The drive to create job opportunities in Namibia
Kathy’s Joinery and Renovations is a proudly Namibian carpentry and construction company that manufactures furniture, renovates and repairs furniture and buildings.
11 December 2020 | People
Kathy Namudjembo, the founder of Kathy’s Joinery and Renovations, has trained all her life polishing up her skills and says that she enjoys her work and definitely sees it growing.
The ambitious Namudjembo started her company in March 2011 after realising the impact of unemployment on the youth and people with disabilities. Namudjembo then took it upon herself to help improve the situation by creating job opportunities.
Kathy’s Joinery and Renovations manufactures and supplies kitchen units, office cupboards, different types of school furniture, TV cabinets, beds and baby cots, computer stands and all types of ceilings. They also install air-conditioning and do all kinds of renovations.
“What makes Kathy’s Joinery and Renovations different from all the other entities in the same industry is that we are open to developing our employees, especially women. The customers always come back because we make sure we deliver a good quality product and service to all our customers,” she says.
The fact that the joinery and carpentry business is a male-dominated industry did not deter the driven Namudjembo.
“Starting up, I knew that this industry was not open to having women but I have managed to fight against all the odds and make my business a success after years of proving people wrong and showing that women can do hard work,” she says.
Apart from creating jobs within her community, she also opens doors for underprivileged people and offers vocational training. Kathy’s Vocational Education Training Centre trains young and vulnerable people various skills in carpentry, joinery, design and renovations.
“It saddens me to see the future leaders of Namibia struggle, so I established a vocational school which is recognised by the Namibia Training Authority. That has been my proudest achievement to date,” she says.
Just like most other businesses this year, the Covid pandemic has hit her company hard.
“My clients started finding it difficult to pay for work that we did for them, since some lost their jobs or their salaries decreased. It almost got to the point where I wanted to give up. But what kept me going was my employees and seeing how far I have come being a business owner,’’ she says.
Namudjembo is inspired by a quote from American industrialist Henry Ford, who said: “When everything seems to be against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
One of her accomplishments is winning the best new entrepreneurship and SME (Small and medium-sized enterprises) award at the 2011 Namibian Expo held by the ministry of trade and industry.
In five years’ time, Namudjembo hopes to see her company represented in all regions of Namibia, creating jobs and teaching the youth a variety of skills.
“My greatest wish is to grow Namibia and empower its people, especially the youth. I make it my mission every day to give my customers a quality service and product, as well as to grow my students to reach their full potential and become better versions of themselves,” she says.
“Never allow someone to tell you that you can’t do something. Always believe in yourself and work hard for what you want. If you can dream it, you can definitely be it. So, go after your dreams!” she advises young people.