Blocking out negativity

Pengevali Abed-nego Mukumangeni is the definition of inspiration. Since an early age, he has been living with a hearing impairment, but never let that get in the way of his education.

01 October 2019 | Education

Ester Kamati



Hardworking and down-to-earth are the words that best describe Pengevali Abed-nego Mukumangeni.

Since an early age, he had been a goal-orientated young man, who despite being hearing-impaired, refuses to give up on his dreams.

He began his educational journey at Eluwa Special School in the north, which he attended until grade 10.

In grade 10, he, however, did not meet the minimum requirements to proceed to the next grade. He enrolled at the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) to improve is grades, which was not as fruitful as anticipated.

After failing his grade 10 at Namcol, he then applied to vocational training colleges, but they didn’t have the facilities to cater for individuals with hearing impairments and he was not successful.

“The journey was really difficult for me, especially after I failed my grade10,” Mukumangeni said.

“Luckily, I got admitted by the Kayec Trust in Wanaheda (Windhoek) for a six-month course.” He studied a short course in plumbing at the institution, and upon completion, he decided he wanted to further his studies, because he felt a six-month training course was not enough.

“I went through the same struggle again. I applied to various vocational training centres and got rejected, but I did not give up,” he said. He was eventually admitted at the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre, where he is currently in the first year of a four-year plumbing course.

Throughout his academic journey, he has encountered many challenges, but his will to continue kept him strong and moving forward. “When I failed grade 10, I felt so hopeless and did not know what to do, but I knew that going to sit at home was not an option.”

Finances were a major challenge. He worked at Pick n Pay in Swakopmund and at Joe’s Beerhouse in Windhoek, while attempting to save up enough money to go back to school.

In addition to finances, he did not have an interpreter during his time at the Kayec Trust, leaving him to figure out most of the things by himself.

“Because of my hard work, dedication and believing in myself, I am now furthering my studies, which I would not be doing if I had given up,” he added.

Mukumangeni spends most of his time studying. He is also outgoing and enjoys going out and spending time with his friends and family.

He is dedicated to achieving his goals and is self-driven. He is determined to work hard until he achieves his dreams.

He advised fellow youth to never give up on their dreams and to work hard, in order to ensure that they achieve everything they have always wanted.

He believes in a “small circle” of friends.

“Not all friends are true and you need to keep your circle small,” he said.

He said some friends are only good for helping you to get drunk, and ultimately, nothing good comes from that.

Mukumangeni is a fun-loving character, who is not averse to teasing some people who don’t know he is hearing-impaired.

Often they think he is ignoring them.

Fun facts about Mukumangeni

· He is one of only two hearing-impaired students at the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre.

· He sometimes acts like he can hear.

· People often think he is ignoring them, while he cannot hear them.

· He enjoys cracking jokes.

· He treasures time with friends and family.

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