Born and raised in Okatope kaShikudule in the Ohangwena Region, 26-year-old Rehabeam Tulonga Nghinyengwile, is an ambitious young entrepreneur determined to give back to the community through his company’s corporate social responsibility programme.
The firstborn of six siblings, Nghinyengwile says he was raised by his late grandparents, because his mother had to go back to school. “My grandparents took me in when I was only seven months old, because my mother had to go complete her studies and so I grew up looking after my grandparents’ livestock.”
He started at the Okadila Primary School and then moved on to the Okatope Combined School for his upper primary before matriculating from Ponhofi Secondary School in 2007. In 2009 he went on to further his studies at the University of Namibia (Unam), where he completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree and then an Honours Degree in Industrial Psychology.
In 2011 he registered his first company, Easyblaze Investment, which he later sold to his now late friend, Jason Pombili Haufiku, because he couldn’t balance schoolwork and the demands of his business.
“My business journey did not stop there. In 2013 I decided to put my studies on hold and to focus on my business on a fulltime basis. I’m currently running Gravity Holdings, the initiative that holds Gravity Media Group, that primarily focusses on online advertising, media monitoring, clipping, media measurement, evaluation and analysis, web development, public relations services, corporate branding, digital marketing, events management, corporate photography, marketing communication planning, indoor advertising and artist management.
Gravity Travel focuses on vehicle rentals, online booking of flights and accommodation, travel insurance, camping equipment hire, tour guide and airport transfers,” says Nghinyengwile, who currently employs three young people.
He says his desire to succeed in life and fulfil his dreams as a business owner pushed him to start and focus on his business. “Growing my business into a bigger company and creating employment opportunities for my fellow Namibian youth is my first ever priority and one of the reasons I decided to do business fulltime.
I see myself as a job provider, and it hurts to see graduates sitting at home with their degrees without employment. I would like to meet the government and well- established entities halfway in poverty eradication in Namibia,” Nghinyengwile emphasises.
He adds that corruption, greed and favouritism within the market are the biggest challenges in the entrepreneurial industry, especially to newcomers in the trade. “Tenders are being awarded to the so-called well-connected entrepreneurs, leaving the most deserving parties behind.
“Such habits are discouraging young and prospective entrepreneurs from working hard and make them lose hope and focus. Startup capital is also one of the major setbacks in the market, as young entrepreneurs find it so hard to secure funds to penetrate the market,” Nghinyengwile complains.
Business is not for lazy people and those who expect things to happen overnight, he says: “In business you must be prepared to fail, but you should have a determination of a lion to simply latch on and refuse to let go, because business requires you to be yourself, believe and invest in yourself, as you are not doing things to impress anyone but yourself.
“Be a good listener, think positive, be determined and know your vision. Success is a positive harvest that pays those who believe in themselves and their dreams. Young people shouldn’t chase the fast life, they should run the race, because life is a conquest,” says Nghinyengwile.
He sees himself in the future as a successful God-fearing family man and wants to be known as someone who is changing lives by giving back to the community by donating to the needy. Nginyengwile says he plans to go back to school next year to finish his Master’s Degree, because education is important and is needed in business.