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Home / The pen will always be mightier than the gun … as security guards strive for academic pursuits

The pen will always be mightier than the gun … as security guards strive for academic pursuits

2020-05-27  Paheja Siririka

The pen will always be mightier than the gun … as security guards strive for academic pursuits

They are looked and frowned down upon, discriminated, receive low wages, not respected and treated unfairly, while at the same time not having sufficient benefits and not to forget the constant and frequent bullying they endure while on duty from students on campus.

They are civil servants who have, apart from trying to get bread on their tables and feeding their families, dedicated their time to protect students, staff members and serve university campuses. Unam currently accommodates around seven security guards who are studying at the institution.
Youth Corner contacted some security personnel at the University of Namibia who are students during the day and guards at night.
Phillipus Nghalipo (28), pursuing a Diploma in Local Government Studies at Unam, said due to the low points he acquired in Grade 12, he registered via mature age entry and is currently doing distance learning. “I initially wanted to study Education but couldn’t, so I went for Local Government because it is a good foundation course,” he explained.

Nghalipo is self-funded and pays his tuition fees from the wages he receives as a security guard. “I pay for my own education with the amount I get as a guard,” mentioned Nghalipo, who has been in the profession since 2015.
As a security guard on campus, his duties comprise ensuring rules and regulations are adhered to. “Other duties include protecting the personnel on campus to maintain peace and order, as well as to avoid theft on the premises. Overall, to make sure everything is under control on the campus,” he highlighted.

Nghalipo said it’s not that bad in the security service industry, as there are some fun elements they get to experience and make sure they do their jobs efficiently. “The fun part about my work is that sometimes we raid the hostels and confiscate prohibited items such as alcohol and other stuff, you know – a little bit of action here and there but the main fun part is maintaining order,” recalls Nghalipo.

With all the fun part about the job, there has to be the negative aspect that has affected some security guards mentally and overall health, which has had tolls on how they conduct their duties as instructed with varsity students who sometimes tend to be bullies and uncooperative.
“We are often bullied on campus by students and are sometimes referred to as uneducated. What they might not know or refuse to acknowledge is that we (security officers/guards) have Grade 12 certificates; the issue is only that we don’t have the necessary funds and therefore lack financial support,” vented Nghalipo.

Serving on campus alongside Nghalipo, with similar goals and aspirations in life, is a hardworking and dedicated sentry Daniel Ndimulunde (31), who said education is important hence his determination to pursue it. “As security guards, we are prone to low wages, no respect, no benefits, bad treatment and discrimination; that’s why some of us work so hard to get out of such situations,” he said. With close to a decade of security service, Ndimulunde is studying a two-year course, a Certificate in Enrolled Nursing and Midwifery, also known as an Accoucheur (NQF L6) at I-Care Health Training Institute. “I was a guard for two years and I was eventually promoted to a rank of supervisor for five years and again endorsed to a rank of deputy manager for 10 months. Last year, I was demoted and became a normal guard when I started my course,” stated Ndimulunde.

Studying online with limited resources have proven to be a hassle for Ndimulunde but he is trying his level best to balance work and class simultaneously. He urged students to be in constant communication with their lecturers and utilise resources timely.

2020-05-27  Paheja Siririka

Tags: Khomas
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