WALVIS BAY – A former Walvis Bay-based soldier has defied the odds by using his near-death experience to turn his life into a completely new direction… that of a flourishing businessman.
The 43-year-old Paulus Ndume, affectionately known as Tate Ndume, was a member of the defence force for 15 years.
However, his career in the force was cut short by a car accident in 2006, in which he suffered multiple injuries.
He was medically boarded in 2012.
As a result, he was declared medically unfit for the force, thereby losing his main source of income.
“I knew my accident couldn’t define my destiny and I had to rewrite my life path,” said Ndume, who did not really want to share the horrible experience.
The married father of five children said instead of feeling sorry for himself, he bought a car and started operating it as a taxi.
He shortly acquired two more taxis.
“Shortly after that, I bought a truck and then ventured into the logistics sector where I am transporting fuel as well as providing bunkering (supplying of fuel for use by ships) services. Apart from that, I also ventured into road construction and business properties,” Ndume said.
He currently operates in Walvis Bay and Otjiwarongo.
According to Ndume, the secret to successful business ventures is discipline and the ability to identify opportunities that are not obvious.
“In order to be successful, one must be able to acknowledge and understand that any business has challenges but how you navigate those challenges determines the success of your business,” he said.
Ndume last week opened a medical campus at Walvis Bay that brings together medical services and a training facility that will not only focus on producing well trained nurses but also medical technologists.
“I saw a gap in the medical field, especially when it comes to the repair of medical equipment. We, in most cases, need assistance from other countries or the machines simply just stay broken, as we don’t have qualified people,” he said.
He added in some cases, people might have the knowledge to repair such machines but do not have the relevant paperwork to render such services.
He added that the new campus also came about due to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic that highlighted a critical shortage of specialised medical professionals.
“The country needs more nurses and people trained in specialised medical fields such as medical technologists as they are also responsible for operating and maintaining equipment used to analyse specimens and ensuring that tests are completed in a correct and timely manner,” he explained.
He added that they will start with the training of nurses and expand to other related fields as he is currently in consultations with qualified medical specialists in various fields that will not only train but provide in-service training at the centre situated close to the Welwitschia Private Hospital.
Erongo governor, Neville Andre applauded Ndume for his bold initiative, saying that government appreciates entrepreneurs who are constantly creating not only business opportunities but also create jobs for others.
“It is against this background that I personally want to thank Paulus Ndume, a budding entrepreneur, who constantly looks for answers to tackle challenges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality with the Namibian government. I am very proud of Ndume for realising the need for a medical campus in Walvis Bay that will focus on training aspiring medical technologists,” Andre said.
The governor said that the initiative taken would ensure that children would be trained in specialised fields, which will be able to respond to industrial needs and requirements.