By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Fifteen-year-old Twapunikwa Ndikwetepo from the Oshana Region and 18-year-old Andreas Mukoroli from the Kavango scooped the Top Junior Achievement Awards of 2006 at a prestigious event in the capital on Friday. As determined and self-motivated young people, Twapunikwa and Andreas see the road to success as a time of turning current challenges facing youth into opportunities for themselves. “There can be failures, but this does not matter to me. I want to one day realize my dream of becoming a chartered accountant so that I can help small businesses that are trying to make it in the market,” said a smiling Andreas who comes all the way from Rundu. His word of advice to other youngsters in the country is for them to be confident and believe in themselves to succeed in life but, at the same time, to keep in mind that “nothing in life is for free and you have to work hard for it.” Andreas is currently a first-year accounting and finance student at the Polytechnic of Namibia. At the tender age of 14, Twapunikwa, all the way from Erundu Junior Secondary School in the North, won the Best Presentation Award after competing with a myriad of other international junior achievers. “I’m quite shocked about this award. I must say that although it’s got my name on it I did not get it alone, but it’s with the help of all of you,” said the well-spoken young achiever as she addressed the audience. It was in this spirit that the well-known black entrepreneur, Sydney Martin, in his keynote address informed all junior achievers that they should not waste valuable time sitting idle, but build on making their lives a success at all times. “Really believe in the wonderful potential you have to achieve any realistic goal and then really focus on achieving it today. Don’t waste time daydreaming. Positive actions will make your tomorrow the future you are dreaming about,” said Martin. Giving a light pep talk about his humble beginnings and life as a successful businessman today, Martin noted that the key is to have the power to focus and the power to negotiate by having the right attitude. “Attitude is the most important factor in achieving, having a positive attitude and believing you can make it happen. Stay away from negative influences (and) visualize yourself with your goals achieved,” he added further. Since society is now living in what Martin called an “era of negotiation”, the key to success lies in this word itself. Nowadays it turns out that the most deficient element in many adults today is that “they have buried those negotiation skills” said Martin. Time has come for young Namibians to adopt this valuable skill in order to become productive and successful leaders of tomorrow. The 2006 Junior Achiever Awards Ceremony was also attended , amongst other dignitaries, by well-known businessman Harold Pupkewitz, Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Richard Kamwi, Managing Director of Namdeb Inge Zaamwani, Dr Victoria Nicodemus of Conquest Enterprises and Under-Secretary of Education Justin Ellis.
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