IUM honours business personalities
09 August 2016 | Education
Three well known business people joined the ranks of the eight honorary degrees holders from IUM last week.
The ceremony was attended by the First Lady Monica Geingos, as well as the Founding President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, amongst a host of other prominent politicians and members of the business community.
Presided over by Kingo Mchombu, the event had a celebratory air to it, as the parents of the honorary degree holders were all in attendance, with wives, husbands, children and cousins sharing in the excitement as the three recipients were handed their tokens of appreciation.
The three candidates for this year were Erastus Shikongo Shapumba, Banda Shilimela and Twapewa Kadhikwa. All three business people are said to have made great economic contributions to their various communities, with all three of them employing thousands of people amongst them.
The event had several high-ranking politicians in attendance, with all of them there to celebrate the monumental achievements of the entrepreneurs being honoured.
Vice-chancellor of IUM, Virginia Namwandi, said that the three entrepreneurs’ “achievements as business entrepreneurs have wider societal benefits in terms of employment creation and poverty eradication thus making their people and communities content and happy.”
The event was addressed by Bishop Kleopas Dumeni, as well as Bishop Episcopus Emeritus who opened the ceremony with prayer.
David Namwandi gave the keynote address at the event in a colourful and energetic speech that had the room enjoying every second of it.
The three business people honoured all have incredibly impressive CVs that speak for them. Here are the citations of the three honorary degree holders, as read at the ceremony.
Candidate for Honourary Degree of Master of Business Administration (Entrepreneurship – Hon. Causa)
Twapewa was born in Katutura in 1979 and attended the Mandume kindergarten. Later through Namibia English Primary School in Windhoek, and Centaurus High School, she graduated at the University of Namibia in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in commerce.
One exception for her is that she has never sought formal employment anywhere. She started her career as a hairdresser at the age of 18 and this laid the foundation for subsequent development as a successful businesswoman in the country. In 2005, Pewa went to South Africa and obtained practical experience in business development.
Upon her return to Namibia, she started her first manufacturing company producing a wide range of cosmetic products under the ‘Pewa’ brand using local raw materials such as marula oil, oombeke oil, and melon seed oil. Pewa cosmetic products are made available to the local markets at more competitive prices than imports.
To ensure consistent supply of raw materials, she organised small groups of women in cooperatives in the country. The Pewa brand is now a household name in Namibian that sells products such as body creams, body lotion, hair food and shampoo. She has created employment for about 250 people.
In 2008, Pewa married Erastus Kadhikwa. They started Xwama Cultural Village and Traditional Restaurant in Katutura. This unique restaurant was officially inaugurated by former President, Hifikepunye Pohamba in May 2013. As to why the unique restaurant is located in Katutura, she gave a unique response, saying “Katutura is our birthplace; we wanted to preserve and celebrate our Namibian and African culture through food and tradition.”
Candidate for Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA - Hon. Causa)
Banda Shilimela was born in March 1971 in Ekamba village, Oshigambo in the Oshikoto Region. He received his early schooling in Oshigambo and completed standard two in 1981. At the age of 10, he was associated with the People’s Liberation Army of Namibian (Plan) and helped Plan as a ‘child soldier cum messenger.’
After many encounters with the activities of Plan, he managed to access exile status to the then East Germany in 1982.
During the five-year sojourn in East Germany, Banda acquired the necessary skills and tactics to work at the frontline of the Namibian freedom movement. His utmost commitment and engagement in search for freedom activities gained him trust and praise by his operational commanders. As a result, Banda earned a full time place as a sergeant in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) at the turn of Namibia’s independence, despite his limited formal education.
Shilimela left the NDF and established a small security firm in Oshakati with the savings he had. He progressively transformed and expanded the security firm by covering all of Namibia and five other countries and created what is today a multi-sector business empire comprising of 14 companies. These include a fishing company with its own processing vessel, aviation with a fleet of helicopters to complement his security services in Namibia, DRC and Mozambique, a factory in China producing proprietary wireless Alarm systems, CCTV among others. The value of his business assets is well over N$ 2.2 billion and provides employment over 4 000 people.
Erastus Shikongo Shapumba
Candidate for Honourary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration and Commerce (DBC - Hon. Causa)
Erastus Shikongo Shapumba, also known as Chicco, was born in August 1968 in Etiyasa village, Ongandjera, where he attended school, and later moved to Okeendapa School in Okeendapa village. From the tender age of six, Chicco showed a lot of industrious traits.
He observed and learned that the community desperately needed fence poles and firewood. In light of the above, he became the supplier of the above-mentioned items for cash using his spare time between studies. This laid the foundation for the Erastus Shapumba Group of companies today in Ongwediva and Oshakati with the focus of providing building materials to customers within the Oshikoto Region. He attended Okeendapa School and Dr Otamanzi Combined School in Otamanzi village to continue his studies and to complete his Standard 5.
Chicco showed great love and passion for mathematics and science and at the end of Standard 5, he transferred to Etalaleko Secondary School in Okahao with the hope of completing Standard 6 but had to abandon studies due to political unrest. He acquired an old ‘Cuca shop’ and later converted it into the first popular building material supply centre in Okahao.
Due to political unrest, he left Okahao for Oshakati where he did odd jobs and obtained his drivers licence in 1988.
After 1988, he landed in many jobs and among them he worked at the new Elizabeth Mine in Lüderitz. After four years at the mine and the accumulated savings, Chicco returned to Okahao to develop his business interests. He bought a 1992 Toyota bakkie and his helped him a lot in his business expansion. His business expansion was successful and progressive and led him to establish 12 other centres in the north, and to branch out of other commercial fields and ventures including property development, a fleet of fuel stations, long-haul trucking, an aeroplane, construction equipment, apartment buildings, housing estates, supermarket complexes, and farms, among others.
Chicco is a great community worker and Erastus Shapumba Senior Secondary School in Okahao is only one example of his community work. He has won many achievement awards.
In the past other business people and political leaders have been given honorary degrees by IUM.
They include Moses Amweelo (2011), Rakesh Wahi (2012), Nils Clausen (2012), Lyndon Jones (2012), Jack Makhaza (2013), Quinton van Rooyen (2013), Benjamin Hauwanga (2013) and Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo in 2014.