Local welder Hendrina Angalais (32) believes is time for the youth to engage in life-improving systems and technical works. Angalais is an artisan in metal works and welder by profession who is due to graduate her traineeship in August 2021 after completing her traineeship courses. She has been in business since 2017.
“We need to build our own country and boost the economy through capacity building. We need to have more trained people in the field of engineering and technologies. We need to confess and demonstrate to our government that we are keen and ready to participate in our country’s socio-economic development,” she said.
Angalais stated her business is currently doing well, despite her entering a market that has traditionally been reserved for her male counterparts.
“I just graduated some few months ago and surprisingly, I won the greatest part of people’s hearts. They love my work and this gives me the courage to hold the bull by the horns and be a self-made lady against all odds,” she vowed.
Angalais was raised in the dusty corridors of Okakekete village. She matriculated her grade 12 at Onesi Senior Secondary School in 2008 at a nearby village. She noted that she was actually inspired by boys from her village who were making bricks and do welding jobs in their village.
Furthermore, Angalais said her business has undergone many challenges, such as start-up capital, transport, tools or equipment, and lack of a dedicated workshop.
“It is quite a challenge to get more clients without a workshop or a secure work-site. People want to see where you are operating from, the types of equipment you are having and the capacity at which you can do the job, to have the satisfaction that you can do the job,” she said.
Currently, Angalais has two employees but said she may need to top up with extra hands when more intensive work comes in. Now working from her home she said: “I am still busy with the necessary logistics of finding finance and setting up the workshop within the hearts of Katutura or Khomasdal or anywhere I could afford.”
She further advised the youth to stop thinking and practising the mentality of saying technical or even artisan jobs are reserved for men.
“It is now time for women to start integrating into the trade, if not dominating it. These are typical stereotypes that have locked us in captivity in our minds for a long time now. I somehow feel that women can do better than men,” Angalais stated.
The welder also appealed to financial institutions to avail practical and manageable measures to assist the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to properly establish themselves in efforts to fight unemployment and eliminate poverty.
She added it is through technical and vocational education and training that the nation will help government realise its dreams and objectives as set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plans, the National Development Plans as well as Vision 2030.