RUNDU – “Sometimes we fall, and then we rise again to be stronger and better than we were before.”
These are the words of a young man from Rundu in the Kavango East Region, who after his aspirations of becoming a medical doctor were dashed, kept on picking himself up when there seemed to be no hope at all.
After falling short of obtaining 40 points and more in grade 12 to qualify for studies in medicine at the University of Namibia, 22-year-old Eberhard Kakoro Kakoro started a security guard company at just 18 years of age. The security guard company, noticeably found on strong Godly foundations, is called MYLOJE, which stands for “My Lord Jesus”.
Operating from his bedroom at his parents’ house in Rainbow Village residential area, MYLOJE has been in business for a year and a couple of months, and now employs close to 20 guards. The upcoming entrepreneur vividly remembers falling into a two-months-long depression when, though coming close with 37 points, he didn’t get the 40-plus required points in grade 12 that would have kick-started a career in medicine. “It took constant communication with God… that I managed to pull myself out of that depression. It is also during these conversations that it became clear that God’s plan for me was to start this security guard company,” Kakoro said. In 2020 and 2021, there was an increase in housebreaking and burglary cases during the festive seasons, particularly in the Rainbow Village residential area where he resides. He thus learned very quickly that residents didn’t feel safe in their homes, and that some left their homes unattended to travel during this period.
This is how he saw the opportunity to offer security guard services to homeowners in that area. “I decided to count how many houses there were in Rainbow Village, and began to draft a letter offering security guard services to all 255 houses in the area. I visited all 255 houses with two men I employed at the time dressed in security guard uniforms I purchased in Windhoek for N$3 000. This is the capital that got me started,” he narrated. Although he never heard back from the homeowners, he visited private and public establishments as well as advertised his newly-found security guard company. Fast forward to today, Kakoro’s MYLOJE company now protects the premises and property of close to 10 private companies in Rundu. The inspirational, young business owner who himself works as a security guard at the company, believes in paying decent salaries to his staff, whom he treats like family, and also gives back to the community.
He registered all the guards for social security benefits, and gifts them a bonus on their birthdays. The upcoming entrepreneur compliments his parents Rufus and Elina Kakoro for his achievements, and said deep down, he knew he was destined to be an entrepreneur as his parents are business- savvy as well. His father is not employed formally, but does construction work. His mother is a senior community liaison officer at the Kavango East Regional Council.
Kakoro, who completed his Grade 12 at the Dr Romanus Kampungu Secondary School, is currently also enrolled in his third year of nursing at the Rundu Unam Campus as he continues to pursue a career in medicine.
The young man, who remains with his dream of becoming a doctor, said working as a guard and studying is not easy as he mostly sleeps at 03h00 and wakes up at 06h00 on a daily basis, “but it is worth it”. The determined and focused Kakoro said his security guard company is still on its growth trajectory, and he meanwhile uses his parents’ old Isuzu bakkie for some business purposes. He is working towards increasing his client portfolio to acquire technological equipment to improve their security services. Asked to describe himself, Kakoro replied that he has no friends, is insanely religious, driven and is very disciplined. His mother described her son as a hardworking young man who achieves what he puts his mind to.
“He opened up to me first about his security guard business, fearing that his father might not approve of his business venture due to his nursing studies,” she recalled. Rufus gave in, and both parents started to support their boy after they saw proof of clients giving him work.
“We are very proud and impressed with his work ethic. Our son even employed a man who was one of the employees who got whipped by a Rundu Service Station owner for loans in February this year,” she noted. She said with the establishment of the security guard company, Kakoro helps them carry the financial burden at home through buying some groceries and paying the DStv bill. Guard Willem Durand expressed gratitude for being employed, describing Kakoro as a young man who has achieved something that many youths find impossible to do as many spend their time at bars and shebeens. Another guard, Rafael Nekare, said Kakoro changed their lives for the better as they can now put food on their tables and take care of their families.
“He is very humble and respectful to those older than him,” said Nekare as he praised the young man.
Kakoro sees himself expanding MYLOJE security company to the Kavango West Region and the rest of the country in the next five years. The 2021 Multidimensional Poverty Index indicates that among the poverty indices examined across all 14 regions, the incidences of multidimensional poverty were recorded highest in the Kavango West, Kavango East, Kunene, Zambezi and Ohangwena regions. The youth are the most affected, the index highlights, with 46.1% unemployed. The figures are projected to increase in the coming years if nothing is done to address the situation.