Windhoek-“The temptation to give up is a common one, and nobody is exempt. Failure isn’t something many of us can handle gracefully. And even though we know it’s a common human condition, we’re somehow always surprised when it happen to us,’’ says Edelberd Mukena .
Born in Ndonga Linena, Rundu, the 25-year-old director, Edelberd Mukena, has weathered a journey of hardship and trauma to become one of Namibia’s upcoming best directors and editors.
“Because my parents took care of many people, that made it difficult for me to get an allowance from my parents like any other kid I was growing up with. The situation at home was getting worse day by day and I was not happy at all,” says Mukena.
Due to persistent hardships at home, at the early age of fourteen Mukenya started spending his time with friends in the community library where his whole success story began.
“As boys growing up, we try many things. There were days I would go to the community library and leave when it was closing hours. Then a friend of mine told me about Photoshop and I did research on YouTube. I got acquainted with the programme and started making a little money for myself,’’ he retraces his bumpy formative life journey.
In the long run, his ambitions of wanting to know more and acquaint himself with cameras grew at a rapid speed, so much so that he almost dropped out of school.
“After Photoshop I started searching for cameras and behind the scenes of movies I fell in love with cameras and always wanted to explore more. I managed to get a camera for myself and started shooting pictures and filming wedding videos.”
After Grade 12, he went to Zimbabwe to study information technology (IT). He came back home and spent some time with the Rundu Town Council. He then left the town council and went to teach ICT at his former secondary school for six months.
After leaving his job as a teacher Mukenya felt a need of satisfying his inner desires. “Media was always my calling – due to forces of life I ended up doing IT that I never enjoyed as a job. In 2014 I decided to apply for a media arts technology course at the College of the Arts. I was accepted and during my stay at the college I had my best moments.”
Currently he is an intern at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) where he is a director and editor.
The young director says his story is not a miracle but one driven out of high ambitions in life.
“To my fellow youth out there, my story is not unique. Life may not go as you plan, so keep your head up and grab every opportunity presented to you. There will always be time to come back and do what you love most. It will put you through many hard times. See those hard times as lessons to progress in life,” he advises his fellow young people, adding that a career is built over a period of time and there is no shortcut to life.
“Always aim for great heights and you will make it,’’ is his parting shot.