THE year 2017 has been a trailblazing celebration of women – both young and old – who are making a difference in Namibian society.
Some of them continue to play key roles in keeping their communities safe, while others have climbed the ladder of success in their chosen professions, but all of them continue to make a difference.
They also continue to inspire little girls everywhere. This special edition of Confident Women looks back at some of the inspiring women, who have taught and inspired us by living their dreams.
Uumati making waves in the fishing sector
Dr Martha Uumati took over the reins at Erongo Marine Enterprises, as its managing director, and has provided strategic leadership, while taking charge to the company’s horse mackerel business, and further developing and strengthening relationships within the fishing industry.
She has over 15 years’ experience and expertise in marine science and working offshore of the Benguela.
Uumati was previously a marine biology lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and also worked at the Benguela Current Commission (BCC), the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) Norway, and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
Serving meals to the needy in Dordabis
Roswitha Anmire Arie, aged 27, is the perfect proof that one small act of kindness can do an incredible amount of good. Arie hails from Dordabis, a village some 80km east of the capital, which has approximately 1 500 inhabitants. The village is riddled with alcoholism, unemployment and violence, and as a result, society’s most vulnerable, the children, suffer and often go hungry. When the soft-spoken mother of one noticed some hungry children, after completing her matric in 2009, she set up a feeding programme with the financial help of her retired teacher parents. Because of her one small act of kindness to feed a few hungry children back then, she now feeds close to 300 orphans and vulnerable children, who come from impoverished backgrounds in her own backyard. The nutritious meals are prepared by her and two volunteers, and are served twice a week to children between the ages of six months and 16 years.
Tjijorokisa: A financial services guru
Sigrid Tjijorokisa is a renowned advocate, with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, who has also made equally impressive headway in the banking fraternity. She is currently Standard Bank Namibia’s Acting Head of Marketing.
She has 11 years’ experience in the banking field, with detailed knowledge and experience in the legal aspects, including regulatory compliance, combating money laundering, governance, as well as non-financial risk management. Having joined Standard Bank in 2011, as Group Company Secretary, Tjijorokisa played a pivotal role in the provision of appropriate guidance to the bank’s board, regarding its duties and responsibilities, as well as acting as a central source of advice to the board on matters of ethics and good governance.
Dr Ndume shines bright on African stage
Dr Helena Ndume, who is popularly known as Namibia’s miracle doctor, is a beacon of hope, who is continually putting the Land of the Brave on the international map, with her selflessness and passion.She is a pioneering ophthalmologist, who has to date, performed over 35 000 sight-restoring surgeries, completely free of charge. In April, she won the New African Woman Award, in the Health, Science and Technology category. This just the latest in a long list of accolades that includes being awarded the inaugural United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize in 2015. Dr Ndume was the very first recipient of the prize, which is awarded in recognition of an individual’s dedicated service to humanity, in the promotion of reconciliation, social cohesion and community development, guided by the purposes and principles of the UN. Last week Ndume made history, as the first Namibian to be named by New African Magazine as being among the 100 Most Influential Africans for 2017.
Producing the nurses of tomorrow
Growing up as a young girl on a farm in Lüderitz, Professor Agnes van Dyk did not look far for inspiration. Her grandmother, who was a well-known nurse in her community, had stirred her interest in healthcare. She too wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, through healthcare delivery. She worked hard on her academic pursuits, until she obtained a Doctorate Degree in Nursing Science (Nursing Education) through the University of South Africa (UNISA) in 1978.
Today, as the Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty at the International University of Management (IUM), she is passionate about instilling love and compassion in the nursing students under her wings, who will very soon be caring for Namibian patients.
Suzie’s sassy sax ignites her passion
Born and raised in Oranjemund, Suzie Eises became immersed in the town’s rich musical culture from an early age. Renowned as the youngest black female saxophonist in the country, Suzie began playing the instrument when she was in primary school, as well as the piano.
She has shared the stage with South Africa’s Jimmy Dludlu and other prominent African artists. She worked with South African House DJ Groove Candi on her debut track, I Decided.
Peters inspires love of computing
Growing up on the dusty streets of Khomasdal, Dr Anicia Peters never thought she would one day be known as a woman making waves in the computing industry. Today, she is the Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Informatics at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
She obtained 100 percent for both her PhD and MSc degrees in Human Computer Interaction at the Virtual Reality Applications Centre (VRAC) of the Iowa State University in the United States. Her dissertation was awarded with a Research Excellence Award, as one of the top 10 pieces of research that made a significant contribution in the field. Boeing also awarded her two prizes for her research.
Amongst her list of accolades is being the Google Anita Borg Scholar in the United States in 2012. Dr Peters was also honoured as one of Africa’s top 10 women, in terms of being technology role models.
Estelle plants her flag of success at Ohorongo
Estelle Alberts stepped into the hot seat of being Ohorongo Cement Plant Manager earlier this year. Despite the mammoth task that comes with managing the plant, which is situated on Sargberg farm, about 30km northwest of Otavi, she is unfazed by her new post. In her new role, she is responsible for all activities related to the plant, including coordinating production and maintenance, as well as driving the implementation of new projects.
Architect passion burns bright in Una
As a little girl growing up in Katutura, Windhoek, Una Ferreira loved drawing. She mastered her creativity from pre-school, until her skills drove her into the world of architecture.
Today, she is the owner and founder of Una Stuurman Architects, a company renowned for managing large projects, such as the Eenhana Shrine, the Unam Veterinary School and the Nkurenkuru Youth Centre, amongst others. The architectural firm, which is a corporate member of the Namibian Institute of Architects, prides itself on its innovative and sustainable design approaches, which add value to any client’s project.
Gawanas leads way in traffic law enforcement
In 1996, Deputy Commissioner Amalia Gawanas became the first woman to join the Namibian Police Traffic Law Enforcement Division. After years of serving in various positions and ranks, she now heads the division and leads a workforce of 486 personnel in 44 units across the country.
Born to serve
While growing up in Omaruru, Deputy Commissioner Helmey Hilma Laudika Abraham (HA) learnt the virtue of serving humanity from her parents, who welcomed people from all walks of life into their home. In 1996, she joined the Namibian Police Force, in order to help the masses.
Hilma has risen through Nampol’s ranks and is now heading the force’s International Operations Division, which sees her facilitate the deployment of police officers to peace support missions in the region, continent and across the globe.
Charine’s passion is mental wellness
Since childhood, Charine Glen-Spyron always wanted to help people, and her thoughts turned toward becoming a psychologist. Today, she is a renowned clinical psychologist and owns Bel Esprit mental health clinic in Olympia.
With her newly established state-of-the-art building, she will continue to provide patients with exceptional service, in a safe and professional space. Their services include those focusing on adolescents, anxiety and bipolar mood disorders, disorders of old age, post-natal depression, eating disorders, substance abuse and acute psychotic disorders.
Creating a better world for pets
Monique Redecker grew up surrounded by animals, and knew from a very young age that she wanted to protect them. The mother of one now has a fulfilling career as the chief executive officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Windhoek.
The SPCA is a non-profit organisation, which helps animals in need. Its main aim is to protect and prevent animal cruelty. Cruelty against animals has been on the increase in recent times and the SPCA plays a pivotal role in rescuing and assisting animals that are maltreated, abandoned and abused.
Dynamic Ya Kasita spreads her wings
Liina Ya Kasita 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 of Finance Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, obtained from the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. She was appointed earlier this year by Standard Bank as its 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 an enhanced customer experience.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015