Electricians design, install, maintain and troubleshoot electrical wiring systems in homes, commercial or industrial buildings, and even machines and large pieces of equipment. Not only do they install new electrical components and systems, they also maintain and repair existing electrical infrastructure.
Meet 38-year old Lukas Nghinyengwa, a skilled Electrician, employed by Oshakati Premier Electric. Lukas gave up on a career as a police officer and opted to follow his dream to become an electrician. This is his story.
Lukas Nghinyengwa grew up at the Oshikulu village in Oshikoto region. Like many of his village contemporaries, Lukas enjoyed a carefree and peaceful childhood far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, herding cattle and tending to other village chores.
“I grew up with my grandmother at Oshikulu as my parents stayed at another nearby village, Omalaala. Life wasn’t easy though. My mother made traditional jewelry and baskets to supplement the family income and to pay for my school fees”, Lukas recalls.
After he completed Grade 12 at the Gabriel Shitambu Senior Secondary School, this village boy wanted to become a Police Officer. Graduating in 2001, he was posted to the Otjozondjupa region, where he served the communities of Otjiwarongo and Okakarara.
It was during this time that Lukas found himself becoming more and more disillusioned about his career choice. “It’s not that I didn’t enjoy police work. I just felt that something was missing. That I wasn’t meant to be a police officer and that I should look for something else to do”, he notes.
“Don’t expect that your dreams will
come to you by just sitting around and
waiting for things to happen out of the blue.
You need to make work of your dreams”
The disillusionment grew. Lukas soon resigned from the Police Force and instead enrolled for training as an electrician at the KAYEC Centre at Ondangwa. His friends and family found his choice strange, because Lukas never demonstrated an interest in becoming an electrician. However, they have since grown to love the career choice he had made. “To be honest, I was never interested in becoming an electrician. However, my interest grew as I progressed with my training. I realised that I was actually just a technically-inclined individual that had to find something to do with my hands”, he shares.
The course at KAYEC Ondangwa convinced Lukas that becoming a qualified electrician was what he wanted to do. He soon enrolled at the Okakarara Vocational Training Centre in Otjozondjupa, where he is still remembered by his instructors as a dedicated and committed trainee, who excelled in his training.
“I enjoy solving problems.
It perhaps explains why I find electrical
fault-finding so interesting and why
I am excelling in this area”
World of Work
Upon acquiring his Level 3 certification at Okakarara VTC, Lukas returned home to the Oshikoto region, where he landed employment as an Electrician at Oshakati Premier Electric, a company responsible for supplying power to the town and for maintaining and upgrading its street and traffic lights and networks.
“I guess the reason why I am excelling as an electrician today is because I enjoy solving problems. It perhaps explains why I find electrical fault-finding so interesting and why I am excelling in this area”, he argues. “I love my job. Our company renders an important service to the community. Without reliable and efficient electricity service provision, this community will stagnate and not develop economically. Electricians do important work. Electricity drives the economy. That’s the long and short of it”, Lukas highlights.
Depending on their area of specialty, electricians work either indoors or outdoors, year round. In either case, their work is often labour intensive and requires manual physical manipulation of electrical wiring and cabling conduit, often having to endure inclement weather in order to repair power outages.
His enthusiasm and dedication for what he does make Lukas a respected member of the Oshakati Premier Electric team. Supervisors and colleagues alike appreciate his technical competence and willingness in always going the extra mile.
“I continue to grow at Oshakati Permier Electric. Learning doesn’t stop really and although the basics remain the same, things change fast in this dynamic work environment that requiries all electricians to stay abreast of the latest developments in our field”, Lukas explains.
“At the end of the day, it is all about reputation. Your reputation as an electrician that performs quality work and in time, is what will eventually make or break you. My supervisors are happy with my output. They value my contribution, because it adds to the company’s bottom line”, he adds.
Lukas is also a budding entrepreneur and has used his savings in establishing a small, but thriving frozen chicken and fish outlet.
“My passion for business comes from my biological mother, Justina Gideon. She is a hardworking woman who inspired all of her children to become businesspeople. She used to sell fish, and now she makes and sell jewellery. She is very business-minded”, he notes.
Although small, the outlet continues to grow and is proving popular amongst members of the community. However,according to Lukas, this shop is not about making money and supplementing my income only; It is also about bringing alternatives cheaper and healthier than beef to the community. “Business is good. More and more people are coming to buy our fish products every day. They really like fish”, he says.
Whenever the opportunity arises, Lukas makes time to go back to the village. He appreciates the role his parents and family played in his upbringing and in the career success he enjoys today.
“I would not have been able to succeed, without the support of my family, especially that of my mother and my fiancee. They worked and supported me while I was studying and she remains my pillar and my strength”, Lukas says. “You need to appreciate the things others do for you. Today, I am able to support my parents and my three children. I am empowered, because I am skilled and competent. No one can take my skills away from me”, he adds.
Lukas’ advice for others wishing to follow in his footsteps, is simple and straightforward: “Don’t expect that your dreams will come to you by just sitting around and waiting for things to happen out of the blue. You need to make work of your dreams. When I left the Police Force to pursue my ambition to become an artisan, I did just that. I followed my dreams”, he shares.
Lukas Nghinyengwa. His story teaches us that we all have within us the strength and passion to reach for the stars and make our dreams reality. That all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. That we can achieve anything through self-belief, hard work and determination.
He is living his passion as an Electrician. And he believes that others can do the same.
“Lukas’ story is brought to you by the Namibia
Training Authority as part of its ‘Live Your Passion’
advocacy campaign to create awareness about technical and vocational careers amongst young Namibians. Catch us again next week when we share the inspiring story of Auto-Electrician, Elizabeth Kambonde”