A 29-year-old man, in whose Ombili shack DTA president McHenry Venaani spent three nights before the 2014 general elections, is set to receive a house from the party.
The recipient of the house is community activist and philanthropist Samuel Kapepo, a resident of Ombili informal settlement. Kapepo, who has resided in the area for 12 years, gets water from a communal tap and said he is lucky to have a lavatory at home, as some fellow residents use communal toilets or the riverbeds.
On August 6, 2014 Venaani updated his Facebook status saying that in an effort to interact and come closer to the communities in shantytowns within Windhoek and other Namibian towns – that have mushroomed due to land and housing shortages – he would be staying in Ombili for three nights.
“I will be staying in a shack with no water and no electricity during this period, in which I will be living as a normal member of the Ombili community and commuting to and from work in a taxi for all these days,” he wrote at the time.
This drew criticism aimed both at Venaani and Kapepo. Some said it was a publicity stunt and that Venaani was mocking the poor. Kapepo was also criticised for involving himself in politics.
However, Kapepo, who is happy to receive a formal home, told New Era yesterday, it has nothing to do with politics, but because of his involvement in the community – work which he has been doing for the past nine years.
“It’s everybody’s dream to own a house, including me. It has nothing to do with politics,” Kapepo maintained, while adding that he is not affiliated to any political party. He said when Venaani approached him he could not say no, as he is also a brother of the soil.
“I associate with everyone, including white people from all over the world. Yet people don’t complain when they see me with white people, but some said bad things about Venaani and I.”
He further stated that it is because of his community work that he scooped the National Youth Council Philanthropist award for 2016. He said with the new house he might consider moving his soup kitchen there or use it to house the homeless.
DTA’s acting secretary general Elma Dienda confirmed it is true that the party will build Kapepo a home. She said they are doing this because Kapepo hosted Venaani and based on his current living condition they want to move him to better circumstances.
“We are busy with the paper work to finalise the building of the house. We applied for land from municipality… it will be his (Kapepo’s) choice where he wants to live. She said they are ploughing back to the community, noting that this is not the only charity work the party is involved in.