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From garage office to multi-million-dollar company

2023-11-24  Max Heinrich

From garage office to multi-million-dollar company

ONGWEDIVA – Tangeni Nghiwewelekwa is the owner of Water Engineering Africa, who started off his company from humble beginnings by turning his garage at home into an office and workshop.

He graduated with a Plumbing and Pipefitting Diploma from the Valombola Vocational Training Centre, and kicked off his employment path at the bottom rung of the ladder.

Nghiwewelekwa started as a handyman at the Eenhana Town Council, a position that was not in line with his qualification.

He took the lowest position because he wanted to be in the system and prove he could get a job done.

After being employed at various companies, he realised there was a need for localised plumbing and pipefitting provision in the north. 

He, thus, decided to take a leap of faith and start his own business by converting his garage into an office space. 

He wanted to be his own boss, as well as to create employment for others.

When Nghiwewelekwa decided to start his own business, he had to rely on his wife for financial support. 

She had a permanent job to keep them afloat.

“My wife was still working when I left my job. She had to pay all the house bills and the children’s school fees, and we were relying on her salary. Things were very hard,” he stated. He said after securing a few projects, the business could now survive on its own resources, without depending on his wife’s financial support.

“There were days I experienced sleepless nights, bad days and rejections from clients and banking institutions. But that did not give me any reason to give up on my dreams,” he continued.

Being on a steady path of growth, Nghiwewelekwa has over the years employed more than 100 people, especially female artisans.

“Women are our mothers, and we respect them. We mostly employ women because of gender equality, and I strongly believe women can do as much as men can do, and they are very honest,” he observed.

“We need to stay determined and focused because challenges will always be there. Do what is necessary for you to succeed,” advised Nghiwewelekwa.

2023-11-24  Max Heinrich

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