The Power of the influencer - the possibilities of using social media to develop the Namibian fashion industry

Main Article Content

Ibilola Odunlami
Hugh Ellis


This article explores how social media can be used as a tool to develop the nascent Namibian fashion industry and encourage consumer interest. This research started from the hypothesis that a localised social media platform could be used as a tool to boost industry competitiveness as well as consumer support. The research took on a mixed methods approach where a survey was undertaken, followed by a series of interviews of local fashion industry stakeholders to gain insight into how social media could best serve Namibian fashion. Analysis of results indicates that a localised social media platform could be beneficial for the industry but it is important that such a platform not exclude opportunities of international exposure and networking. Furthermore, for such a platform to work, stakeholders in the Namibian fashion industry will have to embrace the power of influencers on social media, and the idea of ‘co-creation’ with the social media audience.

Article Details

How to Cite
Odunlami, I., & Ellis, H. (2024). The Power of the influencer - the possibilities of using social media to develop the Namibian fashion industry . NAWA Journal of Language and Communication, 17(1), 67–80.
Author Biographies

Ibilola Odunlami, Namibia University of Science and Technology

Ibilola Odunlami is a copy editor, content writer, and digital artist who holds a BA in Languages degree in Journalism from the University of Pretoria and an Honours degree in Journalism and Media Technology from Namibia University of Science and Technology. With a deep enthusiasm for advancing Namibia's creative industry, she actively supports the creation and promotion of impactful local content. Her work includes contributions to Namibian-based initiatives such as Jumper Namibia, Doek! Lit Mag, and TURA LIFE Entertainment.

Hugh Ellis, Namibia University of Science and Technology

Hugh Ellis is a Senior Lecturer for Journalism and Media Technology at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). His main research interests are in photojournalism, documentary photography, journalism in feminist movements, arts journalism, and performance poetry as a public sphere. He has a PhD in media studies from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and has previously worked as a journalist and United Nations official in Namibia.


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