Articles on this Page
- 09/19/19--15:00: _One Africa TV expan...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Timo Kevin drops de...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _PDK heats it up
- 09/19/19--15:00: _O&L invests in safe...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Orphan fraud case r...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Liquidators hunt N$1bn
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Berry’s hard work p...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Bold and determined
- 09/19/19--15:00: _25 years for axe mu...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Psemas tender at ve...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Passionate and dedi...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _We need a lasting s...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Never a dull moment
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Bold and resilient
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Fearlessly chasing ...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Snuffed out
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Sex, verbal abuse r...
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Specialising in skin
- 09/19/19--15:00: _Recalibrate your al...
- 09/20/19--00:19: _ A Swapo pot postsc...
- 09/19/19--15:00: One Africa TV expands its broadcast platforms
- 09/19/19--15:00: Timo Kevin drops debut album
- 09/19/19--15:00: PDK heats it up
- 09/19/19--15:00: O&L invests in safer roads
- 09/19/19--15:00: Orphan fraud case ready for trial
- 09/19/19--15:00: Liquidators hunt N$1bn
- 09/19/19--15:00: Berry’s hard work pays off
- 09/19/19--15:00: Bold and determined
- 09/19/19--15:00: 25 years for axe murderer
- 09/19/19--15:00: Psemas tender at vetting stage
- 09/19/19--15:00: Passionate and dedicated
- 09/19/19--15:00: We need a lasting solution
- 09/19/19--15:00: Never a dull moment
- 09/19/19--15:00: Bold and resilient
- 09/19/19--15:00: Fearlessly chasing your dreams
- 09/19/19--15:00: Snuffed out
- 09/19/19--15:00: Sex, verbal abuse rife in workplaces
- 09/19/19--15:00: Specialising in skin
- 09/19/19--15:00: Recalibrate your algorithm… and own it!
- 09/20/19--00:19: A Swapo pot postscript
Viewers can now also enjoy OATV content on TV2Africa, an Over the Top (OTT) platform which is built for content providers, broadcasters and communities who want to broadcast content on an internet platform. “This new development is one of the many ways in which OATV is enhancing its offerings in the ever-evolving new media world,” said CEO, Stefan Hugo, adding that as a content creator and curator, OATV continuously strives to make the stories they convey more accessible to audiences and, at the same time, increase multi-platform audience reach for their clients and other stakeholders.The partnership means that viewers have even more platform options to watch their favourite OATV shows on. The station's content manager Taleni Shimhopileni added, saying: “This is also a great opportunity to make available our locally relevant and entertaining content to the many Namibians who love OATV. The TV2Africa linear live stream and video-on-demand access (for selected OATV local shows) complements the success our digital content had on our social media platforms over the last two years.” Viewers can live stream OATV on TV2Africa.com or download the TV2Africa app (iStore and Google Play Store) to enjoy popular shows including locally produced favourites like: Today on One, The Tribe, It's a Wrap or Master Your Destiny Africa. For a full schedule visit, www.oneafrica.tv. Namibia's first commercial free-to-air television station, OATV was founded in 2003 with coverage limited to Windhoek and Rehoboth. OATV has since extended broadcast coverage and is available on MultiChoice platforms GoTV channel 90 and DStv on channel 284. Since the roll-out of the Namibian Digital Terrestrial Network under the NBC, OATV broadcasts on its channel 301. The channel's live stream is also available to DStv subscribers on MultiChoice's DStv Now app. Selected content is published daily on OATV's Facebook, YouTube and Twitter channels. One Africa TV is committed to making life a little better - for every Namibian across all spheres of life. Embracing the new paradigm that is media, OATV curates and produces content that can live beyond the boundaries of traditional media, to merge digital and traditional television broadcasting.
The young artist's quality in his music is very impressive and his first album Art of a Loner can contend with any established body of work. tjil prides itself in shining a spotlight on emerging artists, so we took some time off to converse with Timo Kevin about his new album.
In our conversation, Timo Kevin describes Art of a Loner as a reflection of who he was, and what he is now. He added that it shows confidence, being able to stand alone on his own and being able to look past all that has happened. It took him five months to finish the whole project; all songs were arranged and produced by himself. “I worked with two upcoming vocalists Waters and Ray Tiller on this album.
“There are nine songs on the album. Two songs with vocals on it, one interlude and the rest are instrumentals. I didn't want to put voices on them because I believe the melodies will speak on behalf of the voices,” said Kevin.
On the rollout plan of the album, Kevin shared that unfortunately there will be no album launch but the album is available on different online music stores. “We will only have CDs on order for collectors. We also have the album out for free on SoundCloud and YouTube and I can assure you sales are not the objective, I just want people to embrace and accept my sound,” he said.
He describes his sound as Namibian and very much his own, stating that it is deep, soulful, groovy and can control one's soul. “It is different from what is on offer in our country at the moment. I must admit my sound has improved on this project. One can never stop learning and that is why I always learn from other DJs and producers and mostly from YouTube tutorials,” he said.
The trailblazing trio teamed up with Blvc Boxx Entertainment artists Top Cheri, King Elegant and Athawise for this game-changing music video which takes visuals to a whole new level.
Shot in Windhoek by Imagination Studio, the video had over 11 000 views on YouTube in five hours. “We thought we were going to get 2 000 views in the first day of its release but people surprised us,” said Patrick from PDK. The video is about a young boy being chased by a mob, he enters a building where things could still go wrong but he runs into a group of people having fun through music.
The song itself is very catchy thus the video was the perfect accompaniment. Patrick emphasised that Saka is a song where people go crazy when you play it, so they needed to depict the way the song makes people feel.
“The reception to the track and video has been cool, especially because not everyone in the music video is an actor, so it was fun and we got away with a lot of stuff,” added Patrick.
Bringing the video to life included the likes of ZuluBoy AmadazFloor who was tasked with the duty of styling; makeup was done by Lindy Douw while Dion from PDK and Mepani Mbaidjikua from Imagination Studio directed the music video. “It was Namibian brands coming together.
Before shooting this music video some people suggested for us to shoot it in South Africa but we were like, that may have worked for other artists but we want to keep it strictly Namibian,” shared Patrick.
Speaking to tjil ZuluBoy AmadazFloor said working with PDK was a beautiful experience because they allowed him to be himself in as far as creativity goes. He added that the way they shot the video already indicated that it was going to be a game-changing video. “PDK just told me that they wanted the looks and they let me do my magic. I got the suits from Smart Fashion Boutique.
“The ladies in the music video were dressed by the Sequel Vintage store,” said ZuluBoy AmadazFloor.
Another element that stands out about the video is the choreography, which was done by Nje Squad, PDK, Ashley Mbanga, Idda Daniel, Grace Araes, Marscha Kaffer and Kandiwapa Aron. “The child in the video, who is basically the star of the music video, is from Nje Squad a dance group from Tsumeb. They helped a lot with choreography which resulted in those killer dance moves you see,” said Patrick.
Trevor Somseb, the manager of Nje Squad, told tjil that being part of this music video is a huge honour for Nje Squad. Somseb shared that they learned so much from PDK and have been boosted to continue chasing their dreams. The little boy in the video is Somseb's little brother; his name is Valentino Somseb. “This video was a platform for so many creatives to execute their ideas, we were honoured to come on board and help with choreography.
“Working with them was amazing because they are kind, honest and they really push and believe in what they do,” Somseb applauded PDK.
Like other stakeholders involved in the music video, Didi Pedro, cinematographer, motion graphic designer and founder of Imagination Studio, praised PDK for their professionalism. “They came up with the concept and we just had to execute it. They were very helpful thoughout the making of this video,” said Pedro.
Chikiezo Uusizi, an entrepreneur who appreciates Namibian art and is a huge fan of PDK, paid for the actual music video excluding logistic costs.
Do not sleep on this music video, it is first-class.
Jerry’s Driving School and Supreme Driving School each received a brand new fully-equipped vehicle from O&L.
Patricia Hoeksema, O&L’s group manager for corporate relations did the handover.
“In bringing the O&L purpose, ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’ to life, critical areas of focus in our corporate social investment programme have been education, health and safety, and caring for the general well-being of our people.
“The O&L Group has taken a lead in promoting road safety over many years, being a founder member of the Private Sector Road Safety Forum (PSRSF), and through Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), a subsidiary of the O&L Group, actively combatting drinking and driving through various initiatives,” Hoeksema said.
With the continuous high incidents of road crashes, O&L believes more needs to be done to ensure safer roads.
“We believe focusing on driver training and awareness is a good start. This is why we have partnered with two driving schools, which share our commitment in creating safer roads.
“In return for using a vehicle sponsored by O&L to conduct their business of driver training, they will also provide free driver training to a group of beneficiaries who cannot afford such training.
“The beneficiaries are identified by O&L in collaboration with some of our social partners like Men on the Side of the Road (MSR),” Hoeksema added.
The owner of Jerry’s Driving School, Jerry Haihambo, said the aid from the O&L Group will contribute significantly to the output of the school.
“I have never heard of a corporate that reached out to assist a driving school. This is something completely new to me, and very inspiring. This support will make a big difference, and will go a long way on the journey of Jerry’s Driving School (sic),” Haihambo said.
The owner of Supreme Driving School, Isabell Louw, said the value added to her school is tremendous. “This support by the O&L Group is not only to Supreme Driving School itself, but in the broader spectrum will benefit so many people. I am grateful that the O&L Group goes to such lengths to make a difference on the roads of Namibia.”
According to Hoeksema, this initiative is as a trial. “But we are confident it is the start of a long-term mutually beneficial relationship, whereby we can together help put many more safe drivers on our roads. All too often we hear that our roads are unsafe, but what is not spoken about enough is the responsibility of vehicle drivers, and it is our hope that a greater awareness will be created amongst drivers, so that they realise the immense responsibility that comes with getting behind the wheel of a car.”
Mervin Kozonguizi (43) made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a pre-trial case management conference yesterday.
His fraud case was allocated to acting Judge Kobus Miller and the trial will start on 14 October.
Windhoek-based defence lawyer Titus Mbaeva is representing Kozonguizi, while State advocate Ezekiel Iipinge is the prosecutor.
Kozonguizi is free on N$100 000 bail, which was extended until his next court appearance.
Kozonguizi stands accused of defrauding the Master of the High Court between 2016 and January 2017 by pretending he was entitled to receive funds from the estate of the late Gustav Tjiuiju.
It is alleged he received nearly N$7.1 million from the estate, while he was not entitled to the money. It is further alleged he also defrauded the Master of the High Court on 5 December 2015 by pretending he was entitled to N$2 million from the estate of the late Yolandi Dorothy Beukes.
The accused operates under the name Kozonguizi and Associates and administered estates registered at the Master of the High Court on behalf of the beneficiaries.
He was arrested on 15 January 2018 by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
These amounts have emerged in the latest court papers filed in the saga. However, no further explanation was given on how the liquidators came up with the N$1 billion figure. Tania Pearson, former legal advisor of the SME Bank who was retained to assist in the investigation into the missing millions, on behalf of liquidators David Bruni and Ian McLaren, filed a counter-application to Kamushinda's latest attempt to frustrate the liquidation process.
Pearson maintains that the new application brought by Kamushinda is driven by an “ulterior motive”, which is to pressure President Hage Geingob to intervene, through the Namibian government, to bring about a political resolution of the SME Bank liquidation.
Moreover, she said, the motive is to “cover up the massive fraud and theft” perpetrated at the SME Bank, which is being exposed in the liquidation process. Geingob is cited as first respondent in Kamushinda's latest application.
'Subterfuge and fraud'
Exposing the “subterfuge and fraud” committed at the bank, Pearson states that Kamushinda and fellow Zimbabweans Ozias Bvute and Tawanda Mumvuma were the only three directors who continuously served on the board of directors of the SME Bank since its inception.
Kamushinda had served as the acting chairperson of the board from 30 April 2015 to 1 September 2016.
During that time, between December 2013 and January 2017, at least N$247.6 million was electronically transferred directly from the SME Bank to the “recipients of the stolen funds”. The liquidators maintain that the theft was perpetrated “mainly” by Kamushinda, Mumvuma (former CEO), Joseph Banda (finance manager), and the three assistant accountants in the finance department, Chiedza Goromonzi, Simbarashe Magombedze and Valentine Garikayi.
The thieves' modus operandi, it is stated in court papers, was to issue false payment instructions to the treasury department of the SME Bank for payment. Between December 2013 and about January 2015 most of these fraudulent payments were reflected in the SME Bank's accounts. To hide their tracks, the culprits in the finance department allegedly used different account numbers interchangeably with different names. The preferred method to disguise such payments was to prepare batch payment instructions and include the false payments in these, the liquidators charge. During October 2014 and early 2015, external auditors BDO Namibia questioned a number of transactions and wanted to do a physical inspection and verification of certain assets.
When the perpetrators realised that expenses of about N$80 million, ostensibly for computer systems, could not be justified, they changed tack and identified Mamepe Capital, owned by politically connected South African Mauwane Kotane's company, as a front to cover up the “grand fraud”. From then on, the “computer software and hardware” items were entered as “investment – Mamepe Capital”, and transactions previously reflected in the computer expense account were changed accordingly. On 24 February 2015 three amounts of N$20 million and N$11.4 million were “disguised” as “valid investments”.
Details of misappropriation
The court papers state that Goromonzi and Magombedze in August and September 2016 prepared a list of all stolen fund transfers made since December 2013, which they backdated and reflected as “Investment – Mamepe Capital”. They then created false acknowledgements by Mamepe Capital, which were copied or printed on a letterhead of Mamepe Capital.
On 5 October 2016 the governor of the Bank of Namibia (BoN), Iipumbu Shiimi, wrote to the SME Bank to say that the DBO auditors would be re-evaluating the bank's audited financial statements for the financial year ending in February 2016. Pearson points out that the SME Bank until then had never complied with its obligation under the Banking Institutions Act to provide the BoN with audited financial statements.
Pearson states that as pressure from the BoN and BDO auditors mounted, Mumvuma, Kotane and Andile Ramavhunga (the now disgraced CEO of the looted VBS Mutual Bank) then devised a new “scheme” through which the N$247.6 million was siphoned off to 27 companies. These companies, Pearson says, are all connected to each other through addresses or shareholders and/or members or proprietors, with all having a “historical connection with one another”.
She said at 20% interest per year, the full outstanding balance by the end of October 2018 amounted to N$415 million. She says the N$257.6 million was limited to amounts transferred from the SME Bank's accounts in Namibia held by entities in South Africa, with the exception of one, as well as petty cash withdrawals and other fictitious payments made in Namibia.
Establishing good relationships with clients and becoming a connector of positive change are among Johan Berry’s future plans.
His vision is to ensure that Bank Windhoek remains the banking institution of choice in Namibia, especially in the ever-evolving digital world.
In order to understand the drive behind this formidable man, we need to first go back.
Born in Johannesburg and raised in Keetmanshoop, this eager and ambitious role model worked hard to be in his current position as Lifestyle branch manager at Bank Windhoek.
After completing high school in 1991, Berry had to make an abrupt entrance into the working world. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond his control, Berry could not embark on the luxury of getting a tertiary education.
“I decided not to waste time and before long I was working my way through the ranks of the various places where I was employed.
February 2008 was my breakthrough, when my journey with Bank Windhoek started.
During his time at the bank, he successfully completed an in-house credit diploma and attended the Capricorn talent academy programme.
“I am also proud to say that I completed the Capricorn Group management development programme last year,” said Berry.
Leading a dynamic team of individuals to not only outperform competitors and manage the Lifestyle branch, he also ensures that clients are treated in a professional manner and that their needs are addressed on a daily basis.
He also has to keep a close eye on the finances of the branch and builds relationships with clients, while advising them to the best of his ability. Mutually beneficial relationships between the bank and its clients are of vital importance.
His biggest challenges has been delegating tasks, because he always preferred doing things his way. “Fortunately, I realised that many of my peers and subordinates can do the job just as good as I can, and even better,” he said.
As a more mature and wiser version of his youthful self, Berry wishes he could tell his younger self that hard work and dedication pays off.
“The amount of effort that you put in will determine the amount of satisfaction that you will be rewarded with. My younger self would gain so much by hearing those words,” said Berry.
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, he believes that being thorough is reflected in the work he delivers. “I always ensure that my work contains no errors and that it is of immaculate standard,” said Berry. When he is not working, he enjoys hunting, fixing things and generally doing outdoor activities with friends and family.
Laws and rules are things that Berry are very adamant about, as he believes they are there to be adhered to. “
Practice what you preach,” he said.
Berry also happens to be is a firm believer that a humble person is something special, as they remain grounded despite the glory and achievements.
He does not believe that opportunities should be waited for, but that people should go out and create their own.
“Good things don’t come to those who wait, but to those who continuously work at seeking innovative ways of solving everyday complexities,” Berry said.
Pic1- Bank Windhoek Lifestyle branch manager, Johan Berry.
Humility and empathy for others, no matter their status in society, is the cornerstone of how Johanna Kambala lives her life.
She was recently appointed as the marketing and stakeholder engagement specialist at the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN).
Kambala aims to ensure that the CPBN is seen as a reputable organisation that gains acceptance and trust from its stakeholders.
A lack of finances caused her to be one of the unfortunate ones, who could not afford to further their studies at tertiary level.
A cousin introduced her to the right people and before long she was working as a volunteer assistant at the post office in the public relations department. She had no job experience or even computer knowledge. For six months she received no salary, but this did not deter her from waking up every day to go to work, as her dreams and ambitions were bigger than money.
It is because of her dedication that her potential was recognised and she was recommended for full-time employment.
The recommendation was not well-received, but her boss fought hard to make sure she got the job.
“Volunteerism has a great impact on one’s personal growth, as it opens doors and opportunities,” said Kambala.
She was privileged to undergo training with the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA), where she obtained a certificate in the basic principles of public relations, followed by a certificate in public relations practice.
“After being exposed to these two trainings, I was hungry for more and wanted to advance my career while I was still working,” she said. Kambala now boasts over 20 years of experience in public relations and marketing field, and is the holder of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, a diploma in public relations management and a certificate in public relations management.
She is currently busy with her honours in marketing. Next year this ambitious career woman wants to enrol for her master’s in marketing.
Kambala highlighted that the biggest mistake young people make when choosing a career is comparing themselves to others or making a choice based on someone else in that particular career.
“As individuals, we need to retrospect ourselves and identify our strengths and weaknesses,” she said.
Her advice is for people to do endless research and analyse their individual characters, before making the decision.
She said he outspoken character ignited her passion for communication.
Kambala describes her role in the organisation as vital, as it deals with image and reputation. “One of my main responsibilities is to make sure that the image of the CPBN is enhanced, by developing and implementing communication strategies for our various stakeholders,” she explained.
She said every new job is a challenge, but she also believes that challenges contribute greatly to growth.
“If we do not challenge our capabilities, we will never know the full range of our abilities,” Kambala said.
Being a single mother, a businesswoman and a student, all while having a regular job, is not easy, but her passion and hunger to succeed kept her going.
“If I could do all this, who or what is stopping others from doing the same?” Kambala added.
C1- Johanna Kambala is a strong determined career woman.
Oshakati High Court Judge Herman January last week sentenced Moses Mbandu Murangi (26), who had been convicted of murder and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily. The first charge related to Murangi assaulting a pregnant family member with a stick.
When his 78-year-old grandfather, Hamutenya Siyukifeni Eino, tried to stop the assault, the accused “turned on him by brutally attacking him with an axe, panga and knife,” January said.
The judge said Murangi's decision not to testify in his own defence, and an expression of remorse offered the court via his lawyer, sounded “more like lip service”.
Further, the judge said Murangi poses a danger to society and his family. On the assault charge he was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years. He was sentenced to 25 years on the murder charge.
The murder took place on 19 November 2016 at Mpungu in the district of Rundu. Murangi admitted in court that he had been drinking kashipembe at a local cuca shop before the assault. When he returned home, an argument ensued between him and Lahja Shuudifonya, who was pregnant at the time.
Murangi testified that his grandfather began hitting him with the “flat side of the panga, an open knife and an axe.”
He blocked the blows and eventually managed to disarm his grandfather. Because he felt threatened, he stabbed his grandfather once in the neck, he claimed.
“The incident happened fast and the accused cannot really tell what happened,” Judge January said.
Murangi denied guilt, saying he was acting in self-defence.
Murangi further claimed he only stabbed his grandfather once and did not wield the panga or axe.
January dismissed this, and said the post-mortem and witness evidence proved Murangi's actions were not in self-defence and that he hacked his grandfather with a traditional axe and chopped him with a panga.
The post-mortem report submitted during the trial showed Eino had sustained multiple wounds, including a “gaping wound on the back side of the neck, and another gaping wound in the left check in the vicinity of the left ear.”
January summed up evidence by the deceased's wife, who said she had six children with Eino and was living in severe poverty after the breadwinner of the family died.
She told the court that Murangi had “never apologised”.
Murangi did not testify in mitigation of sentencing, but his lawyer put on the record that he was a first offender and the father of two minor children, aged three and two years old respectively.
He had been unemployed at the time of the killing. The court was informed that because of the murder, he “endured torment, emotional and psychological trauma and endured sleepless nights.”
By the time of his sentencing last week, he had spent two years, eight months and 27 days in custody. Judge January stressed that the crimes were both “serious and prevalent and in a domestic setting.” Further, the crimes were committed against immediate family members.
Murangi was represented by legal aid lawyer Leon Kabajani.
This is according to the board's spokesperson, Johanna Kambala.
The issuance of a tender to a service provider will determine who will administer the Public Service Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) which has been with one company, Methealth Namibia Administrators, for close to 17 years.
The term of the current service provider was due to expire earlier this year but was extended to March 2020 by the Board.
Providing an update on the tender, Kambala said the Board would only advertise the tender bid once the SBD had been approved.
“The SBD is currently under pre-vetting by the administration of CPBN before it is submitted to the Board for vetting and subsequent approval. Hence, this bid will only be advertised once the Board has approved the SBD,” Kambala said.
She did not provide any indication as to how long the vetting process would take.
According to her, the ministry of finance only submitted the SBD on 23 August 2019.
Kambala said the Individual Procurement Plan (IPP) had to be submitted due to shortcomings to the CPBN.
“The Individual Procurement Plan of the ministry of finance (Psemas) was submitted to CPBN for approval on 8 May 2019, upon which the ministry was informed to resubmit the IPP due to shortcomings detected in the submission,” Kambala said.
“The ministry resubmitted the IPP on 23 August 2019 and the Board approved the IPP on 5 September 2019, which concludes the IPP approval process,” she added.
When approached for comment, ministry of finance spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu said the bid was above the ministry's threshold, indicating that the CPB would be left to make a decision.
“The tender is above the threshold of the public entity (ministry of finance). The documents have been sent to the CPBN to take the process forward from advertisement to award. In a nutshell, we have finalised everything and handed it over to CPBN,” said Shidhudhu.
The tender bid for the 200 000-member medical aid scheme has been administered by Methealth Namibia Administrators since 2004 following its merger with Namhealth Administrators in that same year.
The medical aid scheme falls under the budget of the finance ministry, while N$2.8 billion was allocated for Psemas for the 2019/20 fiscal year.
The International Monetary Fund in December 2018 noted that the fund had received approximately N$7 billion from the government since 2016.
Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) - a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group - prides itself on not only creating a constructive working environment, but investing in its employees and providing them with the best possible career opportunities.
Careers had the opportunity to speak to three NBL employees to gain some insight into their careers and the skills required to be successful.
Kleopas Martin (brewmaster)
Kleopas Martin is 35 years of age and is a brewmaster by profession. He is currently employed by NBL as a unit manager in the supply chain division.
Martin was born in Ondangwa and completed his high school at Ongha Senior Secondary School.
“Upon completion of my grade 12, I did a bridging course for engineering at the University of Namibia (Unam), with vast opportunities and offers from different organisations to further my studies.”
Martin never dreamed of becoming a brewer, but after consultations with Christian Weindl, the brewing manager at the time, with regards to the potential growth opportunities within the field of brewing, his focus shifted and he decided to “take the bull by its horns and pursue a career in brewing”.
“The main aim of the training I did in becoming a brewer was the complexity of the process, with all aspects of engineering, including mechanical, electrical, biotechnology, chemistry and microbiology, to mention but a few. The advantages also included learning German as a foreign language. In 2006, after the successful completion of my seven-month certificate in Germany, I resumed my employment with NBL as a brewer.”
After gaining intensive exposure during 2012 and 2013, he went back to Germany to further his studies and complete his brewmaster degree at Doemens Fachademie.
The brewer programme consists of three years of intensive theoretical training, practical training and German language training. Upon the successful completion of the programme, he was sent to Germany to become a certified brewer and maltster through the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“Success in this career requires a high level of self-discipline, high technical capability, high levels of learning capacity, being able to work under pressure and an innovative spirit.”
The challenges he experienced in his career were to learn and master German, while doing theoretical and practical assessments at the same time. “I overcame it through self-discipline and knowing my end goal. My future plans include taking over bigger responsibilities in top management and motivating and developing young Namibian brewers to follow in my footsteps.”
Birgit Kriess (brewing technologist)
Kriess was born and raised in Windhoek and attended school at the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS) from grades 1 to 12.
“My biggest hobby has always been horse-riding, but I also enjoy being out in nature, reading, dancing, shooting and playing billiards.”
She completed her malting and brewing degree at Ferdinand-von-Steinbeiss Berufschule in Ulm, Germany in 2008 and also completed her bachelor of engineering in brewing and beverage technology at Hochschule Weihenstephan/Triesdorf in Freising, Germany in 2017.
“After school I went to Germany to study to become a veterinary nurse. I quickly realised that this was not the right career for me. An acquaintance from Namibia Breweries told me that they were looking for brewing apprentices, so I decided to give it a try and eventually fell in love with the world of brewing.”
Her first three years to become a qualified brewer consisted of practical training at NBL, with regular theoretical training weeks that included exams.
“If you have managed to excel in all the requirements, you are then sent to Germany for nine months for additional theoretical training at a recognised institute, as well as practical training at a malting plant. If you pass your final written and oral exams, you are then furnished with a brewing and malting degree.”
Kriess believes that a good knowledge of mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are essential to becoming a qualified brewer. She added that one needs good problem-solving skills and should be able to excel in a stressful environment, and be a team player.
“Don’t be afraid of physical labour; a brewer is first and foremost a well-paid cleaner!”
Being the only woman in a male-dominated environment, Kriess has proven she has what it takes to distinguish herself in her field.
“Twelve-hour shifts are hard and it is really difficult to get used to working nights and weekends, while your friends are out partying. This is especially difficult during December, when we have our peak season and therefore there is a block on leave for production employees.”
Kriess plans to keep working to achieve the dreams and goals she has set for herself. “If you really want to excel in your career, you need to work harder and smarter. Do the extra work, even if it is not in your job description, and do it well.”
Frank Boye (brewmaster)
Boye was born in Otjiwarongo and grew up and was schooled in Swakopmund. After completing high school he went to Germany and worked there for a few years to figure out what he wanted to do. “My work in Germany brought me into contact with beer on a daily basis and I believe that this is where I first started to think about the possibility of becoming more than a consumer.”
It was during one of his holidays in Namibia, after he had applied for an apprentice position at a few German breweries, that he was introduced to NBL’s brewmaster back then. “It became quite clear that I would rather do my apprenticeship at NBL than in Germany. Three weeks later I started at NBL.”
His apprenticeship involved learning all the sections in the brewing, packaging, utilities as well as quality departments. Boye was exposed and guided through all the production steps to build his knowledge, so that he would have the necessary foundation to pass his exams in Germany.
Boye has gained so much insight and knowledge throughout his career. “You must be willing to work hard, be willing to work shifts and learn. Flexibility, being a team player, punctuality, honesty, dedication to your work and a willingness to learn are just some of skills that are required.”
Learning the basics of all the sections in the brewery was quite easy for Boye. Really understanding them and the theory behind it required a bit of time and work. “For those who do not speak German, learning the language will be a challenge, but you will receive all the help you need to succeed. One thing that has accompanied me throughout the years in my work is the dedication that you need to be able to grow in this job.”
Boye describes his time while completing his master brewer certificate in Germany as the most difficult part of his journey, as it meant he had to sit down and study on a daily basis after 12 years of working as a brewer. “Every day and every situation can be used as a learning process. From some you learn positives and from some you will learn negatives. Life throws you some curveballs every now and again, so I will look to use these opportunities, as they arise, to grow myself and continue to work in the beverage industry.”
Photo 1 & 2: Kleopas Martin is a brewmaster at NBL, who is passionate about his career.
Photo 3 & 4: Birgit Kriess is a brewing technologist and is making her mark in a male-dominated field.
Photo 5 & 6: Frank Boye is a brewmaster at NBL, who believes one is able to learn so much from your life experiences.
PHOTOS MICHELLINE NAWATISES
Suné Tietz is an account manager at TinCup Digital Marketing Agency and is originally from East London in South Africa.
Growing up, she had the privilege to see and live in several places in South Africa.
The biggest part of her life was, however, spent in Pretoria.
Emigrating might have scared a lot of people, but Tietz did not shy away, as Namibia holds a very special place in her heart.
At the end of 2018, she was privileged to marry a Namibian and moved to this wonderful country that she now gets to call home.
“Namibians are friendly and always make you feel at home,” said Tietz.
She added that coming from a big city made Namibia feels like a retreat that is far from that rushed feeling she experienced in South Africa.
Tietz wanted to pursue a career in teaching when she was younger.
She sees teaching as vastly similar to what she does now.
“If I were a teacher, I would have helped children to grow and reach their potential, but today I help people and businesses to grow and reach the vision they have set for their businesses,” Tietz said.
She obtained her bachelor’s degree in communication at North-West University in Potchefstroom and subsequently proceeded with her bachelor of commerce degree in tourism management studies.
Starting her own company at the age of 23 was a big challenge, but at the same time a big accomplishment in her life.
“Doing this pretty much straight out of university was probably the best learning curve I could have wished for, and it gave me direct insights into various industries and how marketing can affect those companies and organisations,” she said.
While running her own business, she met amazing, creative and inspiring entrepreneurs.
Because of the move to Namibia, she did not want to leave her clients to the wolves - so to speak - and referred them to these entrepreneurs with happy hearts.
Her current job is with an advertising agency that does all the classic advertising activities, but is predominantly focused on online and digital marketing.
They create campaigns and websites for companies and organisations.
If companies want to communicate in any way with their stakeholders online, they often use Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, etc.
“TinCup helps them create the strategy and executes every aspect of this strategy, so they reach as many stakeholders as possible with their campaign,” Tietz explained.
She describes being at the forefront of social media and digital marketing in Namibia as immensely fulfilling.
Clearly passionate about her job, she says she’s glad and proud to be part of the revolution from the start.
“Hopefully I will continue to be part of the growth of this sector,” she added.
Tietz says her work is great and varied, and there’s never a dull moment in sight.
“From chasing deadlines, to chasing clients or creating campaigns and events, it is a great deal of fun and very satisfying to say the least.”
According to Tietz, her ultimate motivation comes from the people she surrounds herself with.
“My husband, family and friends have always encouraged me to do what my heart tells me,” she said.
She is a strong believer that one has to make the best of every situation. When Tietz was little, her parents always told her that it is not how you begin, but rather how you end something that matters.
The best piece of advice is to always seek the positive in every situation.
“If you receive criticism, take the words to heart that can make you a better person, and leave the negative behind and forget about it.”
Suné Tietz is passionate about her job and dedicated to making a success of it.
Izelle de Greeff believes that women raise more than just children, they raise leaders.
In Izelle de Greeff’s line of work, one has to be resilient.
You have to have the ability to withstand, recover and bounce back, amid ever-changing and stressful conditions.
De Greeff is the head of Alexander Forbes’ financial services administration.
She believes that knowledge cannot be stolen.
She, therefore, did all she could to build herself up mentally.
“I believe that knowledge is the one thing that no one can steal from you. Therefore, throughout the years, I worked hard to add to my practical experience, and I have done quite a lot of skills’ development training,” De Greeff said.
She attained her a national diploma in marketing and business management at the Namibia Business Institute (NBI) in 2010 and recently obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration (honours) from the University of Namibia (Unam).
De Greeff is the epitome of ‘the future is female’. She makes sure she keeps learning and growing.
“I come from a background where it was a woman’s place to just be pretty and let men take centre stage. Today, we are leading, along with men, and we continue to soar to greater heights.
“I want to challenge my fellow women to believe they are worthy and capable of leading in this male-dominated jungle - if I can put it that way. Women raise more than just children, they raise leaders,” she said.
De Greeff said her mother taught her the greatest life lessons.
“She taught me to be truthful and humble, irrespective of the challenges we face in life.
“Mistakes are lessons learned. She has a saying that ‘the reason we have two ears and one mouth is that you need to listen to both sides of a story and think twice before you speak once’,” De Greeff said.
“You are the architect of your own life; we cannot change the past, but we can change the future by the decisions we take in life. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Her advice to others is: “Do not discount the little things in life, as they all add up to something great. It can be something greatly terrible or something greatly amazing. Regardless of what it is, it all starts with the little things.”
Five Izelle facts
· She is adaptable, caring, amicable, altruistic and unflappable.
· She married her high school sweetheart and planned her wedding in three weeks.
· She owns a Boerboel named Tinkerbell.
· She initially wanted to study forensic science and also considered interior designing.
· She did modelling from the age of six until she was 24 and absolutely loved it.
· She can be quite creative when planning events.
Whether it is by faith, fate or destiny, Titus Shivute is exactly where he was meant to be in life. This educational officer of the Blood Transfusion Services Namibia (NamBTS) in Windhoek is pursuing a career that truly makes him happy. His choice of career was largely determined by two major events in his life.
Shivute was born at the Onandjokwe Hospital at Oniipa and started his education at Heroes Private School. When he was a bit older he and his older brothers moved to Windhoek to live with his father and were later joined by his mother.
The year 2006 played a great part in his choices later in life. He lost his father to cancer and this tragedy greatly influenced his view of life.
“I just thought I never wanted other kids to go through what I did, and that is why I am so devoted to the work that NamBTS does,” he says.
Shivute wanted to become a part of an organisation that creates change and has the potential to really make a difference.
While growing up he attended Hochland High School in Windhoek. In grade 11 he was elected as a member of the school’s learners’ representative council (LRC).
“At the time I still hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I was given the portfolio of public relations and at that stage I didn’t really know what that meant. I dreamt of becoming a pilot, but soon realised where my passion was.”
He started to read more about public relations and what it entails and vividly remembers a specific moment that would play a huge role in his career.
“I was required to make an announcement at the assembly at school to announce all the portfolios and as I stepped up, took the microphone and I started speaking, I realised that this was something I was actually good at and liked doing.”
After matriculating he applied to the Polytechnic of Namibia, now the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), in Windhoek in 2011 and studied towards a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. Two years after graduation he enrolled for an honours degree and in October this year he will be the proud recipient of this degree. Shivute also holds a certificate in digital marketing from the Red and Yellow School of Business in South Africa.
As part of his undergraduate course requirements, Shivute had to complete a three-month internship, but that was easier said than done. Each day he would go to class and when he was finished for the day he started walking across Windhoek to hand in his CV in the hope of finding a company that would take him on as intern.
“I walked kilometres to no avail and then a NamBTS car drove past me. I decided to try my luck and hand in my CV there and was fortunate enough to get the call that they were in need of someone to assist them in the public relations department.”
Shivute has now been at NamBTS for over five years. His duties include educating the youth, clinic planning for the northern and coastal regions, social media and media liaison.
Shivute’s story is proof that things happen for a reason and that you don’t have to sit on the sidelines, because you have the power to be the change you so wish to see in life.
“As you read this you are in a position to make a change. Somewhere there is a patient and a family in a hospital praying for someone to donate blood. You can save someone’s life and that is such an amazing thing to be able to do.”
A total of 101 people have died in 335 car crashes around Namibia in the past month.
Experts agree that driver attitudes, and passengers' acceptance of risky driver behaviour, are at the heart of the problem.
They say the majority of crashes are preventable if road users take basic road-safety principles seriously.
“It's definitely a crisis,” Percy Openshaw of Crisis Emergency Services, a first responder who has attended to hundreds of crash sites, said this week of the high death toll on Namibian roads.
He believes it is likely that nearly all the fatal crashes in the last month could have been prevented.
By 13 August, the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund had noted a 5% decline in fatalities compared to the same period last year.
By 15 September, crash fatalities had shot up by 8% - from 323 to 424 deaths since 13 August. The number of accidents for the year to date was up from 2 168 to 2 503.
“There is no end in sight for the mayhem currently on our roads,” warns Aubrey Oosthuizen, the West Coast Safety Initiative's coordinator.
Deputy Commissioner Amalia Gawanas, the head of NamPol's Traffic Law Enforcement Division, says fatal crashes leave behind traumatised survivors, families and communities.
“We lose people who were supposed to work for the nation; they are dying. Our future leaders are dying. We are losing a lot of young people,” she warns.
The MVA statistics show that compared to last year's numbers, there has been a 113% increase in the number of children aged 10 to 14 who have died in road accidents this year.
Asked whether enough is being done to stem the bloodshed, Gawanas says: “Definitely not. Law enforcement is struggling; the road-safety fraternity is struggling.”
Gawanas says increased political will could play a major role in addressing the problem though.
Oosthuizen stresses that in his experience, the current outcry is bound to die down.
“Sadly, after the funerals, everything will just go back to silence and square one.” In his view, the rocketing number of crashes is not a new crisis. “It's just the reality.”
He says sustained road safety is based on the implementation of the 'Five Es': education, emergency services, enforcement, evaluation, and engineering.
“Should you have a part or complete failure in any one or more of these components you will sit with an adverse scenario like in the present.”
Oosthuizen urges Namibians, including those with the political sway needed to boost road safety, to start addressing the problem with the urgency and consistency it deserves.
“Why do we always treat the symptoms? Why don't we focus on addressing the actual root causes? Why do we always have an excuse on offer for our inactivity?”
He says despite the weekly bloodbath, the problem is largely ignored.
“When we do speak up about road safety, it's only when it hits close to home. Then it's too late.”
Oosthuizen says the question every day is: “Who is next?”
Gawanas says the issue of road safety is unquestionably linked to people.
“Whatever we say about root causes, it comes back to persons. It's driver behaviour and attitudes.”
Moreover, she says passengers must take responsibility and are part and parcel of the problem if they remain silent when drivers act irresponsibly or illegally.
Basic safety precautions, such as wearing seatbelts, keeping to speed limits and self-evaluation of driving competency, are the responsibility of drivers and passengers alike, she believes.
“It boils down to ownership and self-respect. People can't wait for traffic officers to tell them day and night.”
Openshaw agrees that the biggest problem is attitude. “It's not about driving fast, or drinking, but about attitude.”
Gawanas says new policies and guidelines on road safety are needed and political pressure would help speed up their implementation.
“If political people can come to the table, then we can do something.”
Such policies include a demerit system for penalising drivers, stricter alcohol limits, strengthened driving-school requirements and improved competency tests.
Gawanas says various agencies are all trying in different ways to address road safety but this fragmented approach is unhelpful.
“We need to start talking the same language.”
Additionally, the police and their road-safety partners cannot take sole responsibility for the problem, especially given current constraints.
“We have 2.3 million people. If 2.3 million people take law enforcement seriously, then we will have 2.3 million law enforcers.”
Openshaw and Oosthuizen are less hopeful.
Oosthuizen feels there is “neither a workable plan of action, nor the will from the parties to step to the forefront and lead us to bring about change.”
Moreover, if a plan were in place, its implementation and the willingness to sustain the effort would be likely hurdles.
Openshaw says the situation will not improve, primarily because “drivers think they are better than they are”.
Namibian attitudes, including dismissing and joking about those who report sexual or other forms of violence and harassment, ensure that most of these abuses are not reported and allow such behaviours to continue.
Unequal power dynamics, limited repercussions, fear of being blamed and shamed or punished are some of the obstacles preventing reporting of workplace abuse.
Moreover, a lack of clear reporting structures and support, workplace policies and definitions of harassment and violence, plus fear of not being believed, or being fired, mean most cases of harassment and verbal or physical violence are unreported.
A new study found moreover that many workers have adopted a “general acceptance of power inequalities and believe that things cannot be changed or challenged.”
These findings are contained in a landmark study conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the support of the labour ministry that was launched this week.
Titled 'Violence and Harassment Against Women and Men in the World of Work in Namibia', the study found that sexual harassment, while underreported and not always clearly understood, is a “reality for most women in Namibia”.
The study said the high rate of sexual harassment is “disturbing” and that the “quite shocking” attitudes towards verbal abuse at the hands of bosses and clients are a major concern.
A majority of respondents felt bosses have the right to insult, shout and be rude towards them because they pay them, and that reporting such incidents is not an option for fear of further harassment and abuse.
Only 3% of employees disagreed that a pay cheque gives bosses a right to verbally abuse them.
The results further found that 163 out of 300 respondents from the targeted industries, “had been shouted at for no good reason” by a boss or client, and 85 said they were frequently insulted by their boss, supervisor or client.
More than 110 workers said they “hated going to work because of the way they were treated.”
Close to 100 of workers said they felt they were treated differently because of racism and tribalism at the workplace.
Moreover, 62 workers said they had quit their jobs because of violence and or harassment at the workplace.
More than 20 told the study team they had been physically assaulted by a boss, colleague or client, including being kicked and beaten.
While the researchers noted that the study took place over a relatively short period, and obstacles such as fear of talking about a sensitive topic were considered, they nevertheless believe the information provides a “strong enough basis” for the conclusions reached.
The ILO stressed that workplace violence and harassment, whether sexual, verbal, physical or economic, is a human rights issue that affects worker productivity, quality of services, worker engagement and workplace relations.
Those most likely to be abused are women, junior employees and people with lower educational qualifications.
Moreover, certain professions, including farm work, domestic work and security work, are more vulnerable.
The respondents for the study were sourced from a pool of workers in the domestic, security and retail industries.
Researchers also included views from 18 institutions, including UN agencies, legal and human rights experts, the Namibian police and unions, who all agreed that workplace violence or harassment is largely unreported in Namibia.
He is also a senior adjunct lecturer of dermatology at the University of Namibia (Unam).
His duties include providing medical care to patients with skin-related diseases and problems.
He deals with outpatients. These are patients who are treated and go back home.
There are also patients who are admitted to hospital with skin-related diseases. They are seen on a daily basis, until they are discharged.
Dr Agaba also does consulting, which means colleagues call him to ask his opinion.
His role as a Unam lecturer includes giving dermatology lectures to medical students, giving assignments and marking them, giving continuous medical education (CME) presentations to other health professionals and the mentorship of medical students
A normal day for Dr Agaba starts with seeing his admitted patients first.
He then goes to the outpatient department to see his booked patients, while receiving consulting calls from some of his colleagues. Surgical and cosmetic procedures are booked for specific days and hours, and so too are student teaching and assignments.
He says he was inspired to work with people of all ages.
“I wanted a specialty where you see all age groups. You joke with kids, listen to unending stories and complaints from the elderly and attend to the overconfidence of the youth. It is truly amazing,” he said.
He also loves the way skin acts as "a mirror" of what is happening inside the body.
“It’s a pleasure to diagnose a systemic disease. For example, a problem in the brain can be detected because of what appears on the skin, while the patient had no brain complaint. This helps treat systemic diseases before they become symptomatic, hence there is a better prognosis,” he added.
Dr Agaba graduated as a general practitioner after seven years of medical training. He then worked for two years as a general practitioner.
He then started attending the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 2010 for his specialist training and graduated in 2014 as a consultant dermatologist.
“When you are training, you see patients at university teaching hospitals. In my case, it was Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Chris Hani Baragwaneth Academic Hospital and Helen Joseph Academic Hospital, but you are under supervision. You ask consultants and professors in the department,” Dr Agaba said.
“In order to qualify, one writes exams, which includes written papers and oral exams, as well as microscopic exams. The written exams are in two parts.
“Part one is three written papers, part two is two written papers, an oral exam which is on patients (in general it’s five to 10 patients you evaluated) and a microscopic exam (six slides you look at to make diagnoses).
“All exams are set by the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA). After passing the exams I submitted my research report (thesis), which was evaluated by the university administration,” Dr Agaba added.
Some of the character traits needed in his profession include patience, because most skin diseases take a long time to heal, a love for paying attention to detail and a knack for embracing diversity.
“The highlights of my work have to be diagnosing internal diseases based on skin signs and the few emergencies, which give an opportunity to plan my work accordingly. The field is also a very enjoyable one, with plenty of opportunities to see patients in all medical fields.”
Have you ever had a piece of meat or corn stuck in your teeth, and it just so happens to be in that tough corner in your mouth that you cannot seem to reach?
You try using a toothpick and that expensive floss you bought, and no, it seems the darn thing does not want to be found. Aggravated anger builds more determination, as you say to yourself: “How rude of this foreign object (which you enjoyed eating, just by the way) to just decide to get stuck in my mouth and refuses to leave!”
I equate this annoying feeling with something I would like to call ‘failure to launch’.
We all reach that patch in our careers that makes us ask ourselves: “Oh my, am I doing the right thing? Am I in the right industry? Am I really going to work in this company for that much longer? Oh dear, what’s next?”
Fear of the unknown creates a barrier in our minds that prohibits us from seeing beyond our current circumstances, and the more we try not to think about it, the more this feeling of unrest grows, and the more you feel like you have to press the emergency exit button.
I too reached a phase like that for a season, which seemed to last forever. At the beginning of last year, I began to ask myself the nagging question: “What’s next and do I see myself here in a year?”
I had to get to a point of clarity. Bear in mind, I was single (I still am), I had no mortgage, no impediment or anything tying me down. Mentally I became open to the idea of exploration, which was one of the most important things I did. Whatever my next move was going to be, I needed to be clear about what I did not want to do next. That shift in my mind to explore got me invited to many interviews, resulting in many offers, but absolutely nothing resonated with me, which indicated what I didn’t want to do. With this came more questions like: “If not this, then what?”
I am glad to say that not even money could sway me at that point.
That’s right, I too was brought up in a generation that was brutally competitive and created a perception that money solves all problems, so the objective was always to get a job that stretched my wallet. Oh what foolish myths we have allowed to infiltrate, let alone influence, our way of thinking. I am not saying that money is a non-factor when it comes to career choices. But at what cost? Your happiness? Your peace of mind?
After all, what is the use of having money when your soul is darker than the coal you used to braai that meat that got stuck in your teeth? To those in the 20s, this may be foreign to you, but believe me, this is something to be aware of.
Those over 30 - and I know I am speaking to someone here - when you begin to want to do more than just collect a pay cheque and pursue a bigger destiny and purpose, remove money from the equation.
When you chase purpose and not a pay cheque, brace yourself for your cage to be rattled, it will definitely be a leap out of your comfort zone, but very rewarding.
Towards the end of last year, an amazing and unexpected opportunity came after searching and being open to purpose-driven change. The other piece of parchment you need to master on this journey is patience; nothing worth having has ever come easy. It is up to you to surrender and retreat back to comfort or fasten your seatbelt for take-off. The vital thing at this point was to remain steadfast and deliberate about what I knew was in line with my destiny and remain true to that.
Be clear about what you desire out of life and work out your purpose, and not your career. Align with that, even if it means pressing the reset button.
There is reward in taking a leap into the unknown, as a means to recalibrate your outlook on life, in order to harness the talents you have hidden, and most importantly, to fall in line with the person you want to be.
*Vennduke Chigumba is a strategist at Weathermen & Co
Dr Elijah Ngurare
This is Africa, where the pendulum of political speech is not always proportional to the tower of reality. A lot will be said and much more will remain unsaid because of fear and political expediency. Many in Africa will remain silent so long as the supply chain to the belly is undisturbed. Some fears are legitimate because of political elimination. It is well and good. But not everyone is a willing prisoner of conscience. Some will and must speak. They will and must write what they like. This is, therefore, what must be said for posterity, without fear or favour.
There is an unsaid reason why the rich continent of Africa, blessed with all mineral resources, is also home to skyrocketing and grinding poverty. It is a travesty of monumental proportions. The reason could be because we fear to partake in the tug-of-war called democracy, although in some cases, processes are manipulated. It can no longer be correct to be spectators forever.
It is in this context that as a member of Napwu, I gladly accepted the nomination to be part of their six delegates and candidates, together with a liberation veteran like Job Muniaro. We formed part of the 2019 Swapo Party Electoral College (or pot) on the ticket of the NUNW. It is not a surprise that the pot is always dominated by whomever programmes incumbent MPs and CC members. They constitute more than two-thirds of the 237 delegates. The NUNW, like some regions, joined the race late. We were at the mercy of those who decided the clock of approval. The list of preferred candidates was already circulating. The only surprise was to hear that we must not “be voted because we fell in the category of those to impeach the president”. This was the campaign tool. The criteria was therefore not about searching for competent, qualified and capable lawmakers, who could make a contribution to ‘Team Economic Recovery of Namibia’. It was not about how to find solutions to astronomical youth unemployment or how to unite Namibia around that common direction. On the contrary, it was about something else. Perhaps in future, regions must have their own pot. Perhaps in future the MPs and CC members should not be automatic delegates or candidates; they must have a platform to account for their preceding term performance. Thereafter, they should get nominated on merit from the CC or politburo as candidates to the pot.
The pot outcome is public knowledge. One could observe a sponsored celebration at the Safari Court Hotel, as the names were read of those who were successfully omitted from the preferred list of candidates. There were ululations for those who emerged as per the design. It is congratulations we must express. Laughable was the suggestion by somebody that the counting was electronically monitored and recorded. To effect what exactly, if you recorded the counting?
Let us celebrate victory. What is the victory? What is the defeat? Personally, I heartily want to thank those 84 delegates who risked all to cast a vote for me. That is victory. When a person follows conscience and not coercion, when a person follows principles and not pressure, when a person follows national interest and not nutritional interest, and vote for the one blacklisted. That is victory. If stalwarts of Swapo are punished, who am I to be spared?
The lingering question is this: Why participate in a contest where the outcome is manipulated in favour of a certain direction? Perhaps the answer should lie in this fact: Freedom of the mind is the mother of all freedoms. There must be a moment of mental freedom in which you think about the needs of a society and country for which so many have sacrificed, and in which so many are still struggling. You need not placate yourself in Independence Avenue, offering to make a contribution, but you may freely in good conscience partake in the activities of your political party. This is what motivated some of us to partake in the pot. It is for this reason that I would once again call upon all young professionals to get involved in practically shaping the socio-economic development of Namibia. I call upon you the geologists, engineers, teachers, nurses, marine biologists, lawyers, accountants and others to be active in the sections, branches, districts and regions of the Swapo Party structures. In your conspicuous absence, the vacuum will be filled by those without a licence to drive a car and those without a licence to pilot a plane. Examine your conscience and challenge your moral and political compass. What is to be done and why are you on the periphery of action, when you are called upon by circumstances to do something about the deteriorating economic conditions in Namibia? We did our part. Do your part. Finally, to the preferred candidates, we can suggest they consider solutions to youth unemployment by looking locally and globally, for example by entering into partnerships with international organisations and friendly nations, in order to seek job-placements for the trained Namibian professionals mentioned above. It can be done, and perhaps this should urgently be explored.