By: Hendrina Kanyolo
Twenty-two years ago, Sarafia-Eben Augustinus approached her then-boss for a loan to help her purchase a bicycle. She had realised that she was spending between N$4000 and N$5000 per annum on taxi fare around Windhoek.
Augustinus, now 57 years old, has been cycling to work ever since… and has no plans to stop. Clad in her riding outfit, “Me Fire” as she is nicknamed, peddles about 45 minutes every day of the week from Windhoek’s Greenwell Matongo informal settlement to her work place in Suiderhof.
“I didn't start cycling here in Windhoek. When I was young, my brother and I always rode bicycles to school in Okatana in the north,” Augustinus told NewsOnOne.
Augustinus started entering cycling competitions and went on to win medals and certificates which she proudly shows off. “I started cycling again at the beginning of the year 2000 and by the end of the year I participated in three competitions and won five medals,” Augustinus explained. She was even able to build her home from the proceeds from these competitions.
“A lot of people come to my door in the morning asking: ”Lend me N$10 to go to work”. I ride my bicycle and I think to myself; people are struggling, it is not easy. If you do not have taxi money, you have to borrow from someone. Will you now stay away from work or what will you do if you don’t have money?” she questioned.
The quinquagenarian added that cycling is good for one’s health. “I want to encourage young people, this lifestyle of cycling is good for your health and the main point is you will never wonder how you will go to work or buy bread because you save a lot when you ride a bicycle.”