A visual arts student at the John Muafangejo Arts Centre (JMAC) in Katutura says a member of the board and lecturer, Ndasuunye Shikongeni aka Hishishi Papa or Papa Shikongeni, physically assaulted him.
The student, Actofel Ilovu (26), who is in his final stage for a mentorship course at JMAC, said he got the beating when he and others tried to voice their concerns at the centre.
“JMAC failed to fulfil their end of the bargain. They were initially supposed to provide us with materials for the duration of the course, which started in March 2013 to March 2014,” narrates Ilovu.
He adds, “At inquiry, the management did not give us a direct answer. They said they would sort it out but never did. Some of us had to resort to using personal materials for our work.”
Former Big Brother Africa housemate, Meryl Mwampamba who is the secretary at JMAC, is rude to the students whenever asked about the art materials, Ilovu points out.
“Meryl expects us to beg her every time we ask her for our materials. Not so long ago, the centre appointed Tate Shikongeni as the head of our course and most of us complained about it. We did not want him to supervise our course and felt we should have been consulted first,” he adds.
When the management asked the students who they preferred, they all requested for Kim Kestun or Fillipus Sheehama.
“When Kim Kestun was appointed, Tate Shikongeni became upset with us, more so with me. And when I asked about our art materials, he told me to go and ask those we had appointed, before asking me to follow him to his office so he can show me the procedures of how the materials would be allocated,” voices Ilovu.
Once in the office, the student and the lecturer engaged in a heated argument. “He put his bag down and punched me on the chest. I asked him why he had done that and said he does not like to pretend with people and does not want to talk to me ever again.”
Papa Shikongeni denies hitting Ilovu: “That boy is making up false accusations, because he is not in his right mind and can be quite aggressive. Everybody knows how rude he can get with his lecturers. He thinks he is clever and has no respect for elders. I did not hit him at all; I just pushed him out of my office for disrespecting me.”
Ilovu has opened an assault case against the lecturer; Cr 358/04/14.