Legal practitioner Appolos Shimakeleni and his team at his law firm named after him were recently honoured with the Social Responsibility Excellence Award by the JP Karuaihe Foundation.
In collaboration with the Law Society, the foundation handed out awards in recognition of lawyers who honour their corporate social responsibilities and uphold the rule of law.
Shimakeleni was awarded alongside Anne Shilengudwa Incorporated and Lorentz Angula Inc (ENSAfrica Namibia), while Edward Luke Schroder was honoured as the best Justice Training Centre student for the 2021 academic year.
The soft-spoken, yet firm and assertive Shimakeleni told Youth Corner the award means a lot to him because not only is it a recognition of the work they have been doing in society but it is also motivation for them and the entire legal fraternity to continue assisting the less
Shimakeleni (33) regularly gives back to the community by doing pro-bono work to aggrieved parties unable to pay legal fees.
“We have lost count of pro bono cases we have done in the last two years; they are a lot,” he said.
“But we are very selective when it comes to our pro bono work, especially when it comes to people losing homes. We have come across cases, where acquiring of homes is being done in crooked ways or sometimes you find cases where a house was bought but there are no agreements although it is paid for,” he told Youth Corner.
Last year, Appolos Shimakeleni Lawyers sponsored two students from Omega Vocational Training Institute until they graduated.
“We also donated to the MTC We Race Together project where funds will be used to support small garden projects and boost people with vocational qualifications but don’t have start-up capital for equipment. We supported a publication of a children’s book among others.”
Established in 2018, the law firm employs seven persons including Shimakeleni.
The JP Karuaihe Foundation was launched on 25 March 1999 by former Namibian President, Dr Sam Nujoma, who is also the patron of the foundation. It was founded by the late Nokokure Karuaihe, who at the time was the widow of Judge Karuaihe as well as his sisters, with the assistance of friends and family. The foundation was established to immortalise the ideas Judge Karuaihe stood for and keep his legacy alive.