A young man from Oshiputu ShaKayone village in the Omusati Region, Soini Shafishuna Kaleb, claims to have built an aircraft without ever having touched a real plane.
Kaleb, 24, dropped out of school in Grade 8 and received no further training. He told Namibian Sun that it took him only a month to build the plane.
Kaleb has never come near a real aircraft and used videos from the internet to learn. “The rest came from my dreams while I was sleeping,” he says.
He says he never concentrated on his lessons at school.
“That is why I left school, to follow my dream.”
He says his ultimate goal in life is to one day own a company that manufactures aircraft in Namibia. He also wants to become an aircraft armament technician, maintaining weapons systems on military planes. According to him, all he needs is financial support to study the subject abroad, as such courses are not offered in Namibia.
He told Namibian Sun that the plane is not the first project he has worked on.
“Around the age of 11, I began to dream of being part of a team of technicians working on aircraft like those used in the military,” he said.
Around that time, he claims, he designed a shotgun that was later confiscated by the village headman. Not being one to be held back, he made another shotgun which had a double barrel and sold it for N$2 700 to an Angolan.
Kaleb claims that he has also created an “underground camera”, a submarine (which was stolen), a motorbike and a “special suit that makes work easier”, especially when it comes to manual labour.
Kaleb’s ‘plane’ is parked next to the main road as one enters Outapi from the direction of Oshikuku.
It is painted in Swapo Party colours and bears the name of the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, on its doors.
He claims that the plane accommodates seven passengers and one pilot.
Kaleb says he started and completed the project in November last year. The craft certainly attracts attention. Many people, especially visitors to Outapi, pull over to look at it.
He says it cost him N$95 000 to buy the necessary materials and equipment from local suppliers in Outapi.
Kaleb explains that the engine of the ‘aircraft’ came from a Toyota sedan while the fuselage and wings are made of iron.
The ‘aircraft’ cannot fly, though.
“It’s only the front part which goes up in the air while the back part remains on the ground as I do not have the right equipment to make it fly,” he said.
Kaleb says it will cost him about N$700 000 to make his aircraft fly.
Recently President Hage Geingob, upon a visit to Outapi, gave Kaleb N$10 000 which the young man says he is grateful for.
Kaleb thanks the people who believed in him when he was building his ‘aircraft’.
He encourages fellow young people to follow their dreams and never give up.
“Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you cannot make it. If you can dream of doing something it means you can achieve it,” he says.
Source: Namibian Sun