By Engel Nawatiseb
The Chief Executive Officer of the Central North Electricity distribution company (Cenored) says his company’s rapid growth has partly been measured by the quality and commitment of dedicated staff.
Mburumba Appolus said the task of establishing a new company from scratch was often not appreciated but despite the challenges, major positive strides have been achieved.
“Qualified staff acquisition and their subsequent transfer was one of the most critical and sensitive elements of establishing a Red,” said Appolus.
One of the first moves was to create a logo and brand slogan that had the effect of creating strong awareness and association with Cenored in the minds of customers, employees and other stakeholders.
This facilitated the smooth transfer of customers (24 000), strong acceptance of the company in our licence area and wanting employees to be associated with Cenored.”
He told New Era that empowering the youth could encourage them to value their future role as the pillars of the country’s development.
He stated that Government and state-owned enterprises as well as the private sector should employ more young people and continue to train them in order to specialise.
Appolus said during the two years since the establishment of his company, it
has been able to attract young academic high-fliers who are “local lads” for employment.
Lukas Ndjamba, an Etosha Senior Secondary School “old boy” has been appointed as cost accountant; while Manfred Uvanga and Tobias Tjimbandi, network planning engineer and assistant project engineer respectively, are alumni of Paresis Secondary School in Otjiwarongo.
“Some of these appointments are clear examples of what is meant by empowering by nurturing future leaders boasting of good qualifications. We are offering some of the region’s most talented youngsters the chance to take part in a series of on-the-job attachments that will give them the opportunity to brush up on their academic skills in an institutional set-up,” said Appolus.
The company’s new blood Lukas Ndjamba matriculated with HIGCSE grade 1 symbols (80% or higher) in mathematics and accounting, and IGCSE grade A (1) symbols in English, from Etosha SSS in 2002.
He then joined KPMG as an articled clerk and at the same time obtained his B. Compt. degree through distance learning with UNISA in a record time of three years.
He also completed his articles with KPMG in January 2007.
It is believed that most aspiring accountants in Namibia take five years or longer to complete their articles.
Tobias Tjimbandi graduated from the University of Cape Town in November 2007 with a B.Sc. Eng. in Electrical Engineering with Honours, sponsored by the Minerals Development Fund of Namibia.
During his time at UCT, Tjimbandi reportedly obtained eight distinctions in various subjects, as well as inclusion on the Dean’s Merit list in 2005 and 2006.
“We are really proud to be associated with these young lads, they are assets to our company and the country at large,” Appolus continued.
Tjimbandi’s association with Cenored started in December 2005 when he worked as a labourer/electrical assistant during the summer holidays to gain practical experience in the electricity distribution industry.
“I am planning to continue with my master’s degree in electrical engineering at UCT in February 2009 and have already secured a bursary to that effect,” he said.
Manfried Uvanga matriculated from Paresis SS in 1993 and studied for a National Technical Certificate NTC 2-NTC 6 at the Polytechnic of Namibia.
“I did my electrical apprenticeship with NamPower and worked as a qualified electrician for several years before completing my B.Tech electrical engineering degree at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town in November 2006. During my time at CPUT, I obtained a cum laude in my National Diploma.
“Before joining the Cenored team in February 2008, I was employed as an engineer at Africon Consulting Engineers but have now found my base at Cenored and will certainly enjoy my job to the fullest,” he added.
Appolus said that the trio are role models in the deprived communities they hail from and should stimulate interest amongst other young people that do not take education seriously.
“Moreover, as a regional company, we are proud to be associated with such young talent who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, as it were.
This is all the more poignant because one gets the distinct impression that in Namibia scholastic excellence is not noticed or encouraged by the powers that be.”