A 22-year-old was herding cattle in Kambonde village when he came across a newspaper clipping advertising five positions for the radio station we have now come to love and treasure, Omulunga radio. His name is King Simon, a 40-year-old who has become a familiar voice in the homes of many, and who embodies hard work, sheer determination and a true Namibian story.
When he speaks, many Namibians immediately recognise his voice; his Oshiwambo eloquence is what has given him the life he today attributes to God having favoured him.
Simon “Sunday” Mundandala started his journey in 2001. He had completed his high school at what is today known as Toivo yaToivo Senior Secondary School, and having no funds to further his studies, he went back to his home village. Simon was raised by his grandmother Lovisa Gwambike, who at the time was a pensioner and could provide the basic essential needs of the household.
Simon was to head back to his home village to herd cattle because financial means did not allow him to further his studies at tertiary level – even though he had enough academic points to qualify. When Simon saw the newspaper clipping that was advertising five positions for radio presenters at Omulunga radio, he could not afford to travel to Windhoek; however, his dear grandmother ensured she supports her grandson’s dreams and assisted him financially. Upon arrival, his interview had 30 possible candidates, making him realise there was so much competition that he made a personal vow “I will not go back to herding cattle – no matter how hard this is or what it takes,” he recounted with tears in his eyes.
“I worked at Omulunga radio for years and at the time, I earned a minimum wage. With the responsibilities I had, I had to make external sacrifices and there were days I walked to work to save on taxi money. There were times, I remember, having to stay over at work after finishing an evening shift to continue working in the morning. It was not always easy, but it was worth it because today I have so much to show for the hard work I put in,” said Simon.
With his heritage and Oshiwambo dialect, he ended up in a career that he loves and is passionate about. “I used to look up to the likes of DJ Remind and Shipindo, and hoped that I too, one day, could be just like them. They inspired me to want more – even when life had been set up to trap me in the poverty cycle. I was one of the lucky few to escape poverty and I continue to share my journey as a motivational speaker, hoping my life can inspire someone who is in the situation I was in,” narrated Simon.
Simon currently owns three subsidiary companies under the brand name Gwambike, offering cleaning, events management and translation services. He named the company after his late grandmother, whom he seeks to honour for having been the one to propel him into a better future. He is the first in his family to own a vehicle and a house in Windhoek. Simon, however, does not take his achievements for granted, as he says the livelihood and success of his career is a result of the people who are his listenership on Omulunga radio.
Simon has since moved on from being a radio presenter since last year to allow him to focus his energy on managing the Omulunga radio brand as station manager, a task he takes seriously, as he believes Omulunaga radio to be his home and his biggest pride. Asked what words he lives by, he says “moshitila mwaza ondjupa”, which translates to “something will always come out of that which is deemed useless”.
Some know him as King Simon, others as Sunday, but to the Namibian nation, he is the man who took a leap of faith and made sure he achieved success out of it. He is the voice of radio that brought news to the villages, the taxi drivers and the average Namibian. He is the voice that ensured it always woke you up to captivating Namibian stories.
2020-02-25 12:25:35 | 4 months ago