GROWING up, Rachel Jacob (RJ) was distraught by the suffering of people owing to injustices by the colonial regime to a point that she vowed to join politics to make a difference.
Today, she is the Chairperson of the Khomas Regional Council, a position she was re-elected into, owing to her remarkable performance in local politics over the years.
Speaking to Confidente (C) this week, Jacob remarked that her re-election is an indication that her colleagues have trust in her capabilities while adding that she will work closely with the Windhoek Municipality to ensure projects that benefit communities are implemented.
Jacob served in various positions throughout her political career and is well-known as the vibrant Councillor of the John Pandeni Constituency. Below is an excerpt of her interview with Confidente.
C: Tell us about yourself and your background
RJ: My name is Rachel Ndemupelila Jacob. I was born 50 years ago at a village called Odibo, in Ohangwena region where I did my primary education. I started my secondary education at Ogha Secondary School and completed it at Oshikoto Secondary school in Tsumeb.
C: Congratulations on your re-election, what does it mean to you?
RJ: Well, it really surprised me but after I was sworn in, it started to sink in that I am re-elected as the Chairperson of Khomas Regional Council (KRC). However this is not my first experience of re-election after I have been re-elected a Councilor for John A. Pandeni Constituency for a third time. With regards to Khomas Regional Council, I have been elected to serve as a member of the Management Committee in 2010, and then re-elected as a member of the same Committee in May 2013. In 2015 I was elected for the first time as a Chairperson of the Khomas Regional Council and now in May 2018 I am re-elected to continue to serve in the same position for the remaining two and a half years of our term. To me the re-election means my fellow honorable Councillors have confidence in me to lead the KRC for the next remaining term in office. As a person I am privileged and humbled by this opportunity
C: As the re-elected Chairperson, what key areas will you tackle?
RJ: My focus will be on good governance, collective team work between the Khomas Regional Council and the City Of Windhoek, especially on programmes and projects aimed at improving living standards of our people.
C: What trigged your interest to join Politics? Briefly tell us your political career and what you are most proud of.
RJ: The suffering of our people through the undemocratic, unfairness and injustice rules by the colonial regime triggered my political interest. I joined politics in the 1980’s when I was very young. I participated in many political activities organised by NANSO and the SWAPO Youth League. I joined the SWAPO Women Council before Independence at a young age. I was elected as a Chairperson of Shikongo Nuunyango Section in Soweto District, then SWAPO Party Secretary of mobilization Officer in Soweto, elected as Treasury for SWAPO Party, Khomas Region, elected SWAPO Party District Coordinator in Soweto by then, now John A. Pandeni and eventually elected as Councillor for John A. Pandeni Constituency and Chairperson of Khomas Regional Council. I am proud to serve my people as a politician and a leader in a free and democratic Namibia.
C: In your view what can be done to level the playing field for more women to get elected into Senior Political positions?
RJ: The SWAPO Party Constitution has already made provision for women by introducing a 50/50 zebra style in all party structures and women must stand up, be confident and be willing to participate and serve in decision making positions.
C: There is a perception that politicians approach communities when seeking votes but once elected; they turn their backs on the electorate. As a politician, what is your view on this?
RJ: There might be a perception from some members of our communities but politicians are doing the best they can to meet the numerous needs of the community with scarce resources. I would like to point out that as much as we are willing to serve our community, the reality is that sometimes the financial resources do not allow it, especially this time of financial challenges the country is faced with.
C: What don’t people know about you?
RJ: I like to serve all people equally. Since I joined the KRC, I enrolled at NAMCOL to further my studies, where I obtained my certificate in Local Government. I further enrolled at the University of Namibia where I obtained a Diploma in Local Government and now I am a graduate with a Bachelor degree in Public Management from the same University.
C: Just what do you do for a little fun?
RJ: For fun I like to watch football, attend church activities and socialize with my friends and neighbors.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015