Surprised, I asked her who would pick up the cement from our warehouse. She said she would make a plan and hire somebody to drop it off as she was going to build her own house. I was curious what she was actually building, so I volunteered to drop off the 20 bags myself.
What follows is the most inspiring and shocking encounter I have had in housing in Namibia. Our company Atenu Developments builds and sells housing for civil servants who get bank loans to buy proper homes. Inge, who is a self-employed, street-seller, would never be able to afford a home with us.
Inge has a small street shop selling onions, mangos and other fruits she plants. She also sells a few creams through catalogues. On a good month, she makes upto N$1,000 (less than US$100)... How can a person like that ever dream of owning a home? That is one of Namibia's [and the World's] most pressing issues.
She rents from the Municipality a piece of land in the Location, and pays her water bill on time. She drew a building plan by hand, and paid someone N$900 to draught it for Municipal approval.
When I got to her site I asked her where she bought her bricks? She said she made them herself. When I asked where was the machine? She said "I made them by hand"!!
She has been saving for two years and making bricks one by one, by hand, by herself. She has now made all the bricks she needs. In the last month she has been digging the trenches of what will be her home, and today she bought from us cement to cast her foundation this coming week.
I recorded her speaking for a few minutes in the video attached. I asked her what message can she give the people of Namibia, and she said "Be strong enough. Oh, Shatona Shekupe having a house, me too I can make my own house!" She says not to wait to pursue your dream of a home. As soon as you make money, save it and start building up your future home!
I spent the afternoon getting to know her. I am blown away. How many things have you not pursued thinking you weren't ready or worthy? Inge Shatona Shekupe will build her dream home!
Any money donated will be used to help her buy all materials she needs. I will arrange for all the delivery and payments so she can be buying at our company's preferential costs from suppliers. Additional money that comes in will be given to her to employ additional help - bricklayers/masons, tilers, painters, welders, etc. We will also provide her all the assistance we can from our end.
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