Rev. Jan Scholtz
On 20th March 2019 on my way to the 29th Independence Day celebration in Windhoek, I stopped in Rehoboth to pay a courtesy visit to a retired church minister whom I met in 2007 in Luderitz where he was preaching at a funeral of one of my deceased family members.
After directing me to his home in Block D and giving me a warm welcome to his residence, we proceeded inside where he began telling me the very inspiring story of his life.
He was born on 11 January 1938 and was ordained as a church minister in 1971 and pursued as a full time minister of religion in 1972 as Mr. William Julius Daniels in South Africa where he served different congregations.
According to him, he came to Namibia in 1982, and is currently a retired minister of the Uniting Reform Chirch.
As we continued the conversation, he further revealed that he had also served as a Coordinator for Deaconal Serviceswhich gave him the opportunity to visit all the congregations from Luderitz until as far as Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region. He further elaborated that as coordinator he started with the establishment of certain income generating projects including gardening and cattle farming.
He also previously served as a teacher at Lordsville Primary School in Karasburg and was earmarked to become the mayor of the town, which he declined due to the policies of the church and later moved to Windhoek and taught at Augustinium Secondary School.
I then, through our conversation, enquired about his educational background where he informed me that he had become a Swapo member and completed his Honours-Baccalaureus in 1992 at the University of the Western Cape. After that he completed his Masters Degree at the same University in 1999 and is currently pursuing a PHD at the University of Namibia which he is determined to complete by December 2019. His Thesis is on Reformed Theology and the Impact on Society.
After being taken a back and inspired by his enthusiasm to study I asked him how he came about to enroll for studies at his 80 years of age and he said to me with a smile on his face that …’’age is just a number and you can do anything if you have enthusiasm’’… my final question to him was what message he would tell the youth should he be given an opportunity to do so and he replied ..’’ As motivation to my young people is that (Leiers op die hoogste trap het nie geklim met ‘n enkele stap, wyl ander sorgeloos slaap en droom het hul gewerk tot die oggendsoom)’’… young people are encouraged to remain students for the rest of their lives because country needs educated citizens to take it further.
I was very impressed by this life story and was like Soul at the feet of Gamalial (leer aan die voete van die leermeester Gamaliel). After our conversation he wished me a pleasant and blessed trip and offered me a book from his private library and upon seeing that library I promised myself to invite him as a motivational speaker at one of our regional career events.
My perspective of Independence was changed on that day in Rehoboth as now I see it as an opportunity to build an educated Nation, through the guidance of our elders and veterans in the country.
*Reverend Jan. A. Scholtz is a holder of a Diploma in Youth Work and Development from the University of Zambia (UNZA). This article is written in his personal capacity.
2019-04-10 09:22:24 6 months ago