WINDHOEK-Visually impaired para-athlete, Ananias Shikongo, astonishingly navigated through his two-bedroom home which he acquired recently in Greenwell Matongo with ease without assistance from anyone.
Shikongo (32), nicknamed troublemaker on the track, previously lived with relatives in a shack at Goreangab informal settlement, where there is no electricity and used communal tap to draw water. It is now two months since he moved into the house built by Standard Bank Namibia for him. Things changed after Shikongo won at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which saw the Namibia collecting three medals at the games. Strandard Bank in partnership with the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) jointly threw their weight behind the construction of a new house for Shikongo worth N$ 500 000, as a token of appreciation.
Shikongo says it took him a day and half to get used to the new surroundings. “When we schooled at Eluwa (special school), first thing we were taught is to study the place. You walk around and put it in your mind. You move inside /out,” he states. Shikongo had just returned from his training in the morning and he is home alone.His four-year-old son is at creche. He also stays with his employed cousin who helps buy food and pay municipal bills. “Since I got the house on August 13, I am very happy what Standard Bank did for me,” Shikongo says adding that he plans to extend the house and build a boundary wall for safety. He also informs that he will be having a house warming next month.
He cleans the house including the bath room as well as cooking standing up and cleaning the stove and washing the spot to demonstrate that he is indeed not disabled.“I cook myself, things like macaroni and rice is easy to cook. You measure the water, put in oil and salt and count the minutes. The sound of the pot if there isn’t water is an alert. You also taste(food) to see if it is ready. We were taught how to cook in Home Economics at Eluwa,” says Shikongo adding that his study included making up bed and cleaning one’s environment.
Shikongo says there’s a huge difference between living in a brick house and shack where one fetches water and carries it to a makeshift toilet for bathing which is different in a brick house. In his new home he is able to take ice bath after training which he could not do previously do. He has made friends in his new place explaining that having friends as visually impaired person is key. In his case, since he is still new in the location they assist him to and from the taxi. He now owns two vehicles and one is with his family at Goreangab and the one donated by the church is with his mother in the north for her use. He uses them when the need arises.
Apart from being an athlete, Shikongo is pursuing a certificate in physiotherapy at Nomad African Spa which he started this year. He says there are few physiotherapists in sport and plans to use his certificate in his sport career when he retires. A football fanatic, he also plays blind soccer. Last Friday, he and his team Ananias Youngsters from Windhoek and Eluwa special school battled it out at Omuthiya during the White Can Day commemoration. Both teams drew 1-1 but Ananias youngsters won 2-0 on penalties.
CAPTION: Visually impaired …Para-athlete Ananias Shikongo busy in his kitchen.
Picture: Ananias new home
Photo: Selma Ikela
2018-10-22 09:07:10 5 months ago