A day in the life of… Apuis !Auchab: politician, part-time farmer, soccer player

A day in the life of…  Apuis !Auchab: politician, part-time farmer, soccer player

For 57-year-old Apuis !Auchab exercise means everything and discipline, coupled with a strict routine, is the order of the day for the UDF president and Member of Parliament.

Keeping fit ensures that he does not suffer from fatigue, as he commutes between Okahandja and Windhoek to work at his parliamentary office five days a week. However, prayers come first for him, as he prays every morning before doing anything else.

“I have a strict routine. I must stick to my routine. I must pray and exercise every morning. I must jog every morning. It helps keep fit,” said !Auchab, who invited New Era Weekend to spend a day with him at his Okahandja home in the Nossob area.

The politician wakes up at exactly 06h00 and does his exercise session, which includes jogging, a couple of push-ups and stretching. He then prepares for his journey to the Parliament Building in Windhoek.

“My children are all grown up now and do not live with me. I stay alone. One is at the University of Namibia, while the other works and has their own home,” he said before jokingly adding: “You know, for someone who has Herero blood in him it is not right to only have two kids.”

!Auchab does not take any meal before departing for Windhoek. He says: “The weight is already too much and one has to watch it so that it does not get out of control. You have to cut down on the eating.”

He enjoys listening to gospel songs and hymns, but from time to time throws in some old school numbers. His all-time favourites include Michael Bolton, Rod Stewart and Percy Sledge.

Windhoek is 65 km away but !Auchab comfortably manages to reach Windhoek on time for his meetings after leaving his house at 07h40 daily. On this day he arrives at 08h45, but keeps himself busy with the news and updating himself on other important issues on radio.

“I’m a fan of African movies. Many people only look at the negatives of these movies and say that they promote witchcraft, but when you watch carefully you will notice most of the storylines are of real issues in our societies,” he says. “They are educational and teach us of different choices we make in life and how we treat other people.”

“My favourite colour is white, maybe because those years when I played football I played for Orlando Pirates, whose team colours are black and white. At school we had a team called Black Magic also with the same colours, so that cemented my love for the colour white.”

When he arrives at parliament !Auchab goes straight to his office to get a briefing from his support staff and dives right into his work, which includes preparation for the parliamentary standing committees. He then squeezes in a light breakfast of bacon, eggs, bread and coffee at the parliament restaurant.

!Auchab then joins other opposition politicians and ruling party backbenchers at 11h00 for a session of the standing committee on constitutional and legal affairs. The committee is tasked with ensuring that justice is accessible to the majority of population and that electoral processes are free and fair for all. It also promotes the culture of human rights in Namibia and supports efforts of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

After the standing committee meeting !Auchab rushes back to his office to prepare for the parliamentary session and misses lunch. “Like I said, those things are not important. Lunch is not really an issue to me and I do not eat lunch every day. I do, however, take two cups of tea during the National Assembly break time.”

When he is not working !Auchab travels to Okombahe in the Omatjete area to attend to his farm. “The work we do has made us part-time farmers, but I spend the time there playing soccer with the younger guys, just to see whether I am still fit.”

When the National Assembly session is over, he attends church in Windhoek’s Lafrenz industrial area, which last up to 23h00 before driving another 70 km back home. When he gets home !Auchab head straights to bed.

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