“I had a lot of bad friends. All they wanted was to drink and party. I didn’t listen to my dad and I missed out on several important things, mainly my school work without thinking of the consequences,” says 21-year-old Festus Pombili Nghede.
Born and raised in the capital, Nghede started school at the MH Greef Primary School and went on to Eldorado Secondary School where he stumbled progressing through Grade 12. Nghede believes that he stumbled in Grade 12 because he had bad friends, he was hanging around negative people and he was not good with books. “I had less time for my education, my friends always wanted us to drink and go partying, I didn’t think about the future, I was just a naive young boy,” Nghede confesses.
His father was and never seemed to believe in him especially in view of his wayward lifestyle. “Probably because I failed Grade 12 and I was hanging with bad friends, my dad didn’t believe in me, he always tried to break me down even how had I tried to prove myself to him, he didn’t see the good in me, he says. But his uncles were some way the drive he needed to change for the better. “My uncles, Samuel Hongo and Paul Shaduka always saw potential in me. They sat me down, advised me and helped me when I needed a helping hand and that encouraged me to step up and think about what I should do next for a better tomorrow,” he relates.
Nghede then decide to register with the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) to rewrite his subjects. He somehow did not achieve the points he aimed for but that did not discourage him. He then decided to apply to the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (WVTC) in the field of Fitter Machinery and at the same time look for a part time job to earn an income without have to depend on his father. With the little experience he had which he gained from watching his uncle’s fixing machines and alarms, Nghede got a job as an assistant technician at Alarm Fix. “I always paid attention when my uncles were working on something or fixing it. Every time I got a toy, I’ll break it and fix it again and that’s when I realised that I was not good with books but with my hands,” he says.
“It was not easy to get where I am today and I’m still not where I want to be because of the time I wasted with wrong things and wrong people,” says Nghede.
After sometime at Alarm Fix, Nghede got another offer from Evatello Trading CC for stock taking and delivery. Nghede now works as a Marketing Assistant at local brand, Team Shako. “My relationship with my dad has improved ever since I started changing my habit. I now understand why he was being hard on me and I must say I’m thankful. Sometimes we tend to think that when our parents scold us or throw bad words to us, they hate us, without actually taking in consideration that they actual just want us to live better and have a bright future,” he reflects.
He encourage the youth to always associate themselves with good friends with positive attitude because time does not wait for anybody nor can it be rewinded. “You should do what you set your mind to. Stay with people who motivate and wish you good. Don’t only think about your situation you are in now, think about tomorrow and ask yourself if that’s how you want to live for the rest of your life. I’ve learnt my lesson and doing good now,” he confesses.