The old adage, ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime is more common than we care to acknowledge. In a way, our system is designed to teach us to fish, in a manner of speaking. Getting an education, better opportunities of getting employed, et cetera, is all about acquiring the necessary skills required for us to be accomplished ‘fishermen’. But that is not exactly how it pans out for everyone. For some, the reality is that they end up in circumstances where they are forced to continue receiving or begging for ‘fish’. Very few such people get the once in a lifetime opportunity that would turn their lives around and transform them into respectable and competent members of society.
Take Stone for example, who has had quite a different path to success. Born Emanuel Kanime Juju, better known as Stone. The man behind Stone Translations and Interpretations, a thriving consultancy, who has worked with a range of big companies and organizations locally, including government ministries like the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Ministry of International Relations, and has worked on radio and television adverts. And that’s just a handful of the partnerships he has worked with. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
His life wasn’t always quite as thriving. A rough childhood, attributed to many circumstances which led to him being expelled from primary school, causing him to not complete his formal education. Equipped with only grade 4 formal education, there were not many prospects for him in the dusty streets of Katutura, Windhoek.
“I had a rough life spent mostly on the street. But my big break came when I grabbed an opportunity to be a relief teacher at an English program in 2007, where I eventually became a permanent teacher until 2010. Working at the English school changed my life because it kept me busy and helped me to be more responsible.” From there, he would move on to another English program for a year. Soon after Stone became a Sworn Interpreter for the lower court, and in 2013 became Sworn Translator for the High Court.
It was then that Stone decided to give it a go and opened up his translations and interpretations business. “I owe my business to my multilingual skills, I speak more than 5 languages including some Spanish and a little bit of French. And all I have achieved up to this point in my life is due to discipline, hard work and persistence. For a man with only a grade 4 formal education, I knew I had to work harder. I have since gotten my grade 12 through Namcol, am a certified sworn translator, a realtor, and as far as personal development is concerned, I’m proud of myself.”
Stone, a man of many talents, also dabbed in music for a while, going under the stage name Stone G, releasing his first single in 2000. As a rapper, he has worked with the likes of Swart Baster, S-Man, Chantell, to mention a few. Due to the demands of his growing business, he gave up the mic to concentrate more on his business. The father of 4 tries to instill values that would prepare his children for the world knowing that it is a jungle out there. He strongly believes in empowering his children and giving them room to learn, grow and express themselves. Currently, Stone Translations and Interpretations boasts a staff of 5. He admits that COVID-19 has affected his environment, but not his mindset. Even though the business may have slowed down due to the pandemic, Stone refuses to allow himself to make that an excuse to not work harder.
“You know, living is learning. And everything is a learning process. It’s important to know that the choices you make today are the results you live with tomorrow, so you have got to make conscious choices,” He advises.
Sometimes we need to acknowledge not only our weaknesses but also our strengths and learn how to use them to change our situations. For some, life-changing opportunities come only once in a lifetime. Are you going to take it, or would you take the easy way and continue to expect to only be given fish?
Stone Translations and Interpretations translates from and to the following languages: English, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Khoekhoegowab. For legal documents, transcriptions, proofreading and adverts, Stone can be reached at +264 814062325, or firstname.lastname@example.org