AFTER profiling legendary women in their respective fields of expertise since January, Confident Woman avid readers will know that one can contribute towards society no matter what – meaning you don’t need to be in a specific field, time or environment to make a difference. Here is a recap of some of the inspiring women that taught us the difference between being a woman, an entrepreneur and being a professional lies in how one defines oneself and choosing to live life.
Seasoned politician with a passion for developing her country
As a country, we have many legendary and visionary leaders who helped shape our fortune having devoted their lives building the country. Among these impressive leaders is Loide Kasingo (nee Kamati), the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
Renowned as a veteran politician and prominent trade unionist, Kasingo has a demanding schedule but made time earlier this year for an interview with Confidente talking about her great contribution in the fight for freedom as well as in other activities for the betterment of Namibia.
Enlightening the world one dance step at a time
Professional dancer Tuli Shityuwete spends most of her time at the First Rain Dance Theatre (FRDT), a proudly Namibian company she co-owns with fellow dancer Haymich Olivier, training some of the best and brightest dancers. The light hearted and playful Tuli is arguably best known at filling her dance space with dynamic expressions. She has performed for Queen Elizabeth II amongst other notable figures. She also took part in various dance competitions including So You Think You Can Dance UK making the top 20 female list.
In the driving seat at CRAN
With over 18 years of experience in law, Frieda Kishi found herself in the hot seat as chairperson of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) board of directors. Her appointment was endorsed by Cabinet barely a year after she served as a member on the board. Kishi is a defence lawyer and is also a director of Weder, Kauta and Hoveka Incorporated.
Carving a niche in bridal boutiques
Whether you’re just starting out in the game or an old pro, owning and successfully operating a boutique is no easy feat and Olivia Kanyemba-Usiku, owner of Temptations, a bridal boutique, can testify to that. Although challenging, Olivia says there are ways to make life easier but mostly it’s all hard work. Temptations provides clothing, mostly tailor-made and gives customers the chance to choose their preferred design and material. Temptations was born when she discovered the need to have a boutique specialising in wedding garments.
Carving a niche in carpentry
Kathy Namundjebo is a lady carpenter/joiner who made it in a man’s world. Her story as a woman entrepreneur was featured on Africa.co. Avid readers of local newspapers must have seen pictures of young entrepreneur Namundjebo attending various trade fairs in Southern Africa. She won the Best New Entrepreneur Award at the Made in Namibia Expo 2011. On the wall of her Katutura workshop is a picture with former Zambian president, Rupiah Banda, when she won an award at the Lusaka Agricultural Show. She also has certificates for exhibiting at shows in Zimbabwe and Angola. She was inducted in the Namibian Business Hall of Fame as a laureate in 2014.
Kalipi modernises Mahangu cookies
As an entrepreneur, Rachel Kalipi rescued the languishing brand of the Mahangu Cookies. The product, an initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry nosedived after the latter withdrew its support. The Mahangu Cookies’ rise has however not been smooth. With competition in every corner, the project is forced to rebuild itself biscuit by biscuit and it appears to be working.
Omuramba pushing for dry sanitation
With more than 1 million of the country’s population still faced with a lack of proper sanitation and defecating in the open when nature calls, Dr Eline van der Linden’s priority through her company Omuramba Impact Investing cc is to curb the use of the bucket system with alternative water friendly sanitation called the Enviro Loo.
Guiding schools to better teaching and learning
Newly appointed Oshana Regional Director for Education, Hileni Haushona-Amukana is one lady serious about education. But this comes naturally for the eloquent mother of four who rose through the ranks within the education sector starting off as a teacher at the age of 18. Having served in various roles including HoD and principal amongst others, Hileni is hoping to restore education to its former glory across board.
A rare insight into the life of a Queen
Aletha Nguvauva became the first woman to be elected as Paramount Chief of the Ovambanderu traditional community having succeeded her son, Keharanjo Nguvauva. The chieftainship has been mired with controversy but many, including a senior minister, human rights lawyers and activists hailed her appointment. Aletha is the widow of Chief Munjuku Nguvauva II.
POwerCom’s New CEO
As a little girl growing up in a rural village called Oshipanda near Oshikikuku, Alisa Amupolo never imagined that she would one day become a strategic leader of note in the ICT industry. But today she is so confident of her role that for the first time arguably, she agreed to an interview to talk about her journey. From NBC, CRAN to MTC amongst other entities, her privileged position in the industry and now as CEO of PowerCom gave readers an insight of challenges and priorities she dealt with to boost performance in a complex business and communications environment.
Conquering the skies
When most girls talk about what they want to be when they grow up, pilot is hardly mentioned. So when now Nampol’s Senior Pilot – Deputy Commissioner Florentina Dumbu at the age of 11 decided she wanted to soar above the clouds, she knew she had her work cut out for her. Today at 27 years of age, Dumbu is crisscrossing the skies after excelling at the top of her classes even when her peers doubted her. As the only senior female pilot at Nampol’s Air Wing Directorate that can operate the force’s biggest helicopter – EC145, Dumbu is an example of how far opportunities for women have advanced and what they can achieve when they set their sights sky high.
Food scientist of note
With over a decade of widespread experience in the agriculture and meat industries specialising in food processing, manufacturing and quality management systems, Dr Diana van Schalkwyk has gained a firm foothold in the system tirelessly working on solutions to pressing problems in the field including the quality and safety of food. Dr van Schalkwyk is also the owner and director of Food Chain Solutions Namibia, a company that develops and plans food safety systems amongst others.
Steering netball to dizzy heights
As Netball Namibia’s secretary general, Imelda Nerongo is playing a pivotal role in steering the sport code to greater heights, sourcing funds and equipping players, coaches and umpires with relevant skills. Nerongo, who started playing netball at the age of seven, says that lack of finances prevents her team from rolling out projects that could make netball the sport of choice countrywide and place the country in top rankings regionally and internationally. Nerongo said that netball disciplines children and has proven to be an effective tool to prevent teenage pregnancies as young girls take pride in the sport.
The First Lady Effect
At the age of 19 she became a mother. At 24, she worked as a listings assistant at the Namibian Stock Exchange to help fund her legal studies. She is a founding shareholder and Managing Director of Namibia’s first and largest private equity fund, and has served as a member of the former Namibian President’s Economic Advisory Council. Among a lengthy list of accolades over her 15 years in business, she is cited as the youngest laureate of the Namibian Business Hall of Fame. Lawyer, businesswomen, parent, innovator, Monica Geingos bears a diverse mix of titles, including First Lady of the Republic of Namibia.
Helping build the Kingdom of God
After 11 years of service at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism as under-secretary for parks and wildlife management, renowned Reverend Maria Kapere responded to her divine calling as an ordained pastor by taking up the challenging role of Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) secretary general in 2009. Leading the CCN meant that Kapere was faced with the mammoth task of coordinating and facilitating member churches and faith-based organisations to foster ecumenism and addressing relevant spiritual, social and economic issues in the country. Her term at CCN ended this year but she continues to inspire the country through her church.
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