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Alphons Koruhama, an agriculturalist by day and a computer scientist by night

2019-05-08  Staff Reporter

Alphons Koruhama, an agriculturalist by day and a computer scientist by night

Paheja Sirirka

WINDHOEK- Being a Mandela Washington Fellowship alumnus for the 2016 academic year, Alphons Koruhama had the passion for solving community issues. 

“I had an interest in gender-based violence as the cases were rife around 2015 within our communities, so I called on people to come together and solve these types of issues,” recalled Koruhama. “I was also interested in solving relationship problems, I wanted people to discuss why people who are supposed to love, care and take care of each other ended up taking each other’s lives,” Koruhama said.

When Youth Corner met him yesterday, he was working in a garden with one of the Hydroponics - a method of growing plants without soil by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent- projects he initiated at the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare’s office in Grysblock sub location in Windhoek. 

The 31-year-old Koruhama was born and raised in Otjikondavirongo in the Kunene Region. One of the first students at Otjikondavirongo Primary School, the school had no books in 1997, “No tables, no pens, teachers used to write on the sand-including during exams and when all the equipment came later, there were no chairs,” recalled Koruhama. But he did not allow those circumstances to deter his urge to be educated.

He completed secondary education at Mureti Secondary School. “After Grade 12, I didn’t have the right marks to pursue a career in medicine that I badly wanted, so I enrolled for Namcol to improve on my grades,” said Koruhama. 

In 2010, he went to the University of Namibia for a foundation course to allow him to do medicine. “Again, I didn’t obtain the required grades to study and become a medical doctor, the university suggested I study education to which I declined because that was not where the passion lied,” shared Koruhama. “I was looking for something more practical, “he explained. After completing a foundation course in Science at Unam, he went to the International University of Management (IUM), “I decided to do an honours in Computer Science at IUM which I completed but didn’t graduate because of debts I had with the institution,” he continued.  He then got a call to do a course in the USA through the Mandela Washington Fellowship after applying, “I got into the business (selling clothes and fixing people’s computers) to make money but through the course in the States, I got to learn the importance of solving existing problems through business,” said Koruhama. “I also got to know the idea of starting a business, from writing business proposals and plans,” he further shared. 

“When I came back I decided to look at this whole issue of tenderpreneurs, they were getting money from the government but it seemed they were not using the money they got for the intended purposes, I realised that they don’t have an idea of business projection and that’s why I took it upon myself to guide young entrepreneurs on how to get their business afoot,” he explained. “My target was to train people to draw up their business plans because they are not aware of the business projections,” he emphasized. Currently doing his Masters in Computer Science at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), he is constantly asked why he is “always dirty”. “I tell them the future is now in agriculture, so I am a computer scientist by night and an agriculturalist by day,” he said while working in the garden. 

Koruhama urged the youth to work together. “One thing that I am seeing in my people (Namibian youth) is that we don’t work together, there is no support, and if we do that we can meet government half way to meet our grievances especially when it comes to youth unemployment,” he concluded.

2019-05-08  Staff Reporter

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