RUNDU – Sikondo Johannes Kahonzo has swapped his classroom chalk for running his own business.
The former headmaster says he quit his job and used his pension and severance package to start a petrol station that earns him more money than working as a teacher.
The 54-year-old Kahonzo said he always harboured the ambition to run his own business for the remainder of his productive life. So with finance from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and through a Shell Namibia franchise he opened his filling station last year.
He said he also wanted to assist in the creation of jobs for the unemplyoed – both men and women.
But, he says, managing a filling station is not a stroll in a park and presents a lot of challenges.
“I now employ 19 youths at my service station and they are doing well thus far,” Kahonzo narrated.
“I have been an entrepreneur for a long time. I also owned small grocery mini shops at my village of Ncamagoro on the eastern outskirts of Rundu serving the Tuhingireni community.
“I later did a little research to see what other businesses I could venture into. I discovered there was a need for a service station in Rundu as the people and vehicle numbers are increasing and most of the time fuel gets finished at the other stations. So I thought why not join this industry to complement the other existing fuel stations.” he said.
Kahonzo said that after making up his mind, he asked the town council for land, which was provided. He then approached financial institutions for funding and received a positive response from the DBN and a franchise from Total.
“I just wanted to join the business that is only done by whites in our region, to inspire other Namibians that we can also do it and I’m doing well,” the former teacher said confidently.
“I decided to name it Total Sauyemwa because of the area in which it is situated,” he said.
Total Sauyemwa operates 24 hours a day, filling up vehicles while its shop for groceries and take-away for fast-food are open from 08h00 until 21h00.
Kahonzo was the principal of Ncamagoro Combined Schoolfor 25 years until he resigned to concentrate on running the service station. The business started operating in 2013 but was officialy inaugurated on May 02 by the Governor of Kavango East, Dr Samuel Mbambo.
By John Muyamba