I Walked to School in the Rain, Says Nekundi

SWAPO Party Youth League deputy secretary Veikko Nekundi, who will be sworn-in as a member of parliament in March, says he used to walk from Katutura to town and back everyday when he was a student.

Nekundi spoke of his situation when he gave a motivational speech during the announcement of a new board for the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund in Windhoek yesterday.

The 38-year-old Polytechnic of Namibia graduate was voted into 13th position on the Swapo party’s parliamentary list at last year’s elective congress.

Nekundi proudly refers to himself “as an intellectual product of NSFAF” because he received funding for his education from the institution.

“I carried my books in a black plastic bag and mostly had nothing for lunch but water because I had no food,” he said, recalling that some days he walked in the pouring rain if he did not have taxi fare.

The son of a “kapana-seller” in the northern part of the country, Nekundi says he had his share of hardships and hurdles and wrote his exams at a time when he was critically ill.

“I was hospitalised at Katutura State Hospital at a time I was supposed to write my exams,” he recalled adding that despite being ill and having lost a lot of weight as a result, he went to write his exams.

“Some people thought I was dying but here I am,” he said in jest, and then said on a more sombre note: “I would not be where I’m today if it wasn’t for NSFAF.”

He urged those that are currently studying to be “committed and have the right state of mind” if they want to succeed in life.

Nekundi urged NSFAF beneficiaries not to forget what the fund had done for them once they are employed.

“Once you get your first pay cheque, don’t start by buying expensive and fancy gadgets – pay back the loan before it accumulates interest and becomes a burden later,” he aised.

Minister of Education David Namwandi who officiated at the ceremony said he was proud of what the fund had done for individuals like Nekundi and Jones Nghaamwa who is the country’s first heart surgeon.

He urged the public to stop focusing on the negative aspects of the fund and celebrate its successes instead.

“Let us help the fund be sustainable instead of being critical,” he said.

The new NSFAF board members are Patty Karuahihe-Martin (chairperson), Mbushandje Ntinda (vice chairperson) Albertina Nankela, Frans Gertze, Dutte Shinyemba, Timotheus Angala, Leezhel Van Wyk and Olavi Hamwele.

The fund says 32 000 students have benefited from its loan disbursements so far.

Source : The Namibian