… Meet Standard Bank’s Business Banker for Chinese community
LIINA Ya Kasita (LYK) is a 26-year-old driven and dynamic young lady from Okapya in the Oshana region.
After years of studying in China, she is fluent in Mandarin – a language she believes has opened doors for her.
Ya Kasita is the proud holder of a Bachelor in Finance Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, obtained from the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.
She was recently appointed by Standard Bank as Business Banker for the Chinese community in Namibia.
In her new role, Ya Kasita is expected to aid in the growth of the bank, in untapped markets.
Her duties will also entail growing relations with the local Chinese community, through innovation, addressing any transactional issues that may arise and reeling in more business, through enhanced customer experience.
She previously worked at Huawei Telecommunications Technologies Namibia, also predominantly interacting with the local Chinese community. She is well-equipped for her new position, as she is acquainted with the Chinese work ethic, customs and culture, from having lived and worked among them for so long.
Although she has no experience in the banking industry, Ya Kasita said she hopes that her university courses will come in handy, in helping her execute her new job. Ya Kasita says that she is looking forward to growing professionally, gaining experience in the banking industry and spreading her roots, while adding that she has always had her eye on being employed at the Blue Bank.
Ya Kasita told Confidente’s Marianne Nghidengwa (MN) that in today’s economic climate, one way to give the next generation a competitive edge, is to think outside one’s borders.
MN: Give us a snapshot of who you are?
LYK: My name is Liina Ya Kasita, but I prefer people to call me GwaKakanda (my grandmother’s name). I’m 26 years old and obtained my Bachelor in Finance Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in the Peoples Republic of China. I am currently a Business Banker at Standard Bank.
MN: Briefly tell us about your upbringing?
LYK: I am originally from Okapya in the Oshana region. I was born in the northern part of Namibia, in Onandjokwe Hospital. I completed my primary school and high school here in Windhoek. During the holidays we used to travel to the North (Okapya) and spend time with my cousins, and visit my grandmother Kuku Gwashiku, in Olupumbu village. I am who I am today, because of my parents, who brought me up in a responsible and caring way.
MN: Congratulations on your appointment, has that reality sunk in yet?
LYK: Standard Bank is the preferred bank to most Namibians; I want that to also apply when it comes to our Chinese business community. As Standard Bank, we will continue to support ethical business with the Chinese community. I therefore want to urge all of the members of this community to know that we understand and want to cater to their needs, so they should not hesitate contacting me. I am highly motivated and a great team player, because I know that together we can go further. Working with people who are devoted to everything they do, and regard problems as challenges rather than obstacles, has rubbed off on me. I employ that work ethic and I am glad to be sharing it with my new team.
MN: What triggered your interest in finance studies?
LYK: In high school, I preferred subjects like mathematics and accounting, instead of science and geography, as I was more interested in working with numbers. In the modern world, financial knowledge is a critical part of one’s daily activities, whether in a private or business capacity, for one’s growth and sustainability. One needs to understand your financials, and I thank Standard Bank for giving me the opportunity to work here, as I will gain more knowledge and a better understanding of banking and finance.
MN: You studied in China, what memories do you cherish most?
LYK: One of fondest memories abroad was when I was giving a speech and welcoming over 2 000 Chinese students and about 30 foreign students in Mandarin. It was such an honour for me, experiencing life abroad, making friends from all over the world, from different backgrounds and religions. It was also nice, in the sense that as Namibians in China, we used to come together to promote our country during the cultural festivals. We would wear our traditional attire and introduce Namibia to the rest of the world. We also sold Namibian drinks like Tafel Lager, Windhoek Lager and Vigo, and made local kapana a delicacy. It was such a wonderful experience to promote my home country, and it felt like home away from home. I always used to say: ‘Anything for my motherland, Namibia!’
MN: You speak Mandarin. Tell us about that journey and doors it has opened for you?
LYK: Studying in China gave me the opportunity to study the language for ten months. And then from there, we were on our own to study the language through our social interaction with Chinese people. After completing my Bachelor’s Degree, I was chosen as one of the top three students to continue with my studies, and I thank God that. This gave me the chance to advance my proficiency in Mandarin even further. While I was completing my thesis at university, I started looking for job opportunities in Namibia, as I was about to graduate. I then came across a company called Huawei Telecommunications that was looking for students, who were about to graduate, to work for the company in Africa. I then applied for the vacancy in Namibia. I did my three interviews in China and made it successfully! Huawei gave me the opportunity to work there, because of the skill that I have of speaking Mandarin. I believe my exposure to the language also opened new doors for me at Standard Bank on 1 May 2017, when I joined the Blue Bank as a Business Banker for the Chinese community. I am so grateful for this opportunity, as I can see that Standard Bank invests in their employees, in terms of growth and career advancement. I am confident that this will pave the way for greater personal development, and a progressive journey for me at the bank, moving forward.
MN: What advice do you have the youth on the importance of getting an education?
LYK: Education opens doors to ample opportunities. So, do not let anyone’s bad experiences get in your way of obtaining an education, because you cannot go wrong once you have a qualification. Always be proud of where you come from, believe in yourself, dream big, be humble and God will do the rest.
MN: Just what do you do for a little fun?
LYK: I love spending most of my time with my friends and family. My favourite pastime is dancing and listening to music.
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