1. Can you please tell us, a bit about yourself?
I am a chartered accountant by training. I also spent several years in the hospitality trade (in Western Cape, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, Swakopmund, Windhoek, and Cape Town) before studying part-time to become a CA. The minute I became qualified, I “went overseas” and worked in London for two years. I used that opportunity to travel extensively and visited 22 countries in the two years. But I longed for the dry dust of Africa and returned as a seasoned professional.
2. What is your job all about?
My job here at NWR is about fiscal discipline. Good internal controls protect individuals in an organisation, and the organisation as a being on its own. I have to balance the wishes of my colleagues in operations, with the resources we have, and report on the effective use of those resources, to the shareholder.
3. What have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments in your career so far?
Many. I like setting goals and then working towards them to the best of my ability. I studied part-time and became a qualified CA within six years. Normally, it would take three years of studying full time for a degree, 1 (or 2) years for a post-graduate degree, and then three years of articles, during which two qualifying board exams must be done. Becoming a partner at a large audit firm was hard (and rewarding) work.
Putting myself out there, presenting training, hosting events, networking, trying something different are all ways in which I overcame my fear of public speaking, and I have learnt, if you believe in your message, it will reach your audience. So I still do get nervous, but I get on with the job.
Changing tack, I joined Public Sector, which has a whole different way of working, but within two years of joining, working with a team who understood and believed in the value of excellent work, we got our audits up to date, and last year, managed to report a profit for the first time. Joining the Boards of two high profile companies in Namibia is another way where I have to apply all I have learnt, combine it with the knowledge and experience of my counterparts, and look out for the best interest of the company. Sometimes it takes tough calls.
4.What does your typical day in the office look like?
I don’t think I have a typical day. If I do, I have not empowered my team to run with the tasks required of my office “typically”. I am left to deal with problem-solving. Sometimes based behind my laptop, sometimes travelling to resorts, or meetings with the shareholder, or exploring product development for the company.
5. What separates you from every other colleague in your department?
The same thing that separates each of them from me. We each bring a unique necessary skill or attribute to the team, and the engine needs each cog to wheel in its right place, for this machine to keep moving in difficult times.
6. What are your loves, the things that inspire you?
Paying it forward, and seeing that inaction – that makes me happy.
I have been inspired by each of my leaders, each in their way. Thus proving it has to be from the heart, to be credible.
7. What advice would you give to aspiring young people out there?
Don’t stop. Continually educate and evolve yourself. Reach out, ask for help, but then hold yourself accountable for making the most of that help, and then pay it forward in some way.
8. What are your plans?
I want to continue serving on the boards of those two companies.
I want to make a difference to Namibia, whether in the field of corporate governance, contributing to the growth of the tourism sector and its contribution to the National economy, or in any other way that this new world will be presenting to us. And oh, I want to establish a thriving vegetable growing business, so that my future is diversified.