WHEN Olivia Toivo (OT) welcomed her son into the world some six years ago, she had difficulty finding a reliable nanny to care for her baby. Having searched high and low for a suitable candidate without fruitful results, the mother of one decided to turn her struggle into a business. Today she is the proud founder and owner of Ndapunikwa’s Nanny Agency, a company that specialises in training and providing specialised nannies and cleaners, amongst others. To date, she has trained over 700 professional caregivers thus having created jobs for some unemployed Namibians. She believes that hiring a suitable childcare provider is one of the most important things one can do for their family. She takes great care in listening to families’ needs, screening candidates for the job and ultimately matching the candidates with families. Olivia recently sat down with Confidente (C) to talk about the establishment of her company, training candidates and her plans to offer training in all local languages to cater for families in need across the country.
C: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
OT: My name is Olivia Ndapunikwa Toivo. I’m from Omugwelume village in the Ohangwena region and I completed my matric at Hochland High School in Windhoek. I was raised by my step-father and although I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth, he provided me with everything I needed. I am a very shy and humble lady who works very hard to achieve my goals.
C: Tell us about the establishment of the agency and services it offers?
OT: It all started when I gave birth and needed a nanny. At the time I was full time student. I do not remember how many nannies I had during my son’s early months but it was a headache. I remember going to school late or never showing up at all. I was frustrated and so was everyone else in the house because they were tired of seeing new faces every other week. During one school break I decided to give it another try and looked for another nanny. I got Ester. She was a stubborn lady but she was willing to learn. I coached and trained her and I also bought books for her to read. To my surprise she improved and raised my baby to an extent that she became a part of the family. I then opened a nanny company which I initially advertised on Facebook and the response I got was amazing. I realised that I was not the only one in such a situation as most parents were and continue to suffer from what many call the nanny syndrome. In 2015 I registered MTM-MONDI INVESTMENT CC, the parent company for Ndapunikwa Nanny Agency. The company is not all about the money but about helping parents find a suitable nanny or maid for their family. We offer services such as nannies, maids, caregivers and cleaners who can either live with the families or work from 07H00 to 17H00.
C: Why was it personally important for you to establish the agency?
OT: From my own experiences. The agency is very close to me because I know the frustration of not having someone to take care of your children. Also, I really just want to make sure that all my clients receive good services.
C: Tell us about the training your nannies go through.
OT: There are trainers that come on site and show our nannies how to hold and bath a baby, change diapers, feed a baby, help a baby burp, fold clothes, clean as well as other basic house hold chores such as ironing. We also teach them about the importance of hygiene. We train about 10 nannies a week and I should note that not all them need the training because they have great experience.
C: What are some qualities that make a great nanny and parents should look out for?
OT: A nanny should have natural love for children and should be willing to listen to the parents of the children when they have suggestions. Being a nanny is not a one size fits all career. We can read all books on what makes a perfect nanny but at the end of the day each parent wants their child to be taken care.
C: What are challenges and opportunities facing the agency?
OT: At the moment we only train our nannies in six languages. I would like to have all 11 languages and accommodate everyone. Other challenges include issues of refunds, replacements, impatient clients but we handle those with ease. The opportunities are providing Namibian women the opportunity to put bread on the table. I should add that the agency is helping around 756 ladies countrywide thus I encourage unemployed Namibian women to apply.
C: What don’t people know about the agency?
OT: Our agency works tirelessly to meet our clients’ demands to provide quality nannies that can make both parties happy. Our clientele comes from all different works of life. We also operate countrywide.
C: With so much negativity surrounding the behavior of nannies how do you ensure that your nannies are professional in their conduct?
OT: We strive for excellence and always try to employ people with integrity and respect for people and their belongings. There is, however, always room for improvement.
C: What do you do for a little fun?
OT: I travel a lot and spent time with my family. I enjoy watching movies too.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015