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Sussy Tjahuha Kanguatjivi, from a teacher to a self-made tiling artisan

2018-10-17  Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

Sussy Tjahuha Kanguatjivi, from a teacher to a self-made tiling artisan
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WINDHOEK – These days Sussy Tjahuha Kanguatjivi peacefully goes to sleep. Not that he is without
any money worries. But for the sheer fact that she and her family do not go to sleep on an empty
stomach. But more important because slowly and steadily she is busy empowering fellow women,
especially young ones, and men as well, so that one day they can start fending for themselves, and their
communities thereby uplifting these communities.

Tjhuha Kanguatjivi, pushing for the 50s, can by no means be described as a youth, But she is definitely still young at heart telling from her zealousness, especially her aversion to seeing young people unable to do anything for themselves, rotting away in the streets and homes, instead. A former teacher who has been compelled out of this stressful calling by ill health, she could just not steer away from striving to help and shape the leaders of tomorrow. Hence when teaching became bearable for her, especially given her precarious state of health, the next best thing true to her philanthropic self, was to see the youth, particularly fellow women, and other marginalised of society, o" the streets and being useful and  meaningful members of their homesteads, and communities and society at large. And this literally came by chance, and of course, by opportunity.

A tiling artisan she had hired to attend to her kitchen abandoned her midstream, having done only
six tiles. Gone was he with his N$600 loot, under the pretence he was going to deposit some of the
earnings for his wife. But while the artisan was doing first six and the last, Tjahuha Kanguatjivi was
closely observing every move of his artisanship and learning. Thus afer the disappearing act, she had learnt a lot to be able to complete the work. There and then a woman tiling artisan was born in the Goreangab residential area of Windhoek.

One thing leads to another and today through a project called Ngatukondje (Let’s do something),
she has just trained 35 other people, the majority women, including seven men, in tiling and exterior
decor. #is is to complement the Namibian government’s renewed focus on vocational training with
such having been identified as one possible route to job creation.

Soon Tjahuha Kanguatjivi will be a proud recipient of a certificate of achievement from the Namibian
Training Authority (NTA). This perfectly falls in place consonant to her plans to endeavour in tiling,
including decorating the exterior of walls. In anticipation of this she is currently registering Ngatukondje.
Visualising and hoping, all things being equal, this to open doors for her in terms of getting contracts
with the government, or any other instances for that matter, something which in turn would help her employ many of those she has trained, most currently only occasionally deployed when helping within their communities like upgrading old age homes and schools, besides offering their services free to communities as a way of marketing themselves, thereby busying themselves lest their newly acquired skills become obsolete.

As a beginning, a humble one for that matter, Ngatukondje, has already started spreading its tentacles
to especially the rural areas starting with the Epukiro constituency where it most recently donated
old clothes to the marginalised San communities there. Having acquired some artisan aesthetic,
something they would very much like to inculcate and promote among communities, they also awarded two residents of Epukiro Post 3, Jejee Muundjua and Kahumba Murangi, some tokens for their lead in giving the village a presentable faceli$ by keeping their properties, one the only restaurant in the village, and the other a house, in a clean and tidy condition to be a pride of the Epukiro constituency that they are.
#is is also a feat they would want to continue with, resources permitting.

Next, if everything works according to plan, is to have trainee artisans from this community so that
some of its members can become self-reliant, thereby empowering their own community. #us in this
regard they welcome donations of whatever nature to maintain the trainees during training as well as
the necessary materials for training. Trainees are required to fend for themselves, at least those who
can, while most, given their socioeconomic status, cannot a"ord even the most basic rations during the
training and Ngatukondje has to !nd ways and means of catering for them in this regard. #is is in
addition to providing the materials like tiles, paint and glue.

#e training most of the time takes place at the home of Tjahuha Kanguatjivi, having some space on
her premises where the trainees can indulge selves on its walls. And occasionally also at the homes of
the community members needing one or other tiling service. A selfmade artisan, obviously Tjahuha
Kanguatjivi and fellows are busy breaking the barriers and what hitherto has been a male trade.

Only if they can get there necessary push and pull from the corporate world because for them no help is
too much or too little. For further information and/or donations Tjahuha Kanguatjivi can be reached
at mobile number: 0812161660.

2018-10-17  Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

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