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Dec-Jan 2018 • Vol 2 Issue 2 • N$20
“We have been accused of underselling diamonds. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
DEC-JAN 2018 • VOL.2 ISSUE 02 • N$20
How I survived the reccession
KENNEDY HAMUTENYA Namdia, Namibia & its Diamonds
Contents Cover Story 12 / Selling Diamonds: Inside Kennedy Hamutenya’s logic: Where dreams are a dime a dozen, Kennedy is proving that no ambition is too big.
Health & Lifestyle 22 / NAMPHIA survey target to test 26 000 individuals: The Namibia Population based HIV Impact Assessment (NAMPHIA) survey is coming to an end, to resounding success. 23 / All women should know the secrets of the delivery room: In our urbanised, modernised lives, much of the wisdom of childbirth has been lost 24 / Why you should keep your love away from social media: It’s okay to talk about your loved one with your family members and friends but posting about them on social media may not be such a great idea.
Andrew Kathindi | Editor firstname.lastname@example.org 081 800 0250
Fashion & Cuisine Karabo Spara | Marketing email@example.com 081 486 9146
Inspirational Stories 04 / Ashipala Uushona on breaking barriers: What do you need when you’re 25, trying to break into a white dominated engineering industry with a company that does not have any experience? 06 / Anicia Peters, for the love of machines: Responsible for the entire Computer Science and Informatics Faculty (NUST), Peters is carving her own legacy in the longstanding history of the skills transfer orientated institution. 07 / Iipumbu: The resilience of a security guard: His story can only be described as enthralling.
15 / Kangueehi’s culinary fortune: Namibia’s first and only participant on Master Chef South Africa is no ordinary woman. 16 / Wearing Jewellery is a way of keeping memories alive: Canto Goldsmith and Jeweller was founded in 1955 by J. and D. Canto. Andre and Simone Canto took over in 2003 with the ideas of a new generation.
Kenneth Karamata | General Manager: Marketing 081 667 6552
Group Executive Editor Confidence Musariri Operations Officer: Marizaan Bock Admin & Accounts
Business & Personalities
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08 / Tobias Nambala’s art of leadership: At the helm of the leadership of Erongo Red’s board, Tobias has instilled a culture of excellence and has parlayed a challenge to results.
18 / Ongava - a haven for man and beast: There’s nowhere like Etosha National Park. That’s not hyperbole, just a statement of truth. 20 / At Ongava time and romance connect
10 / Resilience: Recession Lessons from a Namibian conglomerate: Sven Thieme’s take on surviving a recession.
Keith M. Tuwelo
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17 / Wangara: Women and cars defying stereotypes: The brainchild of four women who were growing increasingly frustrated with the unsafety of Namibian roads.
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25 / Faith and firmly less limelight: Justus Hausiku’s recipe: His wife is the heartthrob of Namibian corporate governance 3
Ashipala Uushona on breaking barriers
What do you need when you are 25, dreaming to break into a highly professional, competitive engineering industry and with a company that does not have any experience? According to one half of Dunamis Consulting Engineers, Ashipala Uushona, patience and strategy.
For one, patience meant Uushona and business partner, Abisai Nambahu being strategic and funding operations through other aspects of the business while bidding their time and proving that they were able to deliver.
oday, with their biggest project being the N$150m Hardap Regional Office Park, the Dunamis pair remain proof that young Namibians can break into any industry regardless of previous barriers. While establishing their name in a highly competetive industry was not easy for young engineering dreams with only experience, qualifications and a dream for something bigger than themselves, it meant delivering on their first project. “This was the N$8m Hoachanas Settlement office Project and it felt like a breakthrough. It taught us that if we were prepared to give it our all, something would come out of it,” Uushona tells Us. While their breakthrough was a new trend that inspired many young previously disadvantaged Namibians to chase their entrepreneurial engineering dreams, Uushona and Nambahu carved out a niche market for Dunamis in the Hardap region. While they have operations across the country, construction operations on the Ministry of Education, Bank of Namibia and Ministry of Rural & Urban Development office branches in Hardap has steered Dunamis to open a satellite office in Mariental in the Hardap region, which they are in the process of turning into a fully-fledged office.
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Wisdom is not about age, but the quality to which you apply the knowledge and lessons that you have gathered, and at 30, after one of the toughest economic years for the construction industry, Uushona says one of his highlights of 2017 has been being able to retain his work staff in a very hard year. “We have seen construction jobs left halfway because of government budget cuts and employees leaving work, but I am happy that we have kicked on peacefully. With Dunamis Consulting Engineers’ parent Investment Company having interests in various sectors, including engineering, and properties development, it has allowed us to operate without much fear,” says Uushona. After acquiring a multi-storey building next door that he has been chasing for quite some time, he says they are ready to move operations into their new HQs to the mother company. As it stands, 2018 looks to be an exciting year for Uushona and Nambahu. From a company from three employees to 14, it is not lost on Uushona the impact that his dream has had and his own leadership quality is one to give responsibilities, trust and monitor progress. “When we started getting more projects, we needed more staff and as there aren’t that many qualified Namibian engineers, we brought in a few fresh graduates who come directly from school with no experience. As long as they know what is required of them, and we are quite strict on deadlines and delivery. This approach has yielded quite good results for us,” he says. Uushona’s vision is for Dunamis to become one of the biggest engineering companies in Namibia run by young engineers.
Traveling remains a passion of his heart, and while he takes European trips at least once a year to relax and take some time off work, Uushona says his trips always end up finding ways to connect to his passion for engineering. “What I have observed is that architects and engineers in Europe are free to come up with their own designs as long as they stick to the scientific principles, but at home we are confined to certain standards only. Certain buildings in London would not meet applicable structural standards yet they have been standing for more than 300 years so they’re clearly doing something right. Innovation is encouraged there,” he says.
He adds that his vision is for Dunamis to assist the government on human settlement and basic infrastructure and to develop it not only in Namibia but around Africa.
DEC-JAN 2018 â€¢ Us NAMIBIA
INSPIRATION Tel.: +264-61-207-9111 | Fax: +264-61-207-2444 13 Storch Street Windhoek, Namibia Private Bag 13388 Windhoek, Namibia
Anicia Peters, for the love of machines It is that same air of confidence and self-belief that she strives to instill in her students, to draw from her well of knowledge as she has drawn from her mentors.
eing a stronghold for a Faculty as complex and necessary as Computing and Informatics at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) takes dedication, recognising opportunities and knowledge, but mostly, just the air of grace and passion that Dr Anicia Peters exudes.
Her role models in academia are our Vice Chancellor, Prof Tjama Tjivikua, and her former boss at Oregon State University, Prof. Margaret Burnett who is an ACM distinguished Engineer and Academy Fellow, textbook author and inventor of two visual programming languages. This year, as one of her goals, Peters has managed to rekindle a love for Computing among students and staff members by concentrating on providing a holistic education for students. They also emphasise community based research, which forms the core of their activities and has seen the team be internationally renowned.
esponsible for the entire Computer Science and Informatics Faculty, Peters is carving her own legacy in the longstanding history of the skills transfer orientated institution.
These feats within the academic space are only a reflection of Peters’ spirit as a natural career. “My husband and I adopted two girls who mother passed away when the baby was born. Our oldest daughter studies Statistics in the United States, while our the other child is in high school. Then we care for another 15 year old.
“I see myself as an opportunity facilitator instead. When I see students, I see opportunity, new ideas and talent. I see the future of Namibia and the future of the world. It gives me tremendous joy to help them to unlock and achieve their dreams. Sure, there are times when we have to reprimand, but mostly we facilitate learning in as a holistic manner as we can do. In the Faculty we have started to place greater emphasis also on the nonacademic needs of students such as mentoring, living arrangements, transport, jobs, emotional support or extra skills training,” she tells Us. Her Faculty has about 80 Masters students and 20 PhD students currently and NUST also has several collaboration agreements with different universities in different countries where they send students on exchange programs. Over the course of the year, Peters’ Faculty has had five different groups of Master’s and PhD students going to the United States
for various reasons and events. In 2017, she has also sent students to China, Italy, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, France, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Japan for training or exchange programmes. “In May 2017, 11 Masters and PhD students went to Denver, United States where they presented their research at an International Research Symposium and they were fully funded by the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI). In June, one female Master student and junior staff member was the only person from Africa selected to represent SIGCHI at the ACM’s 50th Anniversary in San Francisco, United States,” she tells Us. As one of the few Namibian women with
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PhDs in Computer Science, Peters sees the landscape of female PhD holders changing considering the number of those currently busy with their PhDs. In working and studying for six years at Iowa State University, Oregon State University and Intuit in Silicon Valley, Peters mustered her energy back home into building her experience where she draws on her international network to find the funding, collaborators, partners or equipment needed for students. “It makes me proud that I am an alumnus of NUST and can have a share in shaping Namibia’s future in technology. I am grateful to be able to dispel the myth that our students are not good enough quality, which is something I heard so often in the past. Now, students finally have confidence in themselves and believe that they are receiving a world-class education and are internationally competitive,” she says.
So, in total we have 5 girls. We like to spend time as a family and usually eat dinner together. I go home in the afternoons, have dinner and once the children go to sleep, I then continue working. I am also an aunt (“Tannie”) and grandaunt,” she says. For 2018, her aim is to continue building more skills and capacity for the Namibian workforce. Smiling, she concludes, “We really want to meet industry’s needs with a highly skilled tech workforce. Inspiring more young Namibians to pursue studies in Computing and Informatics. Developing more interdisciplinary programmes so that we can tackle Namibia’s problems more holistically.”
“I see myself as an opportunity facilitator instead. When I see students, I see opportunity, new ideas and talent. I see the future of Namibia and the future of the world.”
Iipumbu: The resilience of a security guard His story can only be described as enthralling.
Being security had some sense of ‘security’. You knew you only got fired or contract not renewed when you mess up,” he says.
He was a single father of four, two of them at NUST and Unam respectively and with a family to feed, he found himself at the end of his rope.
aftal Iipumbu looked for a job when he could not further his studies due to lack of fees after completing Grade 7. Today he has all the answers about being a security guard, the hours spent alone, sitting, standing, reading and trying to remain sane. But for seven years, he did more than just repeat the security guard norm during his shifts as a security guard for Ongula Security. “I was tired. I had worked for Roads Contractor Company (RCC), state hospital, central hospital, Nampost, Namrock and Steel Africa for much of my life as a contract labourer and you never had the job security.
His solution was simple. To start a security company of his own, with him as the only employee. It worked! Jobs at Namibian Workers Union, Namibia Bottle Sorting, Otjomuise Private Clinic, New Era Investment and Distell Namibia for which he signed a five-year contract. “I started Iipumbu Security Services in 2011 but I became operational in 2012. It was my company and I was the only employee. It was very tough at first. My shifts where from 6pm to 6am. When I knocked off in the morning, I went home, took a shower, drank some coffee and then the day began. I would have some meetings to try and secure another job. I used the afternoon to sleep and at 6pm, back to work,” he tells Us.
Since expanding to a bigger staff compliment, Iipumbu Security Services has also offered services to Lady Pohamba Private Hospital, Independence on 77, the NBC flats and others.
He still walks to his meetings, and while he could use part of the N$3m to buy a vehicle, he says he is more interested in investing in his business. The vehicle comes after that.
In the midst of all that, he also developed a manufacturing company called Iipumbu Investments, which he has used to manufacture all his employees’ uniforms.
He is also a philanthropist at heart who donantes monthly to Iipumbu Secondary School in Oshakati, Namibian Federation of the Visually Impaired (NFVI) as well as some students studying electrical work at the Windhoek Vocational Training Center.
“The manufacturing company is established but I would like it to expand and grow bigger. I have N$3m saved up with Metropolitan, I have bought all the machinery I just need land. With the plot, I will set up a complex with my security, clothing manufacturing and vocational training center all in one place,” he says. Iipumbu is the nephew of former Agribank CEO and President Hage Geingob chief of protocol, Leonard Iipumbu, whom he looks to for inspiration.
His entrepreneurship spirit blossomed, and in no time, he took in more staff for more jobs and today employs 16 people in the security guard business including administrators, and when it is necessary, he still steps in from time to time for a night shift.
“I want to give back to those that have an opportunity to learn. My highest grade was grade 7, but I believe education is important so this is my way of giving back. I was just in London three months ago with some British partners trying to acquire a mining license so that we can get into concrete work.”
“It was my company and I was the only employee. It was very tough at first. My shifts where from 6pm to 6am.”
DEC-JAN 2018 • Us NAMIBIA
Tobias Nambala’s art of leadership Fresh off establishing the new N$270m intake-substation upgrade in Walvis Bay, their biggest project to date, Erongo RED has once again shown that the mandate to be a custodian of energy in the region has been one done to distinction.
which saw Fessor Mbango promoted to succeed Robert Kahimise, now Chief Executive Officer at City of Windhoek.
Last year it was the construction of the solar plant in Arandis that will save Erongo RED N$127m, which excited him the most, this year it has been the smooth transition for the chief executive officer position
“Managing a transition is not as easy as it seems. We are compelled to adhere to corporate governance rules and many companies fail that part. I am glad that this year that has been the highlight of our leadership as a Board,” says Nambala.
t the helm of the leadership of Erongo RED’s board is chairman Tobias Nambala who has instilled a culture of excellence and has parlayed a challenge to results.
ull time employed at the Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute (NAMFI) where he is in charge of academic affairs and operations, Nambala also serves as the chairperson of the Walvis Bay Management Committee, and is also Board chairperson of Protravel Namibia and Executive Director Prodigy Investment. His stature as a pillar in the corporate industry accords him influence, but at heart, he is a collaborator. “The Erongo RED Board have adopted a code of ethics for the board and that of the entire organisation and it works very well. As the Board Chairperson, I have to be objective and guide discussions during board meetings, but, it also requires continuous self-reading on issues of corporate governance and good ethics. The business environment we operate in is very demanding and one has to keep up with technological changes and
“Managing a transition is not as easy as it seems. We are compelled to adhere to corporate governance rules and many companies fail that part.
regulations that come with it. Only then can you be well informed about issues,” he tells Us. The Erongo RED has a five-year strategic plan with the drive to ensure that it continues to implement strategic interventions identified in the plan. This includes ensuring financial sustainability, improving stakeholder relations and expanding its footprint throughout the region. Living up to the call to bring electricity to all by 2020 has been its priority for 2017 and regardless of external factors, a robust operating model, strong leadership team, and healthy workforce remain essential factors in success. Going back some years, there were times when Erongo RED was threatened with closure by some shareholders and customers. However, under the leadership of both the previous and current Board Chairpersonl, Nambala, along with management have not only managed to re-establish a fruitful relationship with the customers and shareholders but crafted solution oriented modalities and policy interventions for the betterment of all in Erongo. “We are the first utility in Namibia to introduce special tariffs for the elderly and the most vulnerable.
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This was really brought about by looking at the complaints that were valid and as the board decided to relook into our tariff structures and with management crafted a workable solution. Of course, electricity is a resource that is imported into the country and therefore the chances of controlling prices are at minimum. I can say that to date, Erongo RED is a formidable brand that is renowned for its best quality service delivery at a fast pace.” One of the strongest qualities for any business is diversification and for Erongo RED it is no different. Currently the company is looking at wind power and still aiming to establish more solar power plants throughout the region. The N$270m bulk upgrade for Walvis Bay was co-financed by NamPower and ensures that Walvis Bay has uninterrupted power supply of up to 120 MW, and that means that the coastal town has double the power intake from NamPower from 60 to 120 MW. “Next on the slate is Swakopmund. To date we have electrified in excess of 1500 households in Erongo region and rural electrification projects remain a standing item on the calendar,” he adds.
“The art of leadership is to allow people to be themselves and provide a conducive environment for cooperative inclusive decision making.” Flanked by his wife, two girls and a boy who keep him highly occupied outside his corporate life, Nambala employs prolific leadership quality in child rearing as efficiently as he does in seeing to it that Erongo remains bright. “The art of leadership is to allow people to be themselves and provide a conducive environment for cooperative inclusive decision making. Therefore, I simply just allow others to establish their position before I come up with mine. Since I joined the Erongo RED Board, we have never voted over an item, items are simply debated amongst the members and consensus is reached. Part of the successes of Erongo RED, is that the board and management both attend to very important interventions that adds value to their being Directors or Exco,” he says.
DEC-JAN 2018 â€¢ Us NAMIBIA
Resilience: Recession Lessons from a Namibian conglomerate Sven Thieme’s grandfather, Werner List, founded Ohlthaver & List (O&L), the largest private-owned conglomerate in Namibia. Ohlthaver & List, which has annual revenues of more than US$400 million and 6300 employees, owns Namibia Breweries Limited, the largest producer of beverages in the country. Besides PnP, O&L’s other assets include Namibia Dairies, the country’s largest dairy company, and hotel group O&L Leisure Namibia among other companies.
“The O&L Group showed the best profits ever this time around, amid the recession. It shows that our culture is extremely resilient. Our resilience comes from our people, like Morkel.”
t is now 20 years that Angelo Morkel has been with Pick ‘n Pay (PnP) Namibia. Recruited as a grocery-packer straight from high school a few years after Namibia’s independence, Morkel thought he had seen it all in the retail industry where he has risen to regional manager. Alas, an economy-crippling recession, a first for independent Namibia brought out not only the
best for Morkel, but for Pick ‘n Pay and holding company, the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group. “We were worried to learn that the Southern African franchise of PnP was retrenching about 3500 employees in RSA to reduce business costs amid a recession. Most employees in Namibia thought, if it could happen to South Africa, then the worst was to fall on Namibia,” he says.
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With both countries’ economies in parallel, it has become an economic and political apparent that if South Africa catches a cold, Namibia would sneeze. However, instead of the impending axe, Morkel was promoted to regional manager of Pick ‘n Pay Wernhil Park, right in the middle of the recession, and none of the retail outlet’s employees were sent home.
Namibia like the rest of the southern African region is facing rather uncertain economic times. Neighbouring South Africa is on a negative ratings-watch by agencies, to the north Angola, just like Botswana and Zambia to the eastern borders continue to be negatively impacted by low commodity prices.
But while the economic growth slowed down to around 2.5% in 2016 from a previous estimate of 4.3%, where government revenue hit a 9% low, negatively impacting the customer pocket, Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman of the O&L Group says the demand for grocery provisions has continued to grow. “The O&L Group showed a great performance this time around, amid the recession. It shows that our business is extremely resilient. Our resilience comes from our people, like Morkel. I am personally involved daily and monthly in the training of our people. About 50% of my daily job is driving leadership. Thinking ahead.
“I applaud the new government measures where no expenses are being incurred without the approval by the Ministry of Finance.” We have sectors that are closing around the country who did not think ahead regarding valuing their people as assets,” says Thieme, listed amongst Forbes top 5 richest Namibians of 2017. “The group has managed to grow despite the economic recession. Small reason we never retrenched,” he says, adding, “Our import and export operations have been resilient to the exchange rate. Our products do not have to wait for anyone. The secret lies in value addition. We brew beer, produce milk and related products, process fish, our retail is 38% processing from meat, bakery and other. In industries where we should have slumped amid the recession like the brewing industry, we remained stable, and now we are picking up gradually. This because the O&L group has created within the economy, its own economy which balances itself.
And the greatest equator is the people.” Recent estimates indicate that the O&L Group generates revenues contributing roughly 4 percent to Namibia’s GDP. The Group has business interests in food production, fishing, beverages, farming, retail trade, information technology, property leasing and development, renewable power generation, marine engineering, advertising and the leisure and hospitality industry. He credits the success of the Group, which has won repeatedly the Deloitte Best Company to Work For Survey in Southern Africa, to the GAP International concept. It was in 2009 when O&L engaged American consulting and diagnostics company, Gap International to facilitate accelerated business growth and for Thieme, that came with the improved dimensions of higher risk, huge purpose, shared goals, selfempowerment. “We became a people first company. Customers second. This helped us weather the storm. In fact, it challenged us to achieve further breakthrough. The Group’s improved financial performance reflects in large measure the encouraging progress over the past year in investing in its people where many of its rivals reduced cost through stronger financial controls. Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) maintained its strong market position despite a strained local economy, challenges in export markets and declining consumer spending. In their results for the half year ended 31 December 2016, Namibian, South African and export volumes increased by 1.1%, 33.1%, and 7.3% respectively. Revenue increased by 13.6% and operating profit was 6.5% higher than the comparative period. But for Thieme, stronger financial controls are the smaller part of the puzzle, from both a business perspective and a national perspective. Calle Schlettwein, the Minister of Finance identified R5.5billion expenses that needed to be cut in the 2016/17 fiscal year where R1billion was reallocated to urgent funding needs.
“I am worried about the national approach. The country has had little focus on value addition. The policies required to foster foreign direct investment have been in draft format since 2007. Only now do we see momentum. Besides, corruption has been an acne. The tenders are allocated to suppliers who cannot deliver. By now, the amount of millions and billions lost to corruption should have gone to schools and hospitals for our people. We need to concentrate our efforts on poverty alleviation, tackling income inequality and achieving economic emancipation in earnest,” says Thieme. With the South African economy expected to remain under pressure over the mid-term with 1.1% growth for the 2018/19 financial and 1.5% growth for the 2019/20, Thieme says a national economic resilience strategy has to be adopted. He continues, “I applaud the new government measures where no expenses are being incurred without the approval by the Ministry of Finance. In fact, the new Procurement Act is key to a national resilience strategy. There are indications that Namibia has survived the storm, but there are tougher measures that still need to be implemented if we have to adopt an economic resilience strategy. Not everyone will understand resilience. We need to create more policies, more value addition. Currently all the right things are being done but at a slow pace.” Simonis Storm Securities has weighed in, “The Bank of Namibia cut interest rates by 25bps this year to 6,75%. Looking at the economic indicators, it is justifiable for Bank of Namibia to cut by another 25bps at its next meeting in December. However, due to the current depreciation of the rand, we expect inflation to remain moderately high and interest rate cuts to be on hold both in South Africa and Namibia this year,” Simonis said. In a surprise move, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Namibia’s long-term senior unsecured bond rating from Baa3 to Ba1 with a negative outlook.
BUSINESS This is a non-investment grade or ‘junk’ status. Moody’s cited an “erosion of Namibia’s fiscal strength” and alleged “increasing debt burden” as concerning. It also noted limited institutional capacity to manage possible shocks and to address long-term fiscal rigidities. Moody’s also saw a risk with the Namibian government’s liquidity. Argues Thieme, “A number of factors led to the current economic climate. However, we are where we are and should refrain from being stuck in the past.
“The group has managed to grow despite the economic recession. Small reason we never retrenched,” Let’s focus on the future and move forward towards creating a future we want for our children and generations to come by fighting corruption, being more disciplined and implementing better policies that would ultimately increase the speed of ease on doing business in Namibia. We need to have a different sense of urgency and as a country, we should never lose the opportunity of a good crisis.” As the lingering shocks from the longest and deepest recession since independence continue, Angelo Morkel has no qualms, no job losses, a promotion, another possible 20 years with the company, all become the fundamentals of an O&L system where instruments in its people have become the greater infrastructure for the technical recession shocks. “Even in the darkest hour of our country’s economic survival, O&L was still recruiting, innovating and promoting,” Sven Thieme sums it up.
“Instead of the impending axe, Morkel was promoted to regional manager of Pick ‘n Pay Wernhil Park, right in the middle of the recession.” 11
DEC-JAN 2018 • Us NAMIBIA
Selling Diamonds: Inside Kennedy Hamutenya’s logic Where dreams are a dime a dozen, Kennedy Hamutenya is proving that no ambition is too big.
t’s exactly a year to this month that NAMDIA, a new Namibian government company which is entitled to buy 15% of NamDeb’s run-ofmine production for onward sale to discerning world markets was founded. And this anniversary coincides well with Hamutenya’s 50th birthday. As Chief Executive Officer, Hamutenya is the face of NAMDIA. His experience in the diamond industry, his position in the political landscape of Namibia and his stature in the community, are not reflective of the the physical office he now occupies in Windhoek. Whilst waiting for the completion of NAMDIA’s offices currently under construction, Hamutenya and his team of dedicated managers operated from small rented offices in the city.
“My vision is to reduce unemployment and poverty among the youth in my community and also to beneficiate our minerals in our town and country.” “The biggest lesson I learned is that you must work On your business not in your business for it to grow. We are moving to the new offices sooner than you think. The contractors are just finishing off the final touches. Like NAMDIA, this building is unique - in both its history and its design. Moreover, it will perhaps be the most secure building in the city. We will not compromise on the safety of our people, nor on the security of our product,” he says. amutenya’s journey has H been characterised by both humble beginnings and public pessimism.
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He was among the young people tasked by the then guerrilla movement, SWAPO, during the liberation struggle, to focus on gaining academic qualifications and experience “so that when we gain independence, we would know what to do with our natural resources,” says Mines Commissioner, Erasmus Shivolo, with whom Kennedy spent time together whilst studying abroad. Namibia today has the largest reserves of marine diamonds in the world and Hamutenya is best positioned to know what to do with NAMDIA.
“Big retailers don’t sell diamonds. They just sell a brand,” he says. We’ve all heard of the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” but for Hamutenya, it seems diamonds are also becoming an investor’s best friend. Rough diamond prices have jumped nearly a third since 2005 and rose to another 20 percent by 2017, bolstered by demand in Asian economic powerhouses China and India, according to wealth research firm Wealth-X. Record prices of diamonds have been making headlines lately. A pear-shaped 101.73 carat “flawless” diamond, for example, sold for a record $27 million to luxury jeweler Harry Winston at a Christie’s auction in Geneva. It’s no surprise that many investors want in on the action.
“We just don’t sell diamonds, we sell the diamond dream and experience,” says Kennedy Hamutenya.
COVER STORY Diamonds Commissioner, a position he occupied for the past 15 years before joining NAMDIA, Hamutenya has the footprints to steer the country’s diamond trade into the right direction. Already, in just over a year of existence, NAMDIA has so far sold close to a billion Namibian dollars’ worth of diamonds and paid some N$60 million in taxes to the State – over and beyond the De Beers Price book. “We have been accused of underselling diamonds. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we are selling 15% of Namdeb Holdings diamonds for over and above De Beers selling price (our invoices are testimony) why spit venom at NAMDIA but not question the sale of the rest of the 85% by De Beers? If our price is higher than theirs that means the bulk of the Namibian diamonds are grossly being undersold. This is simple logic. We have boxes of our inaugural annual report sitting in our office awaiting presentation in Cabinet and Parliament,” Hamutenya tells Us. He has no qualms with those crucifying NAMDIA. In fact, it does not bother him.He remains undeterred by those after him.
“I lost my uncle, Hidipo as well Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, my first boss at the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
“We have been accused of underselling diamonds. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Having been an integral part of the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) for an increased entitlement of diamonds to the local industry by NamDeb, Hamutenya and diamonds have
become synonymous with success. He was appointed as the Chief Negotiator for Government by Cabinet and this was a unique and welcome opportunity. With his insights and experience in the diamond industry, this position provided an ideal opportunity to correct some anomalies that were holding the Government back from fully developing the diamond sector. Of course, considering he was a leading a team consisting of much senior members, including Permanent Secretaries, he had to be humble and tread carefully, he says.
This is excluding the $150 million purchase entitlement to Namib Desert Diamonds (NAMDIA). For Hamutenya, this was very crucial to give the Namibian manufacturing industry the oxygen it so desperately needed to make the industry viable and sustainable. So as a result of the Diamond Agreement Hamutenya’s team signed last year, some 73% of all Namdeb Holdings diamonds are working directly for the local economy through beneficiation and direct trade through NAMDIA.
Today more than 50% of all Namibian diamonds (U$430 million out of US$800 million) are earmarked for local polishing.
His vision for NAMDIA is clear. “I want to create an elite international diamond sales and marketing company and to create a footprint of our beautiful diamonds in the international market.
Also, all the big stones (specials) and unique beautiful stones are earmarked for local manufacturing.
I want to see NAMDIA as a good corporate citizen, essential in helping to empower young people and women in Namibia.
Both these tragedies impacted me and allowed me to zero in on my purpose in life According to net worth data provided by Wealth-X, as of July 15, 2013, the world’s richest diamond owners consist of collectors, dealers, business owners as well as investors who have stakes in some of the world’s biggest diamond mines. So, from being the youngest director in the Namibian Government to becoming the
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COVER STORY “No apology was offered. I was very bitter for many years but I have made peace with God and I have let it go. I used to have the Police case number on my pin board but I have since thrown it away. It is between him and his God now,” says Hamutenya striking a subdued tone. And yet, despite all this, Hamutenya’s star continued to shine and he rose through the ranks swiftly. Again, as he was helping NAMDIA cut its teeth in the international arena, double tragedy struck again last year.
“It has been quite a year... billion Nam dollar sales, a skeletal staff compliment and not even a building of their own for operation, and yet success continues to beckon.” I want to see NAMDIA helping to build vulnerable communities. I want to see Namdia as a partner in education by helping to build infrastructure. I want NAMDIA to be an incubator of diamond knowledge and technical diamond skills to especially our young people. I want communities to say we are better off because NAMDIA is here. I want NAMDIA to contribute its part towards revenue generation (taxes and dividends) that would facilitate socioeconomic development,” Hamutenya tells Us. In simple terms, he wants to see Namibian diamonds selling at Maddison Square Garden, The Mall of the Emirates, and proudly displayed around the necks of Hollywood’s biggest stars. “Because of our constraints we have been forced to sell the entire shipment to no more than two clients per every shipment. We have been trading from the NDTC space and we are only allowed to bring in no more than two clients. It is a very difficult job for one person to split the shipment without sorters. We are busy recruiting and by early next year we would have moved into our building and our processes would be more efficient and optimal,” Hamutenya says. It has been a roller-coaster ride - billion Dollar sales, a skeletal staff working around the clock
I want to see NAMDIA helping to build vulnerable communities. I want to see Namdia as a partner in education by helping to build infrastructure. to drive the engines of success, with not even own offices to operate from. Yet success continues to beckon. But it has come at a cost. Only the first year with NAMDIA and he has already had to miss Christmas with the family, globetrotting to open new markets, some in countries that know no Christmas. He admits his family life has been impacted by the teething phase of NAMDIA, and his two daughters and wife Thusnelde have had to contend with such a lifestyle. “I feel bad as I am missing out on important family milestones. I have children from my previous life and I try very hard to ensure that they have a good education and to ensure that their needs are taken care of. But most of all, I try to make time to share in their lives. They too are growing fast.
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But mostly the important thing is that me and my wife are God fearing people and we want to bring up our children in an environment where we promote family and Christian values,” he says. It is through life’s tragedies that Hamutenya has become stronger. In 1998 his father lost his life in a hit-and-run tragedy around Katutura hospital. The culprit was intoxicated, it turned out, and the death was a low blow for the young corporate who was trying to reconnect with his father, after 20 years of life abroad. They were just five years into their bonding as father and son. Worse still, the suspect was never apprehended, having skipped the country to Zambia.
“I lost my uncle, Hidipo as well Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, my first boss at the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Both these tragedies impacted me and allowed me to zero in on my purpose in life and what my role is in the development of this country. These were selfless men who gave up everything for us to be here. I used to write Tate Ya Toivo’s speeches and travelled with him across Namibia and the world, so we developed a very strong relationship. He also knew my late grandfather – Aaron Hamutenya - my late uncle Hidipo and my mother’s father. I have fond memories and great adulation for these men. The most important attribute of the late Ya Toivo was his humility. For a man who sacrificed the majority of his life for our freedom and independence he was so humble and never asked to be treated like a King.” Such experience has been intertwined by Hamutenya into NAMDIA’s cause, and history will be the judge of his legacy, just like his two idols.
HAMUTENYA’S JOURNEY (Colorado School of Mines (US) Bsc: Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (1989-1993) Director of Mines
Government of Namibia
Government of Namibia
International Seabed Authority
Namdeb Holdings (Pty) Ltd January 2000 - 2015
Namgem Diamond Cutting January 2000-Present Factory
Minerals Development Fund of Namibia
January 2000 - 2016
Diamond Board for Namibia
Kangueehi’s culinary fortune Namibia’s first and only participant on Master Chef South Africa is no ordinary woman. In fact, Fortune Kangueehi is no ordinary chef. A wife, mother of three and a professional marketer, Fortune is also a managing partner and shareholder at 99fm, one of Namibia’s biggest radio stations and a model that you don’t have to sacrifice one passion to fulfil the other.
As one of the top 18 contenders on Master Chef SA in 2012, Fortune’s passion for cooking was birthed from being her dad’s favourite cook in an all-girl home, which meant cooking duties fell to her lap. “Although I was a good cook my repertoire was very limited, it wasn’t until I travelled to Italy for the first time that food world opened up. I then became consumed with all things food, I started reading cook books, watching TV shows and trying stings out and there more I did it the better I got at it and the more I loved it,” she tells Us. In her business attire and corporate office, you would not believe she was the same person who scooped Namibia’s Chef of the year competition and won in the amateur division. In 2012, she tested the waters ‘as a joke’ by entering into the Master Chef SA TV show cooking competition.
Sometimes I try things and they simply don’t work the way I thought it would and other times I nail it.
An audition and three rounds later she saw herself qualify to travel to Johannesburg to cook in front of judges. “It was one of the proudest moments of my life. After that I went for boot camp which was the hardest part the competition, it was a grueling week of challenge after challenge with very little sleep. I took each challenge as it came and made it into the top 18. The saddest part was when I left the competition because of a silly error but I was also happy to me home. That experience taught me a lot about myself and how strong and resilient I am and that it something I will carry with me,” she recalls. She is passionate about both her work and cooking as the one fuels the other and my family remain the backbone and support structure to be able to do both. Working for herself accords her some flexibility when she needs it and manages to balance everything with the support of her family and business partners. Coming up with her own unique recipes are a part of the fun.
Fortune loves cooking hearty soups and stews in winter, fresh and zingy salads with fruit and nuts in summer and then has recipes that give her great satisfaction to cook (and eat) like Adam Liaw’s Hainanese chicken. And of course while each unique recipe is influenced by something she has eaten, seen or read, she injects her own Namibian flavour, her favourite ingredient being marula oil from the ladies at the single quarters. “I love the nutty flavor it adds to food. Recipes are always adaptation or improvements on that, whenever I eat something I’m always thinking, how can I improve this or put a twist on it. Sometimes I try things and they simply don’t work the way I thought it would and other times I nail it. I always forget to write these down so they always change,” she adds. Over the next five years, her plan is to build 99fm into a multi media empire while continuing to explore her culinary skills at private dinners, cooking classes, corporate functions.
Fortune’s special recipe for Honey soy wings Ingredients: • 12 Chicken wings • 1 Tbsp Honey • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce • ½ Tsp Garlic minced • ½ Tsp Ginger minced • 1 fresh chili minced • Salt & Pepper
Instructions: • Season wings with salt and pepper • In a small bowl combine the rest of ingredients and marinade wings over night • Remove wings from marinade & bake in a 180-degree oven until juices run clear. • Reduce marinade until thick and toss with cooked wings. • Enjoy!
DEC-JAN 2018 • Us NAMIBIA
“Wearing Jewellery is a way of keeping memories alive” Canto Goldsmith and Jeweller was founded in 1955 by J. and D. Canto. Andre and Simone Canto took over in 2003 with the ideas of a new generation.
by the diversity of cultures in Namibia as well as by the personal stories of our clients. Often we work with a gemstone that inspires the design of the piece. Namibia is famous for tourmaline, aquamarine, citrine, amethyst, garnet and topaze. And of course Namibia is known worldwide for its top quality diamonds. The majority of diamonds used in our designs are locally sourced, mined and cut, creating a complete circle within the borders of Namibia.
e are creating jewellery that will keep memories alive.
It is a great joy to work with Namibian colour gemstones.
Besides featuring diamonds of all cuts and colours, our designs also include a large variety of precious colour stones. It is a great joy to work with Namibian colour gemstones. Very often they tell their own story, and in our eyes, only
All diamonds are certified by
allow a frame around them to enhance their beauty. Our designs are inspired
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Whether engagement, wedding or any special occasion in life, our aim is to keep your memories visible in a beautiful manner. You can be involved in the process as much as you like. It will start with an initial chat in the store, over the phone or via email. We will than show you pieces that we have in stock and explain the different materials and their individual uniqueness. If you decide to have a piece made, we will work on the style
through sketches. We can than define the potential materials, offering choices of precious metals and stones. Once the design is confirmed, the making process can start.
international diamond laboratories. The trend in jewellery design is uniqueness and personality. A piece of jewellery underlines the personality of the wearer.
Milestones in our career - Overall winner of the “NDTC Shining Light Awards Diamond Design Collection” 2008-2009 - Second price in jewelry competition at the “Diamond Omugongo,
international Diamond Conference Namibia 2005 - First price Diamond Centenary Namibia Celebrations Jewellery Competition 2008 - First price in the Namibian Colored Gemstone Showcase and Jewellery Exhibition 2017 - The making of several Major Chains for Namibian towns during the past 15 years Our team consists of six creative minds who create pieces by hand with professional accuracy. “Wearing Jewellery is a way of keeping memories alive” We are looking forward hearing yours.
Whether engagement, wedding or any special occasion in life, our aim is to keep your memories visible in a beautiful manner.
Wangara: Women and cars defying stereotypes The brainchild of four women who were growing increasingly frustrated with the unsafety of Namibian roads, Wangara Automotive Group is living proof that women and cars not mixing is a very much outdated joke. With just saved up capital, no bank loan, and a passion from Elizabeth Asino, Justina Shingenge, Christophine Amukwa and Ndahambelela Nangolo, Wangara was launched in 2013 to help in the mechanical wellbeing of vehicles in order to help keep the roads safe.
hence a high standard for tyres. “What makes Wangara unique is that our machines put us on a different level. We’ve had clients who have had a certain problem on their car for years and are unable to fix it, but we were able to. We have industry-first machines that make us both fast in solving issues and accurate,” she tells Us. Currently, the Digit Vehicle Tracking System is exclusive to Wangara Automotive Group in Namibia and is authorised by Insurance companies.
Their on-location repairs also makes them a standout service provider. While most have to drive to the garage to get tyre repairs or wheel alignment before further damage is done for example,
Wangara is able to send a unit to a client’s location do repairs or replacement and send them on their way, safely. Currently, the company employs 18 permanent workers and Asino’s desire is to empower her employees to grow and be competent in the industry and thus does training on all levels of employees on every facet of the business.
“Coming from being an employee to an employer, I know how important it is to take care of your employees. I also want to inspire every young woman who is thinking of entrepreneurship to pursue their dreams, even if it is in a male dominated industry,” she says.
It has since spawned to three branches in Prosperita, B1 City and in Ongwediva as well as several other related services like wheel alignment and tyre sales. Co-founder of Wangara Automotive Group, Asino says she is well aware that they are challenging stereotypes and initiating a paradigm shift.
“What makes Wangara unique is that our machines put us on a different level. “Women drive, but not all them know how to take care of a vehicle. When to check your oil, check your shocks, change tyres are all important aspects of maintaining your car and we want to instil that culture of vehicle safety in Namibian women,” says Asino, the company’s Managing Director. As such, Wangara hosts training for women every Saturday to teach them every aspect of their cars and create a campaign of safety. Asino’s own is a career background in computer science, having graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. After years consulting for various organisations, including the Caribbean Union Bank, she returned home to pour her passion into Wangara. For one, she pioneered the well tested use of nitrogen in tyres which creatures a temperate durability when they expand and
DEC-JAN 2018 • Us NAMIBIA
TOURISM There’s nowhere like Etosha National Park. That’s not hyperbole, just a statement of truth. The contrast from Namibia’s Atlantic coastline to the rigid and vast Namib Desert all seem to find an equal match in the vegetation, game, and environment that defines Etosha National Park.
Ongava - a haven for man and beast It is the Ongava Tented Camp’s densely Mopani bush that satiates any tourists appetite about exploring Namibia, further. This safari camp is found hidden in the valleys of the dolomite hill in Ongava Game Reserve bordering Etosha National Park. In fact, here is a great place to begin or end a safari in the mighty Etosha National Park.
t is home to a whole variety of game and adventure. The wildlife offers more than just a view of lions, zebras, and as was my experience, crossing of paths with the who’s who of the jungle, from the King to the punchbags of the jungle such as springbok. From guided walks, birding and visiting hides, it is the excitement and risk of the experience that often provides both the thrill and interdict. A yin-yang, if you will. It’s a truly magical place. This 30 000-hectare enclave holds one of Namibia’s largest rhino custodianships, where both the black and white rhinos still roam to the pleasure and amusement of humanity.
Here is the only Namibian Game reserve with a science research center dedicated to the scientific study of all parts of the local ecosystem. Ongava is sectioned off into four luxury sites, Anderson’s Camp, Ogava Tented Camp (OTC), Ongava Game Lodge and Little Ongava, where President Hage Geingob and first lady Monica Geingos spent a weekend following 20 March Independence Day celebrations this year, a month after their wedding. Serenated in tranquility, with some of the best-cooked food around the Park and imported beverages, our second night was heavenly.
It was during a quiet dinner when suddenly in our vision, two elephants begin a tussle. The dichotomy is notable. The young pair of elephants had been kicked out of their herd in Etosha--a guide, Mike Kamerika tells us--sensing our fascination at this view, and they had broken through the fence only to find refuge in Ongava. We watch them tear branch from tree-like plucking hairs, with no fence or barrier between us. Of course, it’s in the midst of a thick forest which means that finding
that all-important place to sleep is all the more urgent, especially where tales of lions and humans constantly crossing paths are plenty, plus after the elephant moment, we had just witnessed. Worry not, there is an abundance of idyllic options. Eight large comfortable Meru-style tents with en-suites, (resplendent with private lounges) open showers and private verandas; with the family unit accommodating four for the night, characterize the security and glamour of Ongava. The main area, built of stone, canvas, and thatch, offers the grandest view of the most used waterhole at Ongava. Here, we sit after our dinner sipping Namibia’s best bottles in anticipation of which group of animals would come next for a drink. Some are arguing whether it’s a jackal or a wolf, across our table guests from Europe debate if that could be a hippo in the water or a crocodile, as the occasional roar of a male lion somehow seems to excite the American retirees around us. Strange.
The lodge holds host to buffet breakfasts and candlelit dinners, created with fresh ingredients and herbs. U s NAMIBIA • DEC-JAN 2018
TOURISM The German group that seemed animated on how close they got to a rhino during the day would cheer and drink to every roar. What a night Ongava! Ongava, which means Rhino in one of the local languages, struck me as both a honeymoon and retirement tour destination unto itself. In fact, Ongava offers discounts to SADC citizens and residents. The lodge holds host to buffet breakfasts and candlelit dinners, created with fresh ingredients and herbs. It’s secluded location, plus proximity to the Etosha somehow presents a burgeoning arts scene, boutique shopping and wildlife sanctuary for starters. Far from the madding crowd. The next day Mike who already has created a bond with our team leads the game drive. He does it twice a day and he goes through the formalities of asking us what animals we wish to see first. Of course, he knows where every one is. But still, we glamour for the rhino, the lion, and the elephant. Barely a minute outside the camp, a white rhino, and her calf are spotted.
“All the lions have blood around their mouths and lick constantly as it appears we had just missed lunch.” gestures to us that it is okay to leave the vehicle for a ‘rhino approach’. No sooner had we disembarked, she runs off with her calf some few meters before stopping. “The eyesight of the white rhino is very poor, but their hearing and sense of smell are excellent. She heard Alfeus ‘Bono’, one of our other guides driving behind her and she felt trapped between us and the car behind her, so she had to move, but you can see her head is bowed. This is a sign that she is calm, she is not aggressive,” Mike tells Us. For the rest of our game drive, we were now at ease. These were some of the best game drivers and tour guides in the land. There are three feelings of pride that roam the Ongava, making up 30 lions on the plot; The Sonop, the OTC and Stompie’s pride, the latter named after the alpha male’s short tail.
“It’s like how cows and sheep roam our farmyard back home,” Kenneth, a colleague interrupts my camera slush sound. In order to tell from what direction she can smell us, Mike picks a handful of sand from the ground and releases it into the air and
And his pride had just visited the camp less than a week before our arrival. Legend has it that all three alpha males are brothers who once belonged to one pride, but broke off as they grew to form their own families.
guide working on his Level 2 Conservation qualification. “What I love about this place is that they give people opportunities to grow. Many who started out as casual workers are managers here, and that is my ambition too before becoming self-employed. I have learned a lot about the beauty and importance of protecting nature.” Thirty minutes into the drive, we encounter Stompie’s pride. The lions are not alarmed by our presence, they are barely curious. Excitement grows in our close proximity to the king of beasts. “In Etosha, we would not be this close to lions. They run away, but here they are used to guests observing them. Of course, you cannot climb out of the car,” he quips. All the lions have blood around their mouths and lick constantly as it appears we had just missed lunch. Worry not, Mike says, “you may enjoy the sundowner later tonight.” At ‘Sundowner’ we acquaint with Canadian friends, Bill and Karen. Most of the guests of Ongava are from USA, Germany, and the UK, but the ambiance of our dining area and bar is sprinkled with French, English, Russian, and other
Eastern European accents that momentarily escape us as the roast beef beckons. Ongava Operations Manager, Stuart Crowford who has been for the past 17 years takes us the protocol the next day. “We have a strict non-consumptive ethos here, which is to observe the animals and not to hunt or harm them. We have a very good anti-poaching unit that is always on standby. The people who come to Ongava want to see the beauty of these animals and it is our mandate to protect them. When the pride becomes too big, however, we work with the conservation scientists to remove some lions which we give to other game reserves, otherwise, we’ll have over 100 lions and that compromises safety for our guests.” It is the wild after all. But with 20 game guides all with the same finesse, Ongava is a gift that will not stop giving itself out to its guests. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Namibia that exudes the constantness of this majestic country, in the midst of the African bush, look no further. Its personal touch is more spiritual than anything else.
Mike has been at Ongava for four years now and has gone from being a casual worker to a trained
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At Ongava time and romance connect
When the four farms that existed before they combined to form the 30 000 hectares Ongava Tented Camp, Lolo was part of the team that manually put up the fence that borders Ongava.
t’s 06:am and Abraham ‘Lolo’ !Nawaseb is up. No guest should wake up to a filthy camp, no matter how long the party the night before was. In no time, the Ongava Tented Camp (OTC) dining hall is spotlessly clean for breakfast, he has checked all the shower taps, even from small things such as, if they are running with warm water and pools are ready for swimming. Then he has to check if all the plugs are operational, anything broken from the night before, he attends to it, from chairs to electrical, and he does it with a rare sense of humour be it to his guests or his workmates. You would think he is the handyman of Ongava Tented Camp, but rather, he is more of a blend between the game spirit and the environment. You won’t help but do with a chuckle when he is around. And it has been 20 years now since Lolo got on the Ongava payroll, but he has known this part of the world his whole life, having grown up in nearby homesteads.
“No guest should wake up to a filthy camp, no matter how long the party the night before was.”
In fact, this was our playground when we were younger,” he says pointing at the Ongava reception area. And continues, “Before the pride of lions invaded this territory there was just one lioness that used to chase after us. We called her Stompie. This was years before the current Stompie showed up. One day she found my brother relaxing and the only thing he could hide in was a deep freezer, luckily it was not plugged in. It sat there and waited and every time he poked his head out to see if it was gone, she roared. She only left after an hour,” he remembers. Lolo has three children, Netty, Moses and Joyce who all attend school in Outjo, 100km from Ongava where he has wed, Magdalena. He visits them after every six weeks and while on his break also gets to do some jobs from skills he has picked up on his job. He is also learning to be a welder which he hopes he can do more often during his holidays. Like Lolo, Sagarias ‘Sakkie’ Hoëseb has also been at Ongava for over 20 years. He joined Ongava in 1996 as a waiter and is now the assistant manager of Anderson Camp.
In fact, when the four farms that existed before they combined to form the 30 000 hectares Ongava Tented Camp, Lolo was part of the team that manually put up the fence that borders Ongava. He remembers teaching current OTC Assistant Manager, Angelo Pelser the best game drive paths back in the days“The farm I was born on is not very far from here.
“I was a waiter for three months when I joined. They liked my work ethic and promoted me to the barman. I was in that role until 2007 when they built Anderson Camp and promoted me again from barman to assistant manager of the place, it was a great honour,” Sakkie tells Us. The challenge of managing 35 different personalities under him with varying temperaments and tolerances has been one that Sakkie has taken with great success. Studying Sakkie one clearly sees how he has grabbed the attention of his superiors and risen through the ranks of Ongava. His focus on our interview is distracted for a few moments towards one of his waitresses who is preparing a drink for one of the guests from Germany. “Not that one. The whiskey, two ice cubes, that’s how he likes it,” he whispers. The guest from Germany, we learn has not stayed in Ongava for longer than two days and Sakkie has already gotten to know him intimately, learning just how they take their liquor. Self-confidence was the biggest boost he got from Ongava. From being a barman, he developed the skill and freedom to come up with his own concoctions, which after various foreign tourists continued to ask for seconds grew into self-drive. “I can manage any lodge in Namibia now. That is the belief I have,” he says after making sure his German friend has got his drink just the way he likes it. The key to his longevity has been Ongava management’s own investment in its staff. He wakes up at 5am daily, plans the day, holds meetings and overlooks the maintenance of the camp.
Sagarias ‘Sakkie’ Hoëseb
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At night, he rests. Life is simple for Sakkie and he lives a quiet life, 100km from the closest town is what gives him the most satisfaction. At 47, waking up in the morning to exotic birds chirping at his bedroom window instead of the bustling and honking of cars is the life he had always hoped for. “They look after us. I started as a waiter now I am a manager. Ask around, many of the people here, their story is like that. Many have bought houses, gotten married here in Ongava. My own wife worked here for 13 years before she retired in 2010 to take care of the kids in Outjo. I can take care of her now. When I leave here, my ambition is to own my own restaurant.” Talking about romance, we become curious about the chemistry between game guide Alfeus ‘Bono’ Gauseb and one of the waitress and upon inquiry, we are touched to learn that the two are husband and wife. They met some 10 years ago at Ongava and no man pulled them asunder. “I started as a casual worker, cutting down trees but I was fascinated with animals. I started reading ethology books while working at the gate (security). Today I have sons born in this haven of humanity and game. What else would I dream of,” he says.
“I was a waiter for three months when I joined. They liked my work ethic and promoted me to the barman.
NAMPHIA survey target to test 26 000 individuals Designed to assess the burden of HIV and the impact of prevention, care and treatment response across Namibia, the Namibia Population based HIV Impact Assessment (NAMPHIA) survey is coming to an end this month, to resounding success.
bout 12 700 households have been randomly selected from a 461 Enumeration Area, from which quite a number of participants who were discovered to be HIV positive have been linked to treatment and care.
“We set daily, weekly and monthly targets for ourselves and so far we are within target. Of course, every project has challenges, and for us, it remains the urban areas as people are working and only available after hours and weekends.
Despite the challenges of some households reluctant to participate in the survey (especially in urban area), NAMPHIA Project Cordinator Terthu K Shuumbwa says they are progressing well ahead of the November 28 deadline.
Currently, about 80% of people living with HIV in Namibia know their HIV status while between 75% and 80% of people living with HIV are currently on antiretroviral treatment. However, more information was needed.
For one, this was the first time that population-based information about prevalence of HIV in infants and children was collected on a national scale.
“We set daily, weekly and monthly targets for ourselves and so far we are within target.” Through these random surveys the last few months, for the first time Namibians have had the opportunity to contribute to how the healthcare system designs targeted interventions to control the AIDS epidemic United States Ambassador to Namibia Thomas F. Daughton noted that in his time in Namibia, “one of the things I have learned is how important data is to the HIV response. In fact, Namibia’s response to the HIV epidemic has always been data-driven. Namibia already uses survey tools like the biennial HIV Sentinel Survey of pregnant women and the periodic Demographic and Health Survey, or DHS. Both surveys provide valuable programming information.”
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Under the ministry of health and social services, this project is supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and begin activity in June. “After this first of its kind survey, the next step now is to take the information that we have gathered and assess whether the funding that we are allocating towards the fight for HIV is enough and if we’re getting value for money for each region. The data that we have gathered will help the government to plan better,” says Shuumbwa. Currently the HIV prevalence is 14% in Namibia, which is among the highest in the world. Namibia is the 13th country to implement a population-based HIV survey. The results released recently from surveys in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia show the tremendous progress those countries have made in addressing their HIV epidemics.
HEALTH In our urbanised, modernised lives, much of the wisdom of childbirth has been lost When I first met Eileen, she was 10 weeks pregnant and distressed. She couldn’t understand why she found it impossible to swallow her own saliva and why it was so copious.
he was horrified at the thought of sitting through her lectures at the university with a small container to keep spitting into. Not cool at all! The 24-year-old who is now awaiting graduation, learnt to accept this as a pregnancy symptom she would have to deal with, and learnt a whole lot more about the changes and adjustments the body was making to accommodate the little being inside her. She learnt to eat better than she usually did, drink lots of water, and faithfully take her supplements. During her mid-trimester ultrasound, she was so excited on finding out that she was going to have a baby girl, that she almost forgot to celebrate that the baby’s organs appeared normal, a much more important reason for the scan. Her pregnancy is progressing well and she already has a roomful of baby items, most of which she is unlikely to ever use! The excitement of new mums is fresh, unadulterated and exhilarating. They are curious and willing to learn anything and everything about the developing baby and the process of pregnancy. Then they get to the third trimester where we start firming up the birth plan and the doubts and hesitations come to the fore. Questions about the process of labour and childbirth abound and as a doctor, one must patiently dispel the myths as they come, and they are many! There is nothing more satisfying to an obstetrician or a midwife, than a woman going into labour with confidence and a positive attitude. It makes the journey smoother.
All women should know the secrets of the delivery room But the question that I still find amusing is when mothers ask what newborns are supposed to look like. This innocent question opens the door to how the changing times and lifestyles have impacted on family support and motherhood. Growing up in the last century was communal. Families were extended and where uncles and aunts and cousins were not close enough, neighbours filled the gap. A newborn was celebrated by the entire neighbourhood. We would spend all our after-school hours at home with the baby and fight over whose turn it was to hold the baby. We were so proud when we were allowed to help change a nappy or give the baby a bottle. It gave us a sense of maturity. We all baby-sat our siblings, cousins and neighbours’ babies. The new mums were supported by the entire community. Their job was to eat well, rest and breastfeed. Neighbours took turns to help with housework, cooking and minding older children where there was no nanny. They brought home remedies where needed and constantly admonished the new mum for trying to bend as it was believed to harm the delicate back. In our urbanised, modernised lives, much of this has been lost in silos of nuclear families and solitary living. Children are born years apart and may even be gone from home to boarding school by the time their siblings are born.
Many young women have never changed a diaper and even when their own friends become mums, their active involvement may end with the baby shower.
Some may have a swelling on the head caused by the pressure of contractions on the head inside the bony pelvis of the mother that will subside over the next few days.
Many new mums have read so much online that they have fixed mindsets on how to raise their babies. This makes it difficult to allow anyone else to participate in the baby’s care hence there are no more shared experiences.
All these are normal variants that should not worry the mother. The World Health Organisation recommends that as part of initiating early bonding between mother and baby, the baby should be delivered onto the mother’s abdomen.
It is therefore not a surprise that few women know how a newborn baby is actually supposed to look. Or that they get shocked when they meet their own babies who don’t match up to the social media images of newborns. A newborn is the most amazing little being one is ever going to see. They grow up quickly and change so much that some look totally different just six months into life. But at birth, an open mind is necessary. For instance, a baby born prematurely is going to be lacking fat padding on the body, hence they appear to have a disproportionately big head and skinny limbs.
This is well practised in public hospitals but sometimes we forget to prepare the mum and she is startled by a slimy, wet, yelling little one in a green towel lying on her tummy, umbilical cord still attached! All these different newborns bring us so much joy and in a few days to weeks, will reveal their feisty little personalities that transcend their looks. Newborns are all beautiful; let us celebrate them on their actual birthdays as they begin life!
A baby born well beyond their due date is likely to have wrinkly skin and long nails; one born after a difficult labour, having passed stool in the womb, will come out covered in green that may take more than one bath to clear off. Some babies are born hairless, with smooth round heads while others are covered in hair up to the ears and face.
DEC-JAN 2018 • Us NAMIBIA
Why you should keep your love away from social media By Esther Oluka It’s a great feeling to fall in love especially with that one person who adores and cares for you. On some occasions, you feel like telling the whole world about this awesome person. Well, yes, it’s okay to talk about your loved one with your family members and friends but posting about them on social media may not be such a great idea.
or instance, George Lubwama says it’s always good to keep your relationship away from the prying eyes of the public. The businessman has been married for the past six years and never posts anything regarding his relationship on any social media platform. “Because of limited censorship, people say all sorts of things on social media. Let’s not forget, they also abuse and insult. I am keeping my marriage away from all of this nastiness and influence of the world,” he says. In addition, Lubwama says marriage is a sacred relationship between two people and not various people. “I love my wife and do not find a need to keep telling the whole world about it. Some aspects of our lives are better not shared with the whole world,” he asserts.
It creates a lot of drama In case you are a regular social media user, you might have witnessed a few couples constantly giving updates on their relationships. They might have shared pictures of their engagement, wedding or even of intimate moments. Updating your followers about your happy moments is not a bad thing. No, it isn’t. But how about when the relationship does not work? What will such couples do then? We have seen scenarios where estranged couples delete photos, insult each other and before you know it, they are blocking each other. And this drama is all playing out on social media. Sometimes such couples realise their shortcomings when it’s too late. When everybody has gotten
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to know their relationship issues and has become disgusted by their social media spat. Zari Hassan, a Ugandan socialite and Diamond Platinumz, a Tanzanian singer took many by surprise when they started dating a few years ago. Before we knew it, they started posting their pictures as a couple on Facebook. They seemed a perfect match made in heaven and really in love. Some dubbed them the African version of Kanye West, an American musician and Kim Kardashian, a television reality personality. Before we knew it, issues started cropping up in the relationship and do you know how many people got know through social media.
They were accusations of infidelity and mistrust. And recently, this was proved when Platinumz confessed to having fathered a child with Hamisa Mobetto who featured in the singer’s Salome video. After the confession, many of Hassan’s followers noticed that she wiped her social media accounts including instagram of pictures of her and Platinumz. Just as many had perceived this as a sign of the relationship, the couple (Zari and Diamond) was back at it posting other pictures together as if they were trying to prove a point to members of the public. Many people are only interested in seeing such drama so that they can have something to gossip about.
Faith and firmly less limelight: Justus Hausiku’s recipe His wife is the heartthrob of Namibian corporate governance, sitting on over N$1 billion worth of assets. Always on point and dressed quintessentially, Justus Hausiku’s wife Rosalia is the toast of Namibia’s boardrooms. But a rare glimpse is offered of her private life. This is because Justus is one
“I have learnt to create my own standards, and use these as a benchmark for my progress. Having said that, it is also important to keep track with industry developments and global trends – as they at times give focus and direction,” he says.
mixture of faith and business excellence has been his recipe as he carefully navigated his career path shying away from the public gallery, from his first job at PricewaterhouseCoopers and being the Managing Director at Standard Bank Insurance Brokers and other stints at, Development Bank of Namibia as an Independent Non-Executive Director, Old Mutual, and ultimately Hollard Life, a N$300m institution he spent considerable time to set up and make a success of. Earlier this year, he was appointed on the FNB board, having previously served as a Finance Manager up to 2007, but the apple of this businessman is his own
of the most elusive businessman spouses around town. He has not given a single interview, rarely appears in public and allows all the limelight on her. But he is the busiest of the two. A distinguished businessman in his own right, Justus has simply refused to play the role of dutiful spouse for the public. Especially in the age of social media.
architect, Arch Group of Companies. “These experiences and professional exposures led to the establishment of Arch Group of Companies in 2014 and the following year we started the very first 100% Namibian owned general short-term insurance company, called Quanta Insurance Limited. In actual fact, my training in finance and practical exposure at PwC gave me the initial insight in risk management. My time at FNB gave me the perfect combination of risk management, business and finance. It is there where my passion for business was birthed,” he tells Us. With this business conglomerate, Hausiku assembled his wealth of experience and passion for business into a multi-faceted organisation with long term investments interests in companies with premium brands, attractive growth and strong margin dynamics.
DEC-JAN 2018 • Us NAMIBIA
PERSONALITY Arch Group of Companies offers insurance risk & advisory services, fresh produce distribution, information technology as well as property development. Whilst Quanta is in shortterm insurance and non-conventional financial services. With a pressured economy in 2017 hitting the construction industry the most, Arch Group’s business was also impacted as a large portion of its clientele portfolio being contractors, architects, quantity surveyors, and engineers, many of whom were forced to close their doors or retrench their workface. But there were more lessons than disappointments for Hausiku.
“In fact, I saw that some of the contractors were losing money not because of lack of performance, but because they didn’t know the full extent of their contractual obligations nor had the full understanding of the contracts they signed,” he says. Hausiku’s leadership is measured by his influence and impact, but it is impact in people’s lives that satisfies him the most.
“My objectives are set in accordance to what influence and relevance I have brought into the industry and what impact it makes in the lives of my employees, clients, the business community and the Namibian economy at large. And when I achieve these objectives I know I have been able to influence and I have made an impact. he says. His commitment to business is as steadfast as his commitment to his family and God, the latter of which he is unabashed of. With his high school sweetheart-cum wife CEO Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, the couple has borne three sons whom he speaks highly of, humbly putting his faith before family and business, in that order. “I emulate business men and women in the bible and I base my business principles on theirs. The likes of King Solomon, who was and remains the wealthiest man ever to have lived; the likes of the Shunamite woman; Johanna the wife of Chuza, Joseph of Arimathea etc. They bring one principle of the bible that Faith is one thing, but faith without works is dead. This has taught me one thing, it doesn’t matter how anointed you are, if you are lazy and can’t get up and work, nothing will happen for you,” he narrates. Hausiku has come to learn that if God does not release a business transaction in the upperroom, he has no mandate in the boardroom. For 2018, his mandate compelled him to build five pillars of
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business, four of which he has planted seeds for and the fifth being the financial services. Says Justus, “I am inspired by the business acumen of the likes of Tate Frans Aupa Indongo locally and beyond borders I look up to Strive Masiyiwa (Zimbabwean) and Aliko Dangote (Nigerian). I have the best spiritual mentors, who guide me and spend time on their knees, that I may be able to remain standing. Growing up in my twenties without a father figure was not easy, but my mother was my pillar.”
“I emulate business men and women in the bible and I base my business principles on theirs.”
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The December-January Issue of Us Namibia Magazine