Women in Business
Waiting for Tom
By Confidence Musariri - April 2011
Helena Ndapandula Haishonga is a 36-year old entrepreneur who has made a positive contribution to the lives of a whole community through her business.
The business began four years ago as a youth project, recruiting and training housekeepers, baby sitters and cleaners, before advertising their availability on radio and through word of mouth.
In 1996, she was among the 200 students sent to Malaysia by the Government of Namibia for training in hospitality. Upon her return, those hospitality aspirations took a hiatus when she joined the police force three years later.
In 2002, she quit the force to further her studies in hospitality in England.
It was there where she learnt the British way of tackling unemployment, and on her return in 2007, she decided to help her former school mates and friends who were roaming the streets jobless.
Today, the same project has thrived into a full blown business and ranks among top employers in northern Namibia.
Crossline House Keeping employs more than a thousand people and at the time of going to press her story had attracted a visit by National Planning Commission (NPC) Director General Tom Alweendo.
Like many others in this region, Haishonga is accorded very little recognition beyond her immediate circle of friends.
While a large number of businesses regard success as generating profit, Haishonga’s cravings border around work satisfaction that people find jobs and are employed.
She is walking the talk on employment.
Haishonga today, is involved in a programme in which she is helping to develop skills and create jobs for the people.
“No more boys in bars and the fact that they work and get money, we are curbing criminal activities around here,” she says.
The company employs people from the Caprivi, Kavango, Kunene regions, Opuwo and other far away areas.
The company is involved in hospitality, food processing and packaging.
Courses are given at the former Ongwediva College, now University of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba Campus.
Applicants either pay a N$310.00 registration fee, get one week training in food processing and packaging, go for a two month fully paid on- job-training period, before getting the job fulltime or they choose to register for the hospitality industry, where they are trained and a job is sourced for them in the mark...
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