Following career passion and succeeding

Do the work now, money will eventually come
Mueze Ivan is a 37-year-old man who left his job to come to Keetmanshoop living off charity and ploughs back to the youth at the Keetmanshoop Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre
Monique Adams
Born in Windhoek in 1984, Mueze Ivan was raised by his grandmother at Omaruru, a small town north of Karibib in the Erongo Region.
Ivan spent most of his childhood in the streets. He was part of a gang and would participate in fights with gang members from other locations.
When he moved to another school, S.I. !Gobs Senior Secondary School, Ivan developed dancing skills that were mainly Kwaito, Kizomba and then Kuduro.
After completing his high school in 2003 he joined a youth group, an unemployed of Omaruru that used dance, drama and songs to create social awareness in schools and the community.
“We got assistance from OmbetjaYehinga Organisation (OYO) the group became successful and I was selected as one of the groups best actors to do the OYO monologue play ‘The Virgin Bumpkin’,” said Ivan.
In October 2018, he moved to Keetmanshoop, running after-school programmes with learners and social awareness programmes with unemployed youth at the Keetmanshoop Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre.
Ivan has three years’ experience leading workshops for offenders in correctional facilities.
Currently Ivan volunteers at the Youth Centre in Keetmanshoop.
“I come from a paid job to something where I volunteer, which means that it is not all about the money but the passion to help and assist young people,” Ivan said.
Apart from teaching entrepreneurship, the centre also helps young creatives within the community to showcase their art through dancing, drawings or acting.
“I am part of the KATA dance group here at the youth centre. We support each other by talking about matters that affect us in our community like gang violence, rape, alcohol and drug abuse. We practise every morning and perform at shows, it’s like my second home and I enjoy it here,” says Vicky Mbengu, a dancer with the KATA group.
Programmes like this is very important for the community so young people can be equipped to become better citizens and do better within their community.
The youth centre aims to start these programmes throughout the //Karas Region. Their first trip for the year will be to Oranjemund.
“The young people here in the South suffer with mental health because there is not much they can do here. Everywhere you go you only find bottle stores and clubs; these are the only places the youth hang out and abuse substances,” says Ivan ‘Fly’ Mueze, volunteer and founder of //Karas Arts and Dance Academy.
After some time the youth groups and after-school programmes got some funding so Ivan is planning on implementing the programmes in Keetmanshoop, Aroab, Tses and Noordoewer for the next six months.
“We are part of the only Grass Roots Soccer Coaches Skills manual in the country and also I became the regional coordinator of Teach at the Right Level (TaRL),” Ivan said.
These school programmes teach numeracy and English to primary school learners from grade four to grade seven.
The programmes are running in three schools in Keetmanshoop, three schools in Karasburg, two schools in Koës and with Noordoewer and Ariamsvlei having one school each.
Ivan said that each programme focuses on what the learners know and teach what the learners do not know.
With the US Peace Corps currently funding the programmes, Ivan expresses gratitude as the young people attending the programmes will have something to eat.

“With this funding for the next six months we are planning on reopening the soup kitchen twice a day. It has taken years for us to get sponsorships and I am really happy because the kids deserve it,” Ivan said.

He believes whatever you are working on, you should stick to it and not allow outside noise to influence your decisions.

Perseverance and consistency brought Ivan to where he is now and in his own words, “Money is not everything. Follow your dreams and passions.”


Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-06-07

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