Articles on this Page
- 02/08/18--14:00: _On a wing and a prayer
- 02/08/18--14:00: _New look, new fashion
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Auntie Nangy
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Call for designers
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Dancing celebrities
- 02/08/18--14:00: _The king of events
- 02/08/18--14:00: _New board, new vision
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Choose wisely
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Confidence is beaut...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _From cars to rocket...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Tourismus goes off-...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Reshuffle for whom?
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Being friends with ...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Company news in brief
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Etunda starts growi...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Oshakati viewing to...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _IPPR defiant after ...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _How to be the best ...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _Corruption - A soci...
- 02/08/18--14:00: _NDF farm raises que...
- 02/08/18--14:00: On a wing and a prayer
- 02/08/18--14:00: New look, new fashion
- 02/08/18--14:00: Auntie Nangy
- 02/08/18--14:00: Call for designers
- 02/08/18--14:00: Dancing celebrities
- 02/08/18--14:00: The king of events
- 02/08/18--14:00: New board, new vision
- 02/08/18--14:00: Choose wisely
- 02/08/18--14:00: Confidence is beautiful
- 02/08/18--14:00: From cars to rockets, Elon Musk dreams big
- 02/08/18--14:00: Tourismus goes off-road
- 02/08/18--14:00: Reshuffle for whom?
- 02/08/18--14:00: Being friends with the opposite sex
- 02/08/18--14:00: Company news in brief
- 02/08/18--14:00: Etunda starts growing asparagus
- 02/08/18--14:00: Oshakati viewing tower still not operational
- 02/08/18--14:00: IPPR defiant after Tweya barbs
- 02/08/18--14:00: How to be the best manager you can be
- 02/08/18--14:00: NDF farm raises questions
Yes, at Wing It they serve only chicken and in particular wings served in four flavours, the dunked Buffalo wings, grilled Buffalo wings, grilled BBQ as well as the grilled lemon and herb wings. Ujama Mushimba, the owner of the establishment promised that they soon they will introduce more flavours to entice the Namibian palate such Kapana flavour. A popular hangout spot for millennials and young professionals because of its relaxed environment, Wing It promises good food, great vibes and excellent service.
And customer service is exactly what Ujama prides herself in.
“I have travelled the world and have been to different countries and comparing that experience to Namibia, I realised that we really lack customer service. Here at Wing It, we never argue with a client. If they complain about the food we take it away without a problem. With us the cliché 'the customer is always right' is key.”
Wing It is a Namibian-owned business located in downtown Windhoek just up the street from College of the Arts (Cota) where the former Cordon Bleu restaurant used to be, and was established by Ujama.
She explains how she wants to use her business model to transform entrepreneurship in the country, by offering shares to her employees after working for four years.
Asked what guarantee there is that she would stick to her word, Ujama said the agreement is worked into their employment contracts and “it is who I am as a person”.
“Obviously I encourage my workers that they must have a bigger vision than to just be working in the kitchen.”
Behind Wing It
Ujama explains that she has always had an entrepreneurial drive inherited from the long line of entrepreneurs in her family.
She calls herself a SSM (Supported Single Mom) to two daughters, and draws her inspiration from her mother - a woman of faith.
Asked what inspired her vision which is what she refers to when talking about her business, Ujama said she wants to inspire people to take risks to “step out of their fears.”
The brand promotes individualism, through minimalist structures and prides itself with a distinct outlook on today's society and its influence within the fashion industry. Synedgy caters to both men and women and hopes to become one of Namibia's renowned luxurious contemporary fashion brands.
Johannes did not have a brand name as he used using his name to push my work.
While it worked well for him, he felt that he needed to drop the name completely to be able to have a variation between Simeone the individual and Simeone the creative director of Synedgy.
“I also feel like branding will help me reach a wider audience and for the most part of it, grant me the respect I so much deserve in the fashion industry,” he said.
His design aesthetic will pretty much be the same, but the quality of his work will improve immensely.
The brand is also looking to collaborate with more designers local and international.
“There's a mini-collection that I worked on to introduce the brand, it is called Synedgy.
The mini collection is a sneak peek of what the brand will be offering. It's a minimalist collection, with a play of colour,” he said.
Dear Aunty Nangy, I am a 21-year-old woman who recently came out of an abusive relationship. Now I am dating two guys, who both treat me amazingly and are making me believe in love again. What do I do? I don’t know which one to choose.
Oh child, Auntie is sorry you had to experience abuse in your previous relationship. Love is beautiful, it is many things, but it is never abuse, whether physical or emotional. I am glad you got out of it. Now, back to your current predicament, you say both these guys love you and treat you well (which by the way any partner should). Now imagine the pain you would inflict on them if they were to find out that you are some two-timing, trifling liar. Now Auntie is deeply sympathetic to what you’ve been through, but that gives you know permission to go ahead and abuse others, and pretending to be faithful partner when you not, that’s just trashy. Baby girl, you need to let them both go and take some time out to truly heal from your first abusive relationship. If they are as amazing as you say they are, then they deserve better then what you have to offer right. Also, you need to be better to yourself.
Tired and worried
Dear Aunty Nangy, I am 26 years old and dating a 31-year-old guy and we have also two children, but the problem that I have is he promises me things that he will do for me and when I ask for the things he says I should not hurry him… but I want my things. I can’t wait any longer, what must I do?
Oh Sweet Jesus, you want your things? Which things? The ones you made him hold on to. Your sense of entitlement has me touching my imaginary pearls. You don’t specify what kind of things he promised. Anyway, Auntie’s gonna keep it real with you. If you does not keep his word on the “things” he promised to get for you, then get them yourself, like any other responsible young adult. Alternatively, if getting the “things” is such a priority, dump him and get someone else who will ensure you get your things. Otherwise, tell him you want to help him get the “things” or just forget about the “things” all together.
Cousins in love
Dear Auntie Nangy, I have a problem with my own cousin who is in love with me and he can’t even hide it. Please Auntie, this person is seriously in need what can I do?
Oh you are in demand! Must be nice. Anyway, the person is really in need of what? Affection? Close talk? Vulnerability? Listen child, and listen to Auntie well. You have no control over who falls in love with you, but you have complete control over how you respond to it. Now if the love is not mutual, ignore it, or if it bothers you, tell your cousin such. If it is mutual, then ask yourself how that love will affect you and your family in the long run. Auntie is a bit old-school, and Auntie frowns on romantic relationships between families, but you know this is the age of complete self-autonomy. But ask yourself is it worth it?
How old is too old?
Dear Auntie Nangy, there is this girl I like and she is three years older than me… but I really want to ask her out. Please what should I do?
Oh how you have Auntie reminiscing about the good old days. There was a time Auntie was in her early 20s and Auntie had this steamy and toe-curling summer fling with this catch twice Auntie’s age. It eventually blew over, but Auntie has no regrets. Life is short, live it, close your eyes and jump. So yes, go ahead and ask her out, she can say yes or no. If the answer is no, I am sure you will meet someone else, and if the answer is yes, then Auntie wishes you two lots of happiness, and if you all are legally and emotionally ready, lots and lots of steamy ,toe-curling intimacy. Good luck.
Dear Auntie Nangy, I didn’t do so well in my exams last year… I am at Unam in my final year. My parents think I will be graduating and all because I told them I passed. I am now stuck, how do I tell them I lied? They are telling the neighbours that I did well. I don’t want to embarrass them further.
Oh, if there’s one thing Auntie knows for sure, it is the love of our parents comes with no conditions, sure it’s tough sometimes, but it’s that real, sincere love. Sit your parents down, tell them the amount of modules you failed, your struggles with studying and commit to giving it your all this year. Figure out what the problems were, and find ways to improve your study methods. You parents will be angry at first, not necessarily because you failed, but because you lied, but they will eventually come around. All the best.
In a bid to support new and emerging talent, the Namibian Annual Music Awards executive team have invited applicants to apply to showcase their work at the grandiose event on 28 April. Successful designers will have their products fashioned at NAMAs, a name synonymous with fashion, since 2011.
“We've had numerous aspiring designers and dressmakers knocking on our doors, appealing for opportunities to exhibit their wares at the NAMAs. Over the years these pleas have become great, that we simply had to find ways to accommodate the requests. With dozens of new and exciting designers making it into the fashion space and adding to the rich mix of unique and eclectic designers we have seen over the years coming from our talented young designers,”, said Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, chairperson of the NAMAs.
Budding designers are thus requested to submit their works/portfolio to the NAMAs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or hand delivery to the attention of Elizabeth Hihangwapo by no later than 20 February.
“I am absolutely ecstatic to be a part of this experience, I'm excited by this challenge and am here to dance my heart out and have fun,” said Classens.
Next to grace the gleaming dance floor is funny man Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, a South African comedian and actor who rose to fame after winning the Newcomer Award at the Savanna Comic's Choice Awards in 2016. The talented comedian can be seen on the theatre scene, having acted in theatre productions such as Marat/Sade, A Beautiful Thing, The Crucible, Horror Story and 24 Hours in the City. In the television space, Ebenhaezer has featured in the Soapie Ashes to Ashes and was a presenter on Walala Wasala, amongst others. Most recently, he has been cast in the sitcom Thulino Thulanli.
The final celebrity gearing up for all the glitz is netball star Vanes-Mari du Toit. Vanes-Mari is a player on the South African National Netball team and has an impressive 38 caps for South Africa under her belt, playing in positions such as Goal Shooter, Goal Keeper and Goal Attack.
Dancing With The Stars SA, in which 12 untrained local celebrities will put their best foot forward with the help of highly skilled professional Latin and Ballroom dancers, is on M-Net channel 101.
Sandro is the owner of Kashipu Investment CC which ventures into other small branches such as Kashipu Event Planning, Kashipu Photography, Kashipu Clothing Branding and Kashipu Marketing and Promotions.
“My interest in entertainment began in high school where I would organise events at school over the weekend and that's when I realised the passion I had for it.
I realised if I could do it for the school, why not try something for the village as entertainment was lacking.
There were no recreational facilities and this forced the youth to turn to bars and shebeens for entertainment. I didn't like what was happening around me and I changed it. The rest is history,” he said.
Sandro's first event was hosted in 2010, Miss Okapya. He said he really never expected so much from the community but the number of people who turned up was overwhelming and it got to a point where the community where asked for more.
“After the Miss Okapya beauty contest, many schools asked to book me as their event planner. In 2014 I came up with my own brand Kashipu which means 'it's not easy' and that's when my business took off. I started tendering big events such as Miss Ongwediva Trade Fair and the Totem Expo, just to mention a few,” he said.
Sandro says the state of entertainment in the north isn't that bad but it could be better.
The majority of events held are not on standard and he wants to be part of the group of people who change that. The one thing he's learned from his events is to deliver as much quality and not to give up so that people from other regions can invest in his dream.
“I always try my level best to invite at least one established artist to my events to perform alongside the upcoming artists based where I am working. Most of the youth in the north look up to them and they hardly see them, apart from on social media.
The local authorities and businessmen are really doing a good job by bringing more entertainment to the north and at the same time awarding us tenders to organise our own events. Back then, such events were only organised by people from other towns the so called professionals, we were never good for it,” he said. To date, Sandro has managed to have 50 sponsors for his events.
Sandro's goal is to one day organise a Namibian event such as the NAMAs and expos, countrywide. He says hard work, dedication and avoiding negativity are his ingredients to succeed.
Since their appointment, the NFC has met with commissioners of National Film and Video Foundation to map the way forward for a co-production treaty after the memorandum was signed at Durban by the previous board. The NFC approved additional financial support for the feature film Land of the Brave and have sent two women to South Africa in January 2018 to be part of the Youth Filmmakers Programme.
“We have four main aims to focus on which include value addition in the development of projects, exposure, finding markets, distribution and encouraging mentorship programmes at all levels. The other one is focusing on creating a favourable policy framework that encourages the private sector to invest in the local film industry and that encourages international and local investment into production and distribution of local films,” said Haikali. The other aims include sharing of funding and creating stronger links between all stakeholders in the local film industry through facilitating and understanding of the collective roles within the industry.
Haikali said the new board wants to move away from just funding any film project. Instead they want to help filmmakers to have sound scripts and production plans to qualify for local, regional and international funding such as for pitching forums, depending on the project.
“Funding application forms will be available online as we strive to create a stronger online presence. You can then simply download a form and apply. This will reduce the many calls and visits to the NFC offices,” he said.
Role models are people who serve as an example of values, attitudes and behaviours associated with a role. These people don't always have to be farfetched. Really. We have great personalities who are doing remarkable for themselves but as usual; one never appreciates anything local even if it is free and that is a sad truth. Just look around you, you will be impressed and motivated by your peers doing the most, things that could inspire you too.
One should never feel the need to change and we should also be cautious of what we see on TV and what happens on reality. It's always good to keep an eye on whom and what your little siblings and cousins are following because the media has many platforms and characters that can be very dangerous for young people. As KP.illest once said, we might as well just kill the television.
She picked herself up and decided to take part in local fashion shows and focus on her modelling career rather than letting one competition define her. “I got into my first fashion show by working with Melissa Poulton. She had auditions for an upcoming show she was planning and I decided to take part… and that’s how I got into fashion shows,” she recalled.
With a little experience from fashion shows, Mbambo started getting involved in many more local events and strutted for fashion show organisers such as Cathy Shikesho and Immanuel, and this allowed her to gain more knowledge in the fashion and pageant industries. Her big break came when she took part in Miss Grand Namibia 2015 and walked away with the Public Choice Award as well as being the first runner-up for the pageant.
“Initially, I was the second runner-up for Miss Grand Namibia but there were a few complications with the lady that had taken the first runner-up award and I was subsequently given that place,” she said. After she took part in Miss Grand Namibia she joined Miss Namibia 2013 Paulina Malulu’s modelling training workshop. “Paulina Malulu taught me a lot of things about the beauty industry and she still teaches me about what to do to this day,” she says.
Mbambo also took part Miss Youth Namibia in 2015 and didn’t make it to the top 12 contestants, but that did not deter from pursuing her dreams as a beauty queen. The same year she entered another contest in the form of Face of Namibia and won the competition.
“After I won the Face of Namibia pageant and because of my experience at Miss Grand Namibia I was granted an opportunity to take part in Face of the World pageant. The pageant was taking place in the UK and I didn’t get to go because I didn’t have the money or sponsorship to take part in it,” she said. She’s also the current second runner up for Miss Earth Namibia 2016 and took part at Miss Globe Beauty pageant in 2017. “I was the second runner up for Miss Globe and I also won the Miss Heritage prize at that pageant,” she said.
The beauty queen plans on doing her last beauty pageant this year and says she wants to focus on charity work in the future. “I might take part in a couple of pageants this year but besides that I am working on getting a charity organisation registered and dedicate myself to changing people’s lives,” she said. Mbambo believes a beauty queen has the power to change people’s lives and it’s not just about a pretty face. She says many girls are disadvantaged and don’t do so well as others because their parents don’t think taking part in modelling competitions is a career or a priority. Mbambo wants to train and mentor girls in her hometown Rundu. “I thank Paulina Malulu as she believed and paid close attention to me and sometimes she entered competitions for me when I didn’t believe myself. I am ready to pass that energy on,” she said.
On Tuesday, South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk combined both of his passions, blasting one of his Tesla electric cars into space aboard his own rocket.
It was the latest feat for the 46-year-old Silicon Valley billionaire who has been hailed as a leading innovator and visionary.
Born in Pretoria on 28 June 1971, the son of an engineer father and a Canadian-born model mother, Musk left South Africa in his late teens to attend Queen's University in Ontario.
He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania after two years and earned bachelor's degrees in physics and business.
After graduating from the prestigious Ivy League school, Musk abandoned plans to pursue further studies at Stanford University.
Instead, he dropped out of school and started Zip2, a company that made online publishing software for the media industry.
He banked his first millions before the age of 30 when he sold Zip2 to US computer maker Compaq for more than $300 million in 1999.
Musk's next company, X.com, eventually merged with PayPal, the online payments firm bought by internet auction giant eBay for $1.5-billion in 2002.
After leaving PayPal, Musk embarked on a series of ever more ambitious ventures.
He became the chairman of electric carmaker Tesla in 2004 and it was a Tesla Roadster that was sent into orbit on Tuesday from a Cape Canaveral launch pad.
SpaceX's webcast showed Musk's cherry-red car soaring into space, as David Bowie's ‘Space Oddity’ played in the background - with the words "DON'T PANIC" visible on the dashboard, in an apparent nod to the sci-fi classic ‘The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’.
Powering the car on its journey towards an orbit near Mars was a massive Falcon Heavy rocket built by Musk's space exploration company SpaceX, founded in 2002.
SolarCity and Hyperloop
Musk serves as chief executive officer and chief technology officer of SpaceX, which has become a leading supplier of private space launches.
In 2012, SpaceX sent its Dragon cargo ship to the orbiting International Space Station.
After some early crashes and near-misses, SpaceX has also perfected the art of landing booster engines on solid ground and on ocean platforms, rendering them reusable.
SpaceX recently announced that two private citizens had paid money to be sent around the Moon in what would be the farthest humans have ever travelled to deep space since the 1970s.
Besides being the head of SpaceX and Tesla, Musk is the chairman of SolarCity, a solar panel installer recently bought by Tesla.
Musk has also promoted research into an ultra-fast ‘Hyperloop’ rail transport system that would transport people at near supersonic speeds.
Musk's jokingly named The Boring Company aims to build tunnels for the Hyperloop One super-high-speed transport project.
"He is a visionary who has some key passions which he pursues with vigour," Jackdaw Research chief analyst Jan Dawson said of Musk.
"He doesn't sit around and wait for people to do something about them; he goes out and does it himself."
Some of his ideas have prompted questions and he has raised eyebrows with a theory that the world as it is known may be a computer simulation.
Musk has also said he wants to make humans an ‘interplanetary species’ by establishing a colony of people living on Mars.
The first tests of a massive rocket that could reach Mars may come as early 2019, with orbital tests in 2020.
Musk lives in Los Angeles and holds US, Canadian and South African citizenship.
Married and divorced three times, he has five children. A sixth child died in infancy.
Forbes estimates Musk's current net worth at $20.3 billion.
Last Friday was a special day for Namibia Media Holdings’ monthly tourism magazine, Tourismus, when it became the proud owner of a brand new Toyota Hilux 4x4 Xtra-Cab Raider (2.8 GD-6).
The dealer principal of Pupkewitz Toyota in Windhoek, Anton Westraadt, handed over the vehicle to NMH, represented by Le Roux van Schalkwyk (seated in the vehicle).
The off-roader will allow Tourismus to venture off the beaten track to inform its readers about more remote tourism destinations.
Westraadt and his colleague Jaco Barnard, sales manager of Pupkewitz Toyota, are eager to work together with Tourismus, especially now that the vehicle will be branded and fully fitted with camping gear.
Once ready, the vehicle will be travelling throughout Namibia and when readers encounter it on their travels, they will be afforded the opportunity to send in their photos and qualify for prizes.
Commentators and social media keyboard warriors are still having a field day, as arguments abound about whether the right person is now in the right cabinet portfolio and whether the fallout of last year’s Swapo congress has now finally abated.
For most, who is going to be delivering speeches and announcing projects as the representative of a certain ministry, matters not.
Those living in squalor and poverty do not care about fancy suits and shiny cars; they have battles that few Gucci revolutionaries can fathom.
Just this week, we have been running stories about communities were electricity infrastructure has not been delivered many years after promises were made. Like clockwork, communities share their stories of unfolding poverty and despair, as they wait with open hands for the fruits of independence to fall in their proximity, so they can also taste more than political freedom.
Last year, amid thousands of retrenchments, breadwinners were sent home, and household belts were tightened to unbearable levels.
The unemployment ranks were further swelled by those who failed Grade 10 and Grade 12 and their tertiary studies dismally, while politicians argued whether the country is broke or not.
These are the realities facing our people. They are hungry, desperate and pained.
Whatever the motives behind this week’s cabinet reshuffle, the outcome should now be that the government works harder to deliver to all citizens, especially the poorest of the poor.
In these times, any inkling of corruption, which robs the nation and by implication its people, of funds that should be securing a safety net for the poor and growing the economy to create jobs, must be dealt with, without fear or favour.
At just shy of 28, Namibia’s salad days are well and truly over. We can no longer afford a society where luxury cars cruise into villages and towns, filled with the poor and desperate, who are promised the world, and continue to eat dirt.
Dear sisters, when you allow a man to get closer to you, we expect a photo finish – not a dubious penalty decision against us in injury time! To a man, a woman that opens up and starts revealing hidden family secrets, or sheds light on her last break-up is usually a sign of interest. In a man’s vocabulary, such actions shout “get closer, you are doing well so far”.
Sisters, a man does not pull out all stops in an effort that you notice him just to be diplomatically shown the door in “let’s just be friends”. You mean after taking his boss’s BMW X6, which he was supposed to park at the back, for a spin at Herero Mall to impress you – that’s how you pay him back?
Guys would stop at no point to get the attention of the lady of their dreams, not even when it involves buying her and her entire office friends Nando’s every day. It is a long and winding road to a girl’s heart, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, right?
First he has to get the approval of his friends before setting his ‘dream’ in motion. He would mention you during a conversation with his buddies like “Oh, that woman. I don’t know who the hell she thinks she is...” If his friends reply with “Are you kidding me, that woman is the bomb...”, then he will know he is on the right path.
After that, he would ascertain his mother’s approval of you – yes, even before he has plucked up enough courage to introduce himself to you. You see, a woman might introduce her man to his mom after a few months, but a man does it even before you meet him!
He would go like “Mom, what do you think of Nancy?” His mom would roll her eyes and strike a cunning smile, “... what are you telling me my boy, you mean you and Nancy - the student doctor are... you know?” The guy at this stage would simply smile and say, “Well, she is kinda interested in me, but I don’t know if she is the right woman for me....”
So, soon you allow the guy to drop you at home instead of the street corner, and you start mentioning how you would want to settle down one day – all ‘green light’ signs for the dude!
The sad news however, my dear brothers, is that she might not necessarily have you in mind when she contemplates all these good things. You see, she considers you a friend and would share ‘anything’ with you. Yeah, you are apparently the best friend she ever had – even more than Maria, her trusted primary school confidant.
She would run to you every time a dude is interested in her, and you, being her best friend, are obliged to listen attentively and advise her to go for the dude! Yeah, if you say she should not go for the guy, you will be labelled as not knowing what you are talking about.
Back in the hood, they would tell you that it is a bad idea to befriend a woman whom you have feelings for. Apparently it makes it difficult for the man to change his tune once he has plucked up enough courage to do so.
The bottom line - even if he won’t admit it – no man wants to be ‘just friends’ with someone he has taken a liking to. That’s like saying “I have something important to tell you, something that will make you happy… but then I will have to kill you.”
To a woman it might be a sign of keeping the cage door open in case ‘the crow returns home to roost’, but to a man it means being used as a relationship counsellor and made to carry heavy shopping bags!
So, next time you intend telling a guy off by using the let’s just be friends line, first pause to consider the harm you would be causing the poor fella.
MTN Nigeria discussed plans to list on the Lagos stock exchange at a board meeting on Wednesday and aims to launch the IPO this year, a company source told Reuters.
Africa's biggest mobile phone operator had planned to list its Nigerian unit in 2017, as part of an agreement with the Nigerian government, but delayed the IPO due to market conditions.
MTN has about 51.4 million subscribers in Nigeria, which accounts for about a third of its revenue.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange has said it was working with MTN on the listing while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has discussed the IPO and how it could be structured. – Nampa/Reuters
Total raises dividend, plans share buyback
French oil and gas major Total's net adjusted profit soared 28% in 2017 to US$10.6 billion, enabling it to announce plans to reward shareholders with dividend increases and a share buyback.
The strong results were driven by production growth, which rose 5% in 2017, Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said.
Total rewarded shareholders with a 10% increase in dividends over the next three years. The 2018 interim dividend will rise 3.2%, and it plans to buy back up to US$5 billion shares over the 2018-2020 period.
Total's rival BP said earlier this week that its 2017 profits had more than doubled to US$6.2 billion on the back of higher prices and output, allowing the company to resume share buy-back as it recovers from a three-year oil downturn. – Nampa/Reuters
SocGen quarterly profit plunges
French bank Societe Generale posted an 82% fall in quarterly net income, hit by tax-related charges and retail banking restructuring costs.
Net income fell to 69 million euros ($US85 million) from 390 million a year earlier, but it exceeded market expectations for a 303 million loss, according to a Reuters poll of 6 analysts.
The bank said it was starting 2018 with confidence "in an economic and financial environment that should gradually be more favourable".
Earlier this week, SocGen's French rival BNP Paribas reported quarterly net profit that fell short of market forecasts although BNP Paribas slightly increased its 2020 profitability target. – Nampa/Reuters
Amazon's market value threatens Microsoft
Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday was on the verge of ending the day with a stock market value higher than Microsoft Corp's for the first time, as the online shopping behemoth weathered the recent turmoil on Wall Street.
Amazon's stock was down 1.14%, bringing its market capitalisation to US$690.4 billion, while software maker Microsoft's 1.83% fall depressed its market capitalisation to US$690.3 billion.
Bolstered by blockbuster quarterly results, Amazon's stock gained 3.8% over the three sessions ended Tuesday, even as Wall Street struggled through a rout that has raised fears that a nine-year bull market may be ending.
Amazon's market cap at points on Wednesday during intraday trade already topped that of Microsoft, but it has never closed at a higher value.
Amazon's explosive growth in retail and cloud computing has sent its shares 77% higher over the past year, outpacing Microsoft's 42% rise. – Nampa/Reuters
Petra Diamonds seeks deal to avoid default
African miner Petra Diamonds is likely to strike a deal with its lenders that could include a waiver or a reset of its debt covenants within the next month, its chief executive Johan Dippenaar said.
The London-listed mining company said last week it had started negotiations with its lenders for debt agreements relating to its EBITDA for December 2017 and June 2018.
The confiscation of a consignment of its diamonds in Tanzania and a labour strike at its South African mines were the main reasons that Petra flagged in October that it was likely to fall short of its loan obligations.
Petra, which operates five mines in South Africa and Tanzania, reached peak capital expenditure in its last financial half year after seven years of investing more cash than it generated into expanding its operations.
The company has spent nearly US$1.5 billion over the last seven years at the Finsch and Cullinan mines. – Nampa/Reuters
The farm manager at Etunda, Albertus Viljoen, says the project is progressing well.
Last year the agriculture ministry and a Spanish company, Industrias Alimentarias de Navarra (IAN), signed a partnership agreement on a ten-year asparagus agro-processing project.
The agreement provides for the Spanish company to grow 60 hectares of white asparagus at Etunda.
“We have already planted 30 hectares in January and the plants are growing well. For the other 30 hectares we are busy with soil preparation and we are planning to plant in March this year.
So far everything is going according to plan,” Viljoen says.
He says there have been a few challenges and difficulties, but they did not hinder the planting process.
The project started in July last year with the soil preparation, which was followed by the installation of a drip irrigation system, which is the most efficient way to utilise water and to grow asparagus in the region's hot climate.
In October last year, Nampa quoted the then agriculture minister John Mutorwa as saying that the project was the result of collaborative efforts that started in 2015, when the company ran some trials on asparagus production at the ministry's Omahenene Research Station.
Speaking at the signing of the agreement with IAN, Mutorwa said the results of the trials were promising, hence the collective decision to proceed with the project.
Mutorwa said the project required a capital investment of about N$8.8 million to adapt the existing irrigation system at the government-owned Etunda Green Scheme project, plus N$25 million for building a processing factory at Ruacana.
He said during the first phase of production at least 175 jobs would be created, of which 25 would be permanent.
Phase two of the project will see 120 people employed.
“Given that the substantial part of the harvest will be exported, the project is geared to generate much-needed foreign currency for the country,” Mutorwa said.
Speaking at the same event, a representative of IAN, Carlos Lertxundi, said the project would be a first in Africa.
The company has similar projects in South America, Europe and Asia.
Lertxundi said the 60 hectares would produce 460 tons of asparagus a year, most of which would be exported. Some would be sold locally, depending on the availability of interested distributors.
He added that the processing plant would be fully operational by December 2018 if everything went as planned.
While town council is planning to outsource the management of the structure, residents have expressed concern over the 49-metre high observation tower, known as Oshungo ya Shakati, saying that taxpayers' money should not go to waste.
The aim of the observation facility, which towers high above the surrounding buildings, is to offer locals and tourists a 360-degree view of the town, at a minimum fee.
The residents, however, accuse the Oshakati Town Council of being too reluctant to tackle the issue of the dormant tower, while questioning why it has already taken nearly two years to get the facility up and running.
“The open market was officially opened nearly two years ago by the president and we were told that the tower would be operational since then, but if you go there today, nothing is happening. Taxpayers' money was used to construct that open market, therefore council must get serious and open the tower, it is ours,” an angry Lukas Thomas old Namibian Sun.
Government spent a total of N$90 million on the open market project, which was constructed over a period of six years.
When contacted for comment Oshakati Town Council CEO Werner Iita said a tender for the management of the observation tower, and another for the running of a car wash at the open-market, were advertised last year.
However, due to the fact that only one person showed an interest in managing the tower, council has now decided to re-advertise the tender.
“There was only one person who applied and now we want to see whether we can re-advertise it again, because maybe it was done at the wrong time. We want to see whether we can get more people. The car wash was already allocated,” Iita said.
Regarding what type of management plan council expects for the observation tower, Iita said that bidders should simply apply.
The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) on Tuesday promptly defended its report, which was published in December last year, and said is stands by the findings and research methods.
On Wednesday, in an official rebuttal to the minister’s comments, the IPPR noted that “there is no point in denying that access to information is problematic across different sectors of Namibian society”.
Tweya’s core criticism that the public watchdog had contacted the incorrect persons at ministries, which resulted in the high rate of non-responses, was rebuffed by the IPPR.
They highlighted the fact that permanent secretaries have consistently been identified by government directly, as the first line of contact for information from the media and the public.
The IPPR highlighted that the issue of access to information is a critical subject because of the “strong importance government attaches to making information available to the public, as expressed in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the National Development Plan 5”.
Moreover, the institute’s Graham Hopwood underlined that the IPPR welcomes and encourages “constructive appraisals and criticism” of all their publications and findings and hoped that this would “lead to high-quality, informed debates about policy proposals and options”.
In light of this, the IPPR described Tweya’s attack on the report and his “blanket condemnation” as disappointing and unhelpful in achieving these goals.
Communication lip service
Namibia’s government institutions have been frequently and widely criticised for a lack of access to information and transparency by concerned organisations, locally and across borders.
The Access Denied report found that despite paying lip service to improving on this issue, “the state sector has continued to demonstrate a long evident aversion to any sort of significant or substantial openness”.
A unique finding of the report was that the issue is not limited to government institutions but “appears to stubbornly exist across most sectors of society, including in the private sector and civil society domains”.
The IPPR’s response yesterday pointed out that the findings also showed a serious lack of transparency and responsiveness from the private sector and civil society.
The report was “not simply aimed at exposing problems in government when it comes to access to information”, the IPPR emphasised.
Tweya’s fire and fury
Tweya this week claimed that the findings of the report initially shocked him, and he immediately ordered an investigation.
He noted that several government initiatives were undertaken recently to improve access to information at state institutions, including workshops.
Tweya claimed that the IPPR did not provide a list of names of the officials contacted during their research, at the request of his ministry, and that “this made it difficult for the ministry to follow-up”.
The IPPR denied this allegation.
They confirmed that after being contacted, a table of the officials contacted was provided to the ministry on 13 December.
“The official at the ministry who had been requesting the information responded via email later on 13 December by saying ‘thanks a million’. There was no further response from the ministry saying the information provided was not adequate in any way.”
Hopwood further disputed, and challenged Tweya’s remark that much of the information the IPPR sent to ministries and other government offices was available and “easily accessible” online.
“The IPPR’s researchers had checked official websites to see if the requested information was already available online. It would be helpful if the ministry could list the website addresses where all this information is available.”
Hopwood further pointed out that Tweya’s criticism that the IPPR contacted the incorrect persons only heightened the concerns about weak communication systems.
“It is difficult to accept the minister’s argument that the information requests should not have been sent to the permanent secretaries, but rather to the PR officers in each ministry, and that this somehow resulted in the high number of non-responses.”
Hopwood and his colleagues pointed out that this raised the concern that the permanent secretaries are not “capable of passing on information requests to the ministry public relations officers or other relevant officials”.
And, despite several follow-up phone calls and emails made by the researchers, most ministry’s and government institutions still failed to respond to the questions sent to them.
The IPPR underscored the fact that the requests made to officials were “carefully chosen to be non-controversial, so that there was no question of responses being denied on the grounds of security”.
Yes, your team is made up of a huge variety of personalities, preferences, and communication styles. But, you're only one person, and you're the one in charge of them all.
1. Develop emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence - put simply, your ability to recognise your own and other people's emotions - is an important skill in your professional life. But, it's increasingly crucial when you're charged with managing a team.
“Emotional intelligence is so important for managers, but it hasn't always been stressed as much,” explains Harris.
Think about it this way: Your employees might not always be forthcoming with their questions, concerns, and problems.
Not everybody is a straightforward communicator, and needing to approach a boss can be intimidating - which inspires many people to just keep things to themselves.
As a manager, you'll be a much stronger leader (and example for your other team members!) if you're able to read between the lines and pick up on cues - rather than waiting for everything to be explicitly stated.
2. Seek to understand your employees
On a similar note, it's important that you work to understand your team members on a deeper level.
Every single one of them has different skills, weaknesses, and things that motivate them.
Knowing what those are and leveraging them will help you manage in a way that suits your direct reports best.
Alright, so how do you go about figuring this out? Dissecting and understanding your different employees can often feel like assembling IKEA furniture - complicated and overwhelming. However, Harris recommends utilising a formal strengths finder assessment as part of your employee on-boarding process.
“You get the opportunity to understand the strengths of your employees, as well as how to coach them better,” Harris says, “If they're having trouble with a role, for example, knowing who they are and what's important to them will help you lead them better.”
“You also need to understand what's going to make them feel threatened,” she continues, “For example, I'd never make a more introverted employee present something in front of the team without adequate notice.”
“There isn't a one-size-fits-all management style,” she adds, “Personalisation is so important.”
3. Make your check-ins holistic
You know that frequent one-on-one check-ins are an effective strategy for staying in the loop and keeping your direct reports engaged. They provide an opportunity to talk about current workloads, career goals, and any other professional-related matters that you should be in the loop on.
But, have you ever considered adding a personal element to these regular sit-downs? Our professional and personal lives are more integrated and entwined than ever, and knowing a little bit about your employees' lives outside of the office can have a pretty major impact on how you manage and communicate with them during working hours.
“I manage a team of 11 people, and it's really important for me to understand what's going on with them,” Harris shares, “So, I always make sure to ask if there are any outside things that they want to make me aware of.”
Not only does that allow you to be more sensitive (or accommodating, when necessary) to your employees, but it will also give you some added context to why your team members might be behaving a certain way.
4. Be an advocate
You're responsible for successfully managing your team. But, you should also serve as their source of empowerment and encouragement. As their direct leader, it's important that you recognise and reward their valuable contributions.
This is particularly important for your employees who are more reserved and might spend team meetings analysing what's being said - rather than continuously speaking up.
“That's not disengagement,” says Harris, “But, when they're soft-spoken, people de-value them and think they don't have an opinion or they don't care.”
So, if a more introverted employee comes to you following a meeting with an idea or suggestion, it's important that you promote that as their contribution. It's a way to give credit where credit is due, while also reminding the rest of your team that - just because someone isn't vocal in a meeting—doesn't mean that he or she is slacking.
Your team is chock full of different personalities and working styles, and figuring out how to effectively manage all of them can be challenging at best.
However, it's not impossible.
Ultimately, the key is to take the time to understand your employees. With that foundation in place, you'll have a much easier time leading your different team members in a way that resonates best with them and their individual preferences.
Under PPP arrangements, companies can form joint ventures with parastatals, previously known as state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Namibia, currently known as public enterprises (PE) based on the Public Enterprises Governance Amendment Act (Act No 8 of 2015). When such joint ventures bid for public contracts, a conflict of interest is created, even more so if such joint ventures bid for tenders in which they are recipients of such contracts to provide a service(s).
Such joint ventures do have insight into the operations of the PEs for which bids are made, as well as connections with current and former employees and management of PEs.
Even more alarming is a situation where a business activity of a PE is part of a joint venture that is both the bidder and recipient of a tender.
PPPs create a governance dilemma, i.e.: when the tenderer (a PE such as TransNamib) enters into a PPP with a private company like Namibia Rail Construction (2016). Such a PPP can then be the tenderer as well as the service provider. Such a relationship creates a conflict of interest that is not allowed in terms of the Competition Act (Act No 2 of 2003).
A conflict of interest brought on by a PPP and/or a joint venture agreement, is certainly against the spirit of the Competition Act (Act No 2 of 2003) as a practice or agreement aimed at lessening competition, and may well fall foul of the provisions against collusive tendering.
A LINE THAT SHOULD RATHER NOT BE CROSSED
Based on the discussion, the following questions can be posed: What is the purpose of a tender if the tenderer and the receiver of the tender is the same institution and/or linked in a PPP with a private company in a joint venture?
While the situation may not be corruption in the legal sense, it shows elements of questionable governance, namely conflict of interest, and this flies directly in the face of transparency and fairness.
Conflict of interest is difficult to prove in terms of the Anti-Corruption Act (Act No 8 of 2003) because manipulation and lobbying are not necessarily corruption.
However, the outcome could be corruption. Even if conflict of interest cannot be proven legally, it remains unethical and immoral in terms of the Namibian society's expectations and values as well as governance principles in terms of the NamCode, a watered down version of King III (Namibian Stock Exchange, King IV).
From a governance perspective of transparency and fairness in preventing corruption, PPPs and joint ventures with PEs, are not viable for good governance and improved service delivery. Such arrangements breed conflict of interest and monopolies, which are serious forms of corruption.
PPPs should be governed with declaration of interests, in accordance with the Company's Act (Act No 28 of 2004, Chapter 8, Parts 5 and 6) and the NamCode.
One option is a transparent system of declaration of interests for all board members that is monitored by public oversight committees.
Such committees should consist of members of civil society with neither interests in such PEs nor connections with board members and/or those appointing board members. Such a system should have penalties for non-reporting of conflict of interests.
King, M. 2016. King IV Summary Guide. Visionary Leadership is King.
Mongudhi, T. 2016. “Government drags feet, amid favouritism claims”. Article in The Namibian, 14 July, Windhoek.
Namibian Stock Exchange. 2014. Code of Corporate Governance.
Republic of Namibia. 2003. Anti-Corruption Act, Act No 8 of 2003.
Republic of Namibia. 2003. Company's Act, Act No 28 of 2004.
Republic of Namibia. 2003. Competition Act, Act No 2 of 2003.
Republic of Namibia. 2015. Public Enterprises Governance Amendment Act, Act No 8 of 2015.
The media yesterday reported that the defence ministry had bought a game farm that will be used to train soldiers “to live in harmony with wildlife” and to perfect their shooting skills.
Oropoko Lodge, built by one of Namibia's first foreign investors and friend to former president Sam Nujoma, Kurt Steinhausen, has about 30 rooms and all the other amenities of a top-class tourist destination.
Apparently, more than one military unit will be housed and trained at Oropoko.
The purchase rang alarm bells, since the defence ministry had recently sent at least 1 000 soldiers home because it could not afford to feed them and pay the water and electricity bills at army bases.
The president seemed to be unaware of this transaction when he opened the first cabinet meeting of the year yesterday and said: “I hope it is not true.”
According to the president he had called minister Penda ya Ndakolo, but his phone was off.
“I hope it is not true. Today I read the ministry of defence bought a farm for 45 million dollars, while they are sending the troops home. I do not know if it was done last year. Minister, we need to talk, because I do not see the urgency while we are sending people back (home).”
Economist Dr Omu Kakujaha-Matundu said he believed that the president was going to take firm action, but he criticised the lack of accountability in the country.
According to him there is simply no culture of bringing culprits to book.
“It is time that we see that people are reprimanded and with that I mean that they are fired. If we continue to protect individuals then the president's vision to stamp out corruption will not stick,” he said.
Constitutional expert Professor Nico Horn believes that “heads will certainly roll”.
But he expressed concern that such a big deal could go through seemingly unnoticed.
“I would imagine N$45 million cannot be spent without cabinet approval. I cannot imagine that any ministry would have the authority to do this without cabinet approval,” he said.
Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah, on the other hand, believes the president looks weak when he complains instead of taking action.
“He must act on it if he is serious about what he says. Frankly, the defence minister has shown an uncontrolled spending habit and should be scrutinised.”