A lot of African entrepreneurs are from the school of hard knocks. Even after obtaining a college degree, they just return home to begin again. Such is Eben Ngula.
It’s not a bed of roses after graduation. Getting employment is just another university admission process. Some get employed, others unemployable in that area, while others are just rebels.
But it isn’t the case that the rebels don’t usually fit in. They just know that they’re round pegs in square holes and that they’re meant to be somewhere else like Eben Ngula.
Eben Ngula is 29 and tall. He grew up in Ondangwa, a town located in the north of Namibia.
It’s a beautiful and a very rich part of the country. In the suburb villages, you find the precious and indigenous mahangu, a
a cereal grain belonging to the grass family which is harvested annually in May or June.
It was this golden plant that seduced Eben from Namibia Grape Company in the south of the country near the Orange River where he was holding the position of the production manager. He then called it a quit.
How Eben Ngula Started the OMahangu Milling Business
He knew that majority of villagers stocked the grain for domestic and commercial needs either to eat or sell to local millers to make flour.
“After harvest, they always have grain stored throughout the year. I realised availability would not be a problem for a milling business,” he says.
And about this time last year (June 2020), African Grain Millers was founded, an idea he cultivated while working with the Namibia Grape Company.
“I’d always wanted to venture into food production, specifically a product the majority of the population consumes. Initially, I thought about eggs but they perish quickly so I decided on mahangu flour,” he says.
Eben is well grounded in the business now and academically as well. He studied agriculture at the University of Namibia but he admits that his former company was the real school for him where he practically mastered the ins and outs of food production.
“I never knew exactly where to start. At Namibia Grape Company, I learnt about food safety, food protocols, everything about packaging, even export and logistics.”
Like every other entrepreneur, it hasn’t been an easy journey as well. Eben continues to add value and provide more employment opportunities for people in the community in such a pandemic period.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.