Empowerment through SME development: a dream come true for Tobias Sheuyange
Empowerment through SME development: Tobias Sheuyange's story reads like a fairytale... born one of five children in the village Onghunghwitwi in northern Namibia his parents could not afford sending him to school. He grew up looking after livestock at his village and the surroundings. Like many of his unemployed peers Tobias took fate into his own hands and moved to the capital Windhoek in search of work when he was 19 years old. Without any school qualifications and unable to speak anything but his home language Oshiwambo, it proved very difficult to get a job. Three years later Tobias managed to find some part time construction work at Wolwedans in the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Stephan Brückner, MD of Wolwedans, was so impressed by Tobias' attitude and willingness to further himself that he offered him permanent employment at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge cleaning guest rooms and setting and waiting tables. After some time Tobias manged to teach himself Afrikaans and English. Nearly 10 years later Tobias had become a valued staff member who proved that he was very apt at taking on responsibility. One day Stephan approached him and enquired whether he would feel comfortable running his own business. Although overwhelmed at the prospect, Tobias was painfully aware of his lack of school education, he did decide to rise to the challenge. And so the Tobiliner was born, a commuter bus service between Windhoek and the North of Namibia. On 4th January 2011 Tobias proudly received his bus and launched into running his own business. From day one he has been supported and coached by NamibRand Safaris to tackle the administration side. He works towards owning the bus once he has paid off all of his monthly instalments. Tobiliner Transport Services is a living example of Small Medium Enterprise Development supported by the Wolwedans Foundation. In the words of Tobias Sheuyange: 'I thank God for using Stephan Brückner to give me this opportunity in life to own a business. I pray that God make me reach 60 years but at the age of 58 i want to go work for Wolwedans again....'