothing, accessories, beverages, food and services.
One of the organisers, Malord Mefane said that the project suffered lack of support from stakeholders.
“We have sustained the project from our own savings as we still hope that Basotho will make a living out of their talents in this midst of scarcity of jobs,” Mefane said.
“We have approached different stakeholders that we believed have the best interest of the youths especially in terms of entrepreneurship but they just promise to look into their budgets.
“However, the artistes are still part of the project because they benefit from it and see the potential of getting somewhere through the exposure. The general public has also been coming in great numbers to support the local talent and we are very grateful for that.
“Our aim is to see Nala become a national agenda by hosting the market in the other nine districts as well,” she said.