Oshakati soldier, Alex Kapofi, was saved from the jaws of death by his neighbour a fortnight ago after trying to kill himself over alcohol debts beyond N$15 000.
The 37-year-old who admitted to V-Metro for having an alcohol problem, has brought his long-time friend and colleague, Japheth Shikalepo’s shebeen business to its knees while nursing his love for the bottle.
When Shikalepo was transferred to work in Grootfontein last year, he left his shebeen in the care of his then trusted friend, Kapofi.
“I have always trusted him with my little business and family. When I went to Grootfontein, I left him and my wife in charge; a move I now regret,” said Shikalepo.
Instead of being Shikalepo’s wife’s right-hand man, Kapofi assumed the position of a manager and took control of the business operations.
“In the beginning, my wife informed me of his heavy drinking but I gave him the benefit of the doubt, because the books looked good,” said Shikalepo, adding, he did not have the courage to confront his friend over his drinking, thus recommended that his wife regains control of the business.
“He assured me everything was alright. He paid his debts no matter how much he had drank at the end of every month. When my wife got a job in Oshikuku, Kapofi remained with the bartender and that’s when things went from bad to worse in a period of three months”.
With the help of the bartender, Kapofi can only estimate how much he owes his friend as a little over N$15 000.
“We discussed the matter about two and a half weeks ago; that’s when he went home and tried to hang himself. I was only informed about it when he was already at the hospital. He nearly died,” Shikalepo said.
Kapofi had hanged himself in the shower with a wire, before a neighbour rescued him. Speaking with difficulty as a result of damage to his windpipe, Kapofi admitted to letting his friend down.
“He placed so much respect and trust in me. I let him down, that’s why I became very depressed. I don’t know what came over me or what to tell my two kids. I have decided to settle my debts and will start paying him back right away,” said Kapofi from his Oshakati State Hospital bed where he had spent four nights.