By JINA AMBA
DROPPING out of Grade Eight did not stop Wek Kewa from becoming a successful businessman.
Today he is involved in the Kanny Transport Service which operates a fleet of taxis in Port Moresby.
Wek, 46, is from Kumdi in Mul Baiyer, Western Highlands. He attended the Bukapena Community School (now Primary School) in Grade One to Grade Six. He continued on to Grade Seven and Grade Eight at the Kitip High School (now secondary school).
After he dropped out of Grade Eight, he left his village to go and stay with relatives in Kundiawa, Chimbu in 1993.
Wek worked in a small shop belonging to a man from Chimbu who was married to one of Wek’s relatives from Western Highlands.
He later returned home to Western Highlands in 1998 and worked for a store in Mt Hagen.
“I started at the kaibar, moved to retail, then to the wholesale. I was promoted to be a supervisor, and finally manager.”
In 2000, he was transferred to Mendi in Southern Highlands to manage a branch of the shop there. He worked there for a year then went back to Mt Hagen.
In 2005, he arrived in Port Moresby and worked as a salesman for a liquor distributor until 2009.
During his two-week annual leave, he requested one of his relative who owns a taxi service to let him drive while on his annual break.
On his first day driving passengers around Port Moresby, he realized that he was making more money than what he earned at his workplace.
“This motivated me to start my own taxi service in the city.”
He resigned from work and bought a taxi. He saved money and bought a second one a year later. He used the two taxis as a security and got one more.
In 2012, he told some of his relatives who owned taxis to form a group operating taxis. They agreed and called it the Kanny Transport Service.
“We started with 16 taxis in 2012 and today we have 200 taxis in Port Moresby.”
On Mother’s Day in 2016, they provide a two-hour free service to mothers. It has continued every year.
They have also been working with the National Capital District Commission in the campaign against violence.
In 2017, Wek was selected by the United Nations office in Port Moresby to attend a forum in Mexico, representing the PNG taxi companies.
In September this year, Kanny Transport was awarded the 2021 Excellent Taxi and Shuttle Service by Puma Energy.
Wek is proud of that recognition of their service.
He does not know who nominated Kanny Transport for the award but is grateful that the services they provide is being appreciated by their customers.
While busy as a businessman in Port Moresby, he has not forgotten his people at home.
He visits his village frequently and provides young people assistance and sports gear for rugby league.
He also contributes to church work and renovates churches in his village. He bought furniture and musical instruments for them.
In fact Mek, the Grade Eight dropout, just loves to help others. In the Bible, Acts 20:35 comes to mind: “Remembering the words the Lord Jesus said himself: It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
By JINA AMBA