99FM – Your Inspiration Station

The Power of Forgiveness in Building a Successful Business

“John Sam, who is now fully rehabilitated, has always topped the list of the most dedicated employees at Jay-Jay’s Body Repairs, and I am so proud of him.”


A Namibian man with a dream, Moses “Jay-Jay” Leonard, stands testament to the value of dedication in the realisation of your dreams. Previously Jay-Jay worked at the Ministry of Prisons and Correctional services. His main tasks included supervising inmates who worked in the Prisons and Correctional services, panel beating division. It was in 2000 that he decided to resign from his job as prison warden to start his own business, Jay-Jays Body Repairs. At his own cost, he completed studies in South Africa in the field of panel beating. After his studies he returned to Namibia to open his first workshop in Katutura. To date he has a growing and successful panel beating and body repair workshop in the Northern Industrial area and many business awards to his name, such as that of Best Service Provider in the annual Sam Nujoma Innovative Entrepreneurship Awards.

What’s more, standing testament to the power of forgiveness, Jay-Jay employs ex convicts at his workshop. “John Sam, who is now fully rehabilitated, has always topped the list of the most dedicated employees at Jay-Jay’s Body Repairs, and I am so proud of him. We have been together now for seven years and we worked together while he was serving his time” says Jay-Jay.

99FM’s MYD Smart sat down with the man behind this successful business, Jay-Jay Moses himself, to find about the business power of staying true to yourself, your dreams and always remembering to incorporate forgiveness in all you do.

99FM’s MYD Smart asked:

What has been the proudest moment in the history of Jay-Jays Body Repairs?

“The proudest moment was in 2010 when I official opened the doors of my state of the art workshop. I started my first workshop in 2003 as a one man business, it was in 2010 after the business had grown that I purchased an erven in the Northern Industrial area where a modern workshop was constructed. Cutting-edge automotive repair and spray painting equipment and machinery was installed, which meant we could serve an increased number of clients in a more cost effective manner. This meant that the sky is the limit for Jay-Jay’s Body Repairs.”

What has been the single most important piece of advice you received as an entrepreneur?

“To always be disciplined in whatever you are doing, focus on your vision and respect your employees as without them you are nothing in business.”

Jay-Jay has also become known in business circles as the man who went from being a prison warden to being the employer of ex-convicts. Through this act of kindness he has given people like Tone, a hope and future as well as a way in which to earn an honest living. Show casing the true power of forgiveness as a tool for healing and growth.

How important is forgiveness in a business especially when dealing with your staff?

“In business one has to know your own limits especially when dealing with employees. Forgiveness is sometimes necessary, but it is also necessary to not allow yourself to be misused by your employees, because this might lead to an unruly workforce and this can have serious consequences.”

What would your business to be known for in years to come?

“To be among the best panel beaters in the country, if not the best.”

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs in Namibia on following your dreams?

“The only advice I can give them is to stay focus and refrain from mixing business with pleasure and politics. If your business becomes linked to this two, it will never grow because once you fall out of favour than you can also kiss your business good bye.”

“Also, upcoming entrepreneurs must learn to be patient because a successful  business man or woman does not reap the fruits of his or her business in the first five years. Patience counts in business. I always remember it like this; the lucky ones finish school in a year and get rich within the same year but that’s not business that’s corruption tenderpreneurship. A business without a history is no business.”

Get in touch with Jay-Jay’s Body Repairs on 061-249088 or by sending an email to jayjays@iway.na


 John Sam hard at work at Jay-Jay’s Body Repairs