By Confidente Reporter
NAMIBIAN business leaders like Aupa Frans Indongo and the late Harold Pupkewitz are revered for their achievements in their respective industries. However, the significant contribution towards economic development made locally by entrepreneurs in smaller towns around the country, often goes unrecognised. Take for example, Otjiwarongo-based Jefta Haggai and his wife, Taimi. They started from the proverbial kitchen table, yet today their business, Omagumbo Construction, is one of the foremost in that part of Namibia. After completion of his building construction training at the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) in Okakarara, Jefta started as a general worker on a building construction site.
“I only worked for that firm for a few months, before starting my own business,” says Haggai. “I knew I could do much better being my own boss, because I was hardworking and dedicated”.
Haggai registered the business a mere 10 years ago in 2007, after the first quote he ever prepared on his own was accepted by a customer. Haggai had no equipment, but the understanding customer took a risk and agreed to pay an upfront deposit, before the job even started. With that money Haggai bought a cement mixer, wheelbarrows and other tools. This represented his first-ever investment, and since that day Haggai makes a point of always reinvesting a portion of money generated from each job. Haggai fondly recalls the day he opened the business’s first bank account at the FNB Otjiwarongo branch. The bank official was initially sceptical, but when Haggai asked if he could make his first deposit of N$100 she realised that this budding entrepreneur was set to go places.
Since that day he has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the bank and the relationship has grown from strength-to-strength. “Resultantly, whenever a performance guarantee is required in support of a tender bid,” Haggai confidently says, “I know my personal banker is just a phone call away.” Fast forward the clock ten years, and today Jefta and Taimi Haggai are shareholders of many NSX-listed companies, including the bank.
Revonia Kahivere, FNB Manager for Corporate Social Investment expressed her delight with their success story: “We have been supporting SME Compete for many years and success stories such as these warm our hearts. At FNB we understand the important role SMEs toward the economic transformation of our country. We support budding SME’s that in turn will employ our fellow Namibians and contribute towards the growth of the country.”
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