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Office lady sells some of her Paratus shares to buy a house – cash!

Office lady sells some of her Paratus shares to buy a house – cash!

When Inge Kauhonina received her shareholding allocation as an employee of Internet Technologies Namibia (ITN), little did she realise that this nest egg will one day buy her a house.

As the year’s passed, ITN became Paratus, eventually listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange under the holdings company, but as the company grew, Inge’s shareholding accompanied all the steps taken over an uninterrupted 16-year period since the start of the original ITN.

Chief Executive of the Paratus Group, Barney Harmse said he and ITN’s co-founders, Schalk Erasmus allocated 30% of their shares to their staff when the company was still in its infancy. This shareholding was carried over from entity to entity until it was listed as Paratus Namibia Holdings Ltd.

“Because Inge and many other employees have been at our side since the beginning, they benefitted as a result, based on the time each individual employee has been with the company,” said Harmse.

Some employees chose to sell their shareholding but not Inge. She held on to it, and a few months ago, just before the pandemic, she liquidated a portion of it to buy her house in Osona Village near Okahandja. She signed all the purchase documents during the height of the pandemic, and can now pay the whole sum cash.

Appreciating this enormous milestone in Inge’s life, Harmse, her erstwhile boss, colleague and co-shareholder, said “We must all celebrate with Inge and Paratus for her lifetime achievement. We say ‘well done and congratulations’ when we notice a success story of this kind.”

Harmse further said, “Inge and I have known each other since 1998, since the old UUNET Internet Africa days, and during the last 16 years she has been bringing me coffee every morning. Inge like all our employees across Paratus Africa, is part of our family”

Paratus Namibia is the prime example of a start-up in Africa, that evolved and achieved great success under the most difficult circumstances in any environment, and not leave their employees behind.

Even while the Covid-19 crisis was raging, Paratus was able to and indeed supported many businesses in Namibia unconditionally, all the while not enjoying the same privilege from their upstream providers.

During the past two months, reports of people and companies in distress became commonplace. The economy crash-landed, business was interrupted, many companies shut down for good, and scores of people were left without an income.

Going against this negative tide, Inge decided the opportunity to own her very own secure home, could not be missed. She sold some of her shareholding to buy the house without a bond of any kind. And she still kept a significant portion of her shareholding to start building her new future nest egg.

“It is working with family like Inge that makes all the rough patches in business worth my while,” added Harmse.

Bragging just a little about Paratus and its achievements, Harmse concluded, “and to top it all, Paratus Namibia offers the best data rates in Africa! Show me another gem like Paratus anywhere in Africa. You will not find one. Our achievements and empowerment of our people are unparalleled. We could only achieve this with people like Inge who has been at our side for many years.”

This is my place! Paratus Group Africa CEO, Barney Harmse (left) with his aide and confidant, Inge Kauhonina, a Paratus Namibia Holdings shareholder, and Schalk Erasmus, Paratus Group COO.


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