Rising from the ashes

26 February 2020 | Local News

A welder from Ndiyona village in Kavango East, who previously spent nine years at home doing nothing after failing matric, has called on unemployed youth to motivate themselves and transform their lives.

Manfred Kupembona, who operates a workshop at the village, situated 120 kilometres east of Rundu, shared how he had to overcome challenges to become a productive citizen.

He is the sole owner of Mush Welding and Metal Works.

Kupembona said after his dismal matric results, he was forced to stay home where he did nothing productive with his life.

“After failing my matric in 2003, I was left hopeless and just stayed home. I pretty much did nothing,” he said.

Kupembona said it was in 2011 when he decided to do something with his life and turned to the Frans Dimbare Youth Skills Training Centre at Divundu.

He said he initially applied for a computer and office administration course, which he completed. He then decided to do a certificate in welding and completed the six-month course.

“In 2011, there used to be people who were doing good things in the community and it motivated me to do something about my life,” Kupembona said.

He said starting his business was not easy, as he had no start-up capital.

“I had to go around looking for materials to construct the workshop and also looked for the equipment that I needed,” he said.

Kupembona said business then started to pick up as he received clients from all over the region.

When asked how his business was doing, especially during a time when the economy is not doing well, he said business is good and that his services are always needed in the community.

“Ndiyona is developing, therefore, my services are always required,” he said.

In fact, our interview was interrupted because a client needed welding services.

Kupembona said the proceeds from his business has made it possible for him to support his family.

“The money I make from here has helped me take care of my wife and children,” he said.

Kupembona said his biggest regret in life is choosing to sit at home for nine years after not doing well in Grade 12.

He also used the opportunity to call on unemployed youth to use their free time to think about ways to transform their lives.

“Sitting at home and hoping for a job will not do them any good. Motivate yourself and transform your life. We cannot all be employees working for others,” he said.

Kupembona added he wants to expand his workshop and employ more young people.

He said whenever he secures a big tender, he calls on locals to assist him.

“My dream is to have a big workshop and employ others,” he said.

He called on Good Samaritans who are able to assist him with equipment such as a square tube, round tube, angle irons and a welding machine compressor to assist him to grow his business.

Kenya Kambowe

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