VICKY Muranda (VM) has been in the communication, marketing and advertising industry since 2001.
A former journalist, who specialised in economic and political reporting, Muranda also worked as a TV licence marketing consultant at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). She has also honed her skills during her working career at Ohlthaver & List, the Namibia Airports Company (NCA) and the Walvis Bay Municipality, as well as First National Bank (FNB) Namibia.
She was recently employed as the Manager: Corporate Communications and Consumer Education at the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa). Muranda is tasked to develop and lead the organisation’s internal and external communication, as well as consumer education programmes, amongst others. She is also on the SOS Namibia board and is a part-time public relations tutor at the University of Namibia.
Born in Katutura in 1978 (the year of the Cassinga Massacre), as Victoria Mutango Raimundo, she is the second eldest of 17 children. She was born to a father of Angolan decent and a Kwanyama mother. A devout Catholic, she started school at the Catholic Mission’s Mariabronn Primary School, and completed her schooling at St Joseph’s High School, popularly known as Dobra, in 1997. Her mother died when she was nine. Unable to take care of his small children by himself, Muranda’s father had no other option but to enroll them in boarding schools.
In an interview with Confidente’s Marianne Nghidengwa (MN), Muranda described herself as a mother, wife, friend and sister, and talked about her career, as well as her love for cooking, dancing and cars.
MN: Give us a snapshot of who you are?
VM: I am a mother, wife, friend and sister. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Rino Muranda, and we are on the same career path. We share a lot in common, besides the obvious, being our children and family. We love football (Black Africa and Liverpool), the media, in general, and each other. We are married for 14 years now. My husband is an entrepreneur, a weekend farmer and is extremely hardworking. He is a very busy person, but makes time for the family, amidst his busy schedule. Rino is also extremely supportive of my career, and is my mentor. I am a very practical person outside the corporate world. I love cooking, and I often cook with the help of my children. I also wash clothes by hand, occasionally, and as a family, we travel a lot, especially to Otavi (our hometown) and the coast. I love music, dancing and worship always relaxes me, and puts me at ease. I am not just an average dancer; I am pretty good at it.
My best quality is that I don’t need to be validated. I am confident and firm, humble, creative, positive and hardworking. I am also a humanitarian.
MN: Briefly tell us about your upbringing?
VM: I went to Catholic schools and was in hostels from Grade 4 to 12. The Catholic religion shaped my values and belief system.
MN: Congratulations on your post at Namfisa! How did that come about?
VM: A great opportunity was availed, and I embraced it, to enter a new season.
MN: What does your job entail?
VM: My job is to provide timely, strategic communication guidance and counsel to all levels of the organisation, by directly interacting with the senior leadership of the authority. I am further tasked to develop and lead internal and external communications, as well as consumer education programmes/plans across the authority. Educating consumers of financial products, about their rights and responsibilities, through key corporate initiatives, also falls within my area. This role collaborates with and influences cross-functionality, to formulate communication strategies and objectives, by helping to protect and enhance the authority’s reputation, with strategic communication plans and materials.
MN: How has working for various entities shaped you as a woman and a professional?
VM: Working at many entities in Namibia made me realise how diverse our nation is. Different organisations have different values, and present different working environments. All organisations have their strengths and developmental areas; I would not call it weaknesses. What is vital is to find an organisation that is within your passion, and an environment that works best for you. I have also learned to connect with different people, at different levels. I have made great friends and acquaintances in the process. The diversity has also allowed me to fully put to use the different communication models. Communication is not a one-size-fits-all, as generally perceived; it is dependent on the type of organisation, its values and leadership.
MN: As an influential figure at Namfisa, what will you do to ensure that women flourish at the parastatal?
VM: I am one that advocates for edifying women, generally. When I am in a position to influence a decision that is beneficial to females, you can be assured that my support would gun for the ladies. Namfisa is an organisation with more women who are educated, and can make a difference in the operations of the organisation, and the country at large. Leadership just needs to continue edifying women. Women in Namibia should support and encourage each other, to strive for the best. I have 12 sisters, and I have learned that they are all unique in their own way. It is the same in the workplace; all women are unique in their own way, and their different strengths can complement each other.
MN: What advice do you have for other women?
VM: Every girl who comes into contact with me will tell you that I ask them so many personal questions; I am that type of person. I advocate for following one’s passion. I edify your area of strength, if I know you. I am generally also a positive person, and believe that a positive mind or person is more likely to succeed in everything they do. Positivity attracts the right people in your life, and leaves you happier and healthier.
MN: What do people not know about you?
VM: I speak seven languages and I am Kwanyama (on my mother’s side), mixed with Angolan (through my father), and I have 16 brothers and sisters.
MN: What do you do for fun?
VM: Besides social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, I dance a lot. I spend a lot of time with my kids, building memories. I also love God and spend time with Him daily. Road trips charge me up, and I cannot explain my love for cars and food, as it comes naturally.
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