Iipumbu: The resilience of a security guard

His story can only be described as enthralling.

Naftal Iipumbu looked for a job when he could not further his studies due to lack of fees after completing Grade 7. Today he has all the answers about being a security guard, the hours spent alone, sitting, standing, reading and trying to remain sane.

But for seven years, he did more than just repeat the security guard norm during his shifts as a security guard for Ongula Security.

“I was tired. I had worked for Roads Contractor Company (RCC), state hospital, central hospital, Nampost, Namrock and Steel Africa for much of my life as a contract labourer and you never had the job security.

Being security had some sense of ‘security’. You knew you only got fired or contract not renewed when you mess up,” he says.

He was a single father of four, two of them at NUST and Unam respectively and with a family to feed, he found himself at the end of his rope.

His solution was simple. To start a security company of his own, with him as the only employee.

It worked! Jobs at Namibian Workers Union, Namibia Bottle Sorting, Otjomuise Private Clinic, New Era Investment and Distell Namibia for which he signed a five-year contract.

“I started Iipumbu Security Services in 2011 but I became operational in 2012.

It was my company and I was the only employee. It was very tough at first. My shifts where from 6pm to 6am. When I knocked off in the morning, I went home, took a shower, drank some coffee and then the day began.

I would have some meetings to try and secure another job. I used the afternoon to sleep and at 6pm, back to work,” he tells Us.

His entrepreneurship spirit blossomed, and in no time, he took in more staff for more jobs and today employs 16 people in the security guard business including administrators, and when it is necessary, he still steps in from time to time for a night shift.

Since expanding to a bigger staff compliment, Iipumbu Security Services has also offered services to Lady Pohamba Private Hospital, Independence on 77, the NBC flats and others.

In the midst of all that, he also developed a manufacturing company called Iipumbu Investments, which he has used to manufacture all his employees’ uniforms.

“The manufacturing company is established but I would like it to expand and grow bigger. I have N$3m saved up with Metropolitan, I have bought all the machinery I just need land.

With the plot, I will set up a complex with my security, clothing manufacturing and vocational training center all in one place,” he says.

Iipumbu is the nephew of former Agribank CEO and President Hage Geingob chief of protocol, Leonard Iipumbu, whom he looks to for inspiration.

He still walks to his meetings, and while he could use part of the N$3m to buy a vehicle, he says he is more interested in investing in his business. The vehicle comes after that.

He is also a philanthropist at heart who donantes monthly to Iipumbu Secondary School in Oshakati, Namibian Federation of the Visually Impaired (NFVI) as well as some students studying electrical work at the Windhoek Vocational Training Center.

“I want to give back to those that have an opportunity to learn. My highest grade was grade 7, but I believe education is important so this is my way of giving back. I was just in London three months ago with some British partners trying to acquire a mining license so that we can get into concrete work.”

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