Paralympian speed merchant Shikongo finally gets a house to call home
Paralympian speed merchant, Ananias Shikongo received his dream home early this week, courtesy of Standard Bank through the Buy-a-Brick initiative.
The two-bedroom house, with an en suite main bedroom, kitchen and lounge area was built to the tune of N$500,000 in collaboration with the National Housing Enterprise and took an impressive 6 months to complete.
Standard Bank resolved to reward Shikongo for his inspirational work, because although he had become a nationally celebrated hero by winning gold at the Summer Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro, he still lived in a shack like so many other Namibians from no or low income households
“Like many others in his circumstance, Ananias could have given up on his dreams after he lost his eyesight, however he did not allow that to stop him from dreaming, instead he used it to fuel him on to become the third Namibian to win handsomely at the Summer Paralympics. We are therefore proud to have been able to make his dreams of owning a decent home come true,” Standard Bank’s Head of Marketing, Communication and CSI, Magreth Mengo, said during the handover
She explained that the home was merely the Bank’s humble way of celebrating the athletic hero’s great achievements.
“We hope that this serves as an inspiration to all Namibians, that they should never let their circumstances in life determine their success. We all have it in us to become the best versions of ourselves and fulfil our dreams. Ananias [Shikongo], allow me to thank you for being a hero to every Namibian, able-bodied and disabled, for showing us that we are the only ones standing between us and our own success; for showing us that hard work really does pay off,” she said.
NHE CEO, Gisbertus Mukulu, also expressed his elation at being able to contribute to making Shikongo’s dream come true. He said that he hoped the NHE would go down in history not only as a company that builds houses but one that provides people with homes and change their lives for the better.
Delivering the keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero, stressed that the only disability in life was a bad attitude, pointing to Shikongo’s success as a testament of that.
“I am deeply humbled by the gesture of Standard Bank and the Buy-a-Brick initiative. We all know about the economic circumstances we are currently experiencing. These economic conditions are deplorable and for Standard Bank to have built and donated this house is really commendable,” she stressed.
Tjongagrero also added that sports development in the country could not be left up to the government alone, and as such she was pleased to see that private institutions such as Standard Bank and NHE have heed the call.
Unable to contain hi jubilation, Shikongo said he was pleased to have finally changed his life from a ghetto life to a city life.
“Standard Bank should serve as a great example to other companies that often overlook the plight of the people in the country,” he said, expressing his gratitude.
Recounting all his struggles that led to his success, he also urged those who have dreams to not give up on them but instead work hard because they will eventually be rewarded like he has been.
Caption: Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero give Ananias Shikongo the keys to his new home.