Petrus Uushona’s life changed overnight last Wednesday, going from being the guy next door to an instant millionaire through Standard Bank’s Million Dollar Mania campaign. Uushona, who was part of the top three contestants, emerged victorious during a random draw which was aired live on NBC TV last week.
The competition was a response to the overwhelming support for the Buy-a-Brick campaign from the public, through which the bank raised funds for the Shack Dwellers Federation to aid with the housing shortage in the country.
Standard Bank’s head of legal and governance and acting head of marketing, Sigrid Tjijorokisa, said the Standard Bank Buy-a-Brick project was launched during 2015. She explained that it is a partnership with the Shack Dwellers Federation through which the bank intends not only to raise awareness about the living conditions of no-income and low-income households, but through which it also mobilizes members of the private and corporate sectors to raise funding to build homes for people living in shacks in informal settlements. The 2015 campaign raised approximately N$1.4 million, which has been used to construct 40 houses in Rehoboth.
“This year we have significantly increased this amount through your most generous contribution. We deemed it appropriate to now give back through the Buy-a-Brick millionaire competition. Through this competition we aim to transform lives. We would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support and participation in the first of its kind competition. Each one of you has directly supported a fellow Namibian with the realization of their dream to own a decent place they can call home. The Standard Bank Buy-a-Brick project will run annually for as long as the need for housing in Namibia amongst this income group persists. Let’s continue to work together to move Namibia forward though this project … one brick at a time,” explained Tjijorokisa.
Speaking to Standard Bank this week, an ecstatic Uushona said he was merely viewing his win as reaping the fruitful harvest he sowed in the Buy-a-Brick campaign.
“I was never really expecting to win this competition when I participated. My main aim was just to contribute to the Buy-a-Brick campaign because I realised its importance,” Uushona said.
Having struggled to build a brick house for himself and his parents, the 36-year-old mining operator said he understands all too well the value of having a safe place to call home so he was determined to support the Standard Bank Buy-a-Brick campaign.
“Once we were standing in the studio and the draw was about to commence, I started praying to God to see me through this since he had gotten me that far. He heard my prayers because they drew my name as the winner. I am really grateful,” he said.
Uushona’s first order of business is to build his parents a brick house at their homestead and also begin constructing his own home. He also intends to settle his debt and invest in business.
Uushona said that he was fortunate that after he won he was advised to get in contact with a financial advisor at his Standard Bank branch which has proved helpful. Considering that it is a once in a lifetime win, the new millionaire said he wants to make sure he spends his money wisely and that it lasts.
“I really want to thank Standard Bank for giving back to one of its loyal customers. I also want to thank them for the Buy-a-Brick campaign; even if I hadn’t won I would have been happy knowing I helped someone put a roof over their head. I urge other companies to follow in their footsteps and show their appreciation to customers for their support,” he concluded.