Growing up in the little village of Onanime in Oshana Region, Simeon Shilomboleni never dreamt of becoming a book author some day.
Today, he has penned his own book, which has received positive public feedback and he’s proud.
As a little boy, he always set his eyes on passing his grades. This, he knew, would take him places and eventually land him a good job at some point.
Shilomboleni is now a proud holder of a bachelor degree in commerce from the University of Namibia (Unam). In retrospect, he is excited about the way he has transformed his life, from a simple village boy to a teacher.
Instead of busking in the glory of his achievement, however, Shilomboleni has tried his hand in uncharted territories. “The little we achieve should not make us comfortable but rather be a bridge to open better opportunities for ourselves” In no time, he has added more achievements to his name with a book titled ‘The A= OE+ L Guide, Accounting for Grade 9-10’. It is a material intended for the JSC accounting syllabus.
The failure rate of his accounting learners at Augustineium Secondary School, where he has been teaching accounting and entrepreneurship since 2010, left him with no choice but to seek a lasting solution and hence his inspiration.
“I never understood why the learners would fail accounting while they passed other subjects well. So after conducting a research, I realised their study books were not easy enough to study from. Instead of letting it go, it motivated me to write a simplified book with practical exercises that would be self-explanatory; a book that would inspire learners to be more motivated in the subject,” he recalls, adding, he is confident his book will lighten the burden learners carry in this regard and improve their pass rate, in the process.
Although the book only hit the Namibian shelves at the beginning of the year, it has already been well received in several secondary schools in Windhoek including Concordia High School, Jan Mohr Secondary School, Amazing Kids Private School, Windhoek High School, Academia Secondary School, Hochland High School, among others.
To promote his book further, Shilomboleni has undertaken a tour in various schools across regions such as Oshikoto, Oshana and Erongo. Sold for N$100 a copy, the book is currently under review at the Namibia Institute for Education Development, which monitors the quality of all educational books in the country.
As with every dream, Shilomboleni concedes writing this book, which took him four months, was not a bed of roses: “Before writing, one needs to be in the right state of mind and should not be lazy. Most of all, determination is key, if your dream is to come true. Also stay positive, because there will be a lot of criticism along the way from people who will not necessarily believe in your dream.”
However, pulling the necessary financial resources was another arduous task after he failed to attract investors who thought he was too “green” to be a worthy, successful writer.
Undeterred, he sold his car to raise funds to meet the printing costs. Despite his effort, he still did not raise enough money. Luckily, a local businessman bought into his idea and gave him the short fall. Now the book exists for all to see.
The success of his debut book has wetted his appetite so much that he is preparing to write a second one, to be used as a bridging book for the Grade 11-12 learners planning to take up the course at university level.
Namibia experiences a serious shortage of accountants. An earlier interview conducted by Prime Focus even had the soon-to-be former managing partner at Deloitte Namibia, Junius Mungunda, stressing the fact that Namibia only has 300 qualified accountants, which is not enough.
Current statistics show there is only one accountant in every 10 000 people in Namibia. Meaning, for the country to be able to fill the existing gap, it would take the next 20 years, unless all measures are taken. Therefore, efforts such as Shilomboleni’s come in handy in helping bring the requisite skills to drive a stable socio-economic performance of the country.
Shilomboleni urges young people to understand the meaning and importance of education and not squander their opportunities, which are irretrievable once they are gone.
Unlike him who was born, raised and school in a deep village, with no exposure to much of the outside world - as his grandparents who reared him did not understand why he spent most of his time on studies than going into the field like his peers - Shilomboleni feels youngsters are today more exposed to tools that can enhance their knowledge, such as internet and they should thus take advantage of that.
Leading from the front, he is fully entangled in initiatives to help young people take their studies seriously. He does this through the extra lesson that he offers to learners from various school in Windhoek.PF