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IUM: From a ÔÇÿMickey MouseÔÇÖ college to a torchbearer


by Jemima Beukes
Education

 

The International University of Management (IUM) has grown tremendously from its humble beginnings to prove critics who called it a ‘Mickey Mouse university’ wrong; says founding chairman, David Namwandi.
Namwandi who is now the Deputy Minister of Education, reminisces over the first days of establishing the university - a venture most considered as an unthinkable foolish act - highlighting that it was an uphill battle.
“I really thank God for the opportunity to dream about a university, which could help the country develop its human capital. It was not easy but they say the darkest hour comes before dawn. We started with one student and one lecturer (being me). We had no money to pay lecturers or other staff members’ salaries except for a mere N$500 invested in a small blackboard, chair and a table. Later, I hired television airtime to show some educational videos from the Association of Business Executives (ABE),” Namwandi smiles.
“I thank the Namibians who believed in us but I thank those who did not believe in us even more and pray that they live longer to see our continuos success. Their critisism made us powerful because there can be no hero without a battle. And victoriously, we have emerged.
“Many including relatives and friends laughed at us, as nobody imagined at the time that this dream would become a reality. My conviction is in the principle of ‘not to risk is a risk in itself’, which has kept me strong to date,” says Namwandi.
IUM was mocked by people and called the Mickey Mouse college says Namwandi; “We have since forgiven them. We kept on telling those who bought into our vision to pray around the clock for the doubting Thomases to live long to witness the success we celebrate here today.”