What started off as a passion for Tangeni Ngidulika four years ago has now turned into a vibrant business that has potential to contribute significantly to the national development agenda through imparting knowledge.
Born in Walvis Bay 26 years ago, Ngidulika decided to turn his passion with computers into a business that trains teachers in the Ohangwena region to deal with the basics of computing.
Fortunately, his important ideas in Information Communication Technology (ICT) are coming at a time when Namibia is heading towards a knowledge based economy driven by enhanced skills in computing and also scarce skills.
Because of this he created a computer training college that now enrolls both primary and secondary school teachers and other people with interest in computers from the surrounding areas of Ohangwena to study in various short courses including Introduction to computers, Microsoft office and internet usage.
He has not only limited his business acumen to imparting knowledge but through his company, Mouse Computer Training Centre, he now prints business cards, wedding cards, does lamination and shooting of wedding videos.
Certainly for a man who believes that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, Ngidulika has set sights on expanding his business to other regions of the country, a feat he added will go a long way in creating a knowledge-based society in the era of technology.
“At the beginning I could only accommodate 10 students but now I am able to accommodate over 40 students at once because I have different intakes,” Ngidulika told Prime Focus.
While many would think of targeting school children with computer courses, he decided to impart computer skills to teachers in a bid to filter the relevant knowledge in ICT to pupils in the area. Ironically his business acumen fits perfectly well in the drive by Government to see school children learning vital computer skills needed in the industry today.
“When I started I used to double up between my job at Husab Mine as an IT Administrator in Swakopmund and my passion for computing at night. I used to be up all night trying to fix computers but then the late night sleep was worth it. Now the center is registered with the Namibian Training Authority that is the first step I took,” an upbeat Ngidulika told Prime Focus magazine.
Ngidulika, who is also a graduate from the Institute of Information and Technology in Klein Windhoek, launched his dream by buying obsolete computers and fixing them but today he is a proud owner of a state of the art lab that has modern technological gadgets.
Ngidulika grew his business from humble beginning with only two computers and one lecturer, but now employs six qualified lecturers and one administrator.
He also reveals that he garnered enough experience to run his college from his first professional job at the Multi-Purpose Center in Walvis Bay, where he worked as an IT Instructor. The Multi-Purpose Centre was bankrolled through a United States of America Government aid programme USAID.
Ngidulika worked at the Multi-Purpose Center for a year before the organisation closed shop.
Perhaps the adage, necessity is the mother invention which suited his planning as he did not lose heart after losing his job instead he concentrated on building his own business by saving his little earnings to acquire computers that would later help him establish his School.
As if fortune was on his side he received a major boost in 2011 when he was contracted by the Government to train 800 police to use Microsoft Word and all the basic computer skills. The Government tender was his turning point as he later decided to go and establish his school full time in the Ohangwena region.
His decision to establish a school on the Ohangwena region was popular for producing political heavy weights and now stands as a feat as he has managed to put the region on the educational map through ICT training.
“I want the Americans to come back one day so I show them what I have accomplished” he says.
Ngidulika reveals that “like any other institution there are always challenges like less desks and chairs available to cater for all the students”. Ngidulika hopes and wishes are to expand and build a bigger institution catering for the whole country.
“If we get a training request from a school that we cannot catering for on our campus, we evaluate the school and take all the necessary equipment to the school and do the training at that specific school,” Ngidulika says.
Ngidulika encourages all young business minded people to follow their dreams because nothing is impossible “sometimes we dream too big but it takes faith to achieve our dreams ,“he says.