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Northern women break bricklaying wall

2024-05-15  Victoria Immanuel

Northern women break bricklaying wall

Two young women, who ventured into the brickmaking industry, say men-domination does not exist in the dictionary.

Gloria Munapito and Wilhemine Thomas from the Omusati region recently concluded a two-week training course in bricklaying under the MTC 4Life project.

“Bricklaying has, for a long time, been viewed as a man’s world,” said Munapito, who is planning to establish her own brick manufacturing plant soon in her community.

The training did not break her back, as she had already been making bricks at home.

Growing up among males shaped her worldview. 

“Our communities think there are occupations, including brickmaking, reserved for men. To me, that is daydreaming. Women can do any occupation thought to be male-dominated if they decide to do so,” Munapito told this publication.

“Being the only two females on the training course, you get very competitive with all the males. We want ours to be the best,’’ Thomas said with a chuckle.

She has always had a passion for bricklaying.

As such, when the opportunity for training came knocking, she grabbed it with both hands.

“There are not many females in the construction industry, and I know we can excel. So I thought let’s give it a try. There are so many women in beauty and other courses, and I am not a typical girly girl,” she said.

Like Munapito, Thomas has always had a special relationship with brickmaking, which is “something I have always wanted to do”.



The two women then expressed gratitude to MTC for granting them the opportunity to change their lives and those of others.

The MTC 4Life is a socio-economic undertaking seeking to tackle poverty by mitigating youth unemployment through empowering Namibians to become self-employed within the SME sector.

The project aims to achieve this by providing training and upscaling young people to gain practical and entrepreneurial skills in animation, barbering, makeup, nail technology, hairdressing, catering, sewing, baking and manufacturing.

According to MTC’s spokesperson  Erasmus Nekundi, this year, the project focused on the Otjozondjupa, Kunene, Omusati, Kavango East and Kavango West regions.

This year’s project empowered 40 young individuals from the five regions.

In contrast, last year’s applicants were from all 14 regions of the country.

He added that each candidate will receive a toolkit and a capital of N$5 000.

This, he said, is to help them start their businesses immediately after training. “The idea is to equip them to become self-employed citizens, who will employ others later when their businesses grow,” said Nekundi.

The training was conducted by professionals from the chosen fields.

2024-05-15  Victoria Immanuel

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