School dropout Jonathan tasting success

People

By ELIAS LARI
WHEN he dropped out of school at Grade Five in1985, Jonathan Naldi Nikints wanted to learn trade skills at a vocational education training centre.But for various reason, it took him longer than he wanted – almost three decades in fact.In 2016, he finally managed toget a certificate related to animal husbandry. He now rears pigs,ducks and owns a fish pond.Jonathan, from the Walgepka tribe in Dei, Western Highlands,left school in 1985 while inGrade Five at the Penda Primary School. He stayed home.In 2003, he married Len Teni from the same tribe. They have four children. She died in 2016.In 2014, the Catholic Church run Maria Kwin Tvet Centre in Banz, Jiwaka, allowed Jonathan  to pursue studies to become a veterinarian. He received his certificate in 2016, just before his wife died.In 2018, he built a fish pond and started a duck farm. When he saw his efforts paying off, he decided to rear pigs too.Farmers in Dei with sick animals come to Jonathan for help. He treated all sick animals brought to him. He is also willing  to help in the fight against the African Swine Flu in parts of Western Highlands and Jiwaka if asked to.He charges a fee of K40 for every sick animal he treats. The income complemented what he earns from his farm. Most of the money he earns is invested in his four children’s education. Daughter Sila is in Grade 12, son Koldop is in Grade Five, son Judah is in Grade Two and daughter Melrose is yet to attend school. He never regrets attending the Tvet centre although he had to wait for 31 years to get it. “I had to do something for my children after realising that life is very challenging. The Catholic Church was kind to help me. Now I can see some light.” He runs an Animal Vet Centre in Dei serving people of Western Highlands and Jiwaka mostly. He has clients, mostly livestock farmers, from the two provinces who he regularly visits. “Today I realise that I have potential in life. We all have the chance to do things but it depends on each of us.” His advice to people roaming around waiting for handouts is to learn to survive through hard work, and eat from the sweat of their foreheads. “Those who do not know their potential are missing out on what God had gifted them with. They will regret it later.” Jonathan is happy that he decidedto do something for himself and his four children rather than sitting at home doing nothing. “I thank God for giving me the strength and knowledge, and helping me because without him I cannot achieve anything.” That day he dropped out of Grade Five seems so long ago he almost cannot remember it.

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