Windhoek-Hard working, committed and conscientious are just some of the words that can describe the doer, Sirkka ‘Siri’ Paulus, a 24-year-old young woman who believes that everything is possible in life as long as one works hard.
Siri was born in the humble environment of the small village of Epulangapi in the Oshitayi constituency of the Oshana Region and grew up in Ongwediva.
However, during holidays she would go home to Oshitayi to stay with her mother and help her with household chores.
Siri started attending pre -school at Ewaneno Kindergarten at Emanya in 1998 and in 1999 she moved to Micky Mouse Kindergarten in Ongwediva.
Between the years 2000-2006, she attended lower primary school at the International Primary School (Ongwediva) and finished her Secondary Education at the Gabriel Taapopi Secondary School in 2011.
Growing up, Siri faced many challenges; foremost among them not being confident enough to overcome the difficulties adolescents sometime go through.
“I didn’t believe in myself, I never thought a village girl like me could actually make it far in life,” explains Siri.
All the childhood struggles are now something of the past; Siri is now one of the youngest successful youth.
She works as a call centre advisor at Mobile Telecommunications Ltd (MTC), responding to queries, managing complaints, and dealing with significant customers’ troubleshooting problems as well as providing general information.
“This opportunity has given me an insight into how to have good communication skills, which is quite important in almost every aspect of our life, because one simply can’t have competence without clear communication skills,” she says.
She sees her work as a great opportunity for her to start off as a fresh graduate.
“This also gave me much knowledge about how to deal with clients.”
“During my school years, I was part of an environmental club. It is a forum through which learners become involved in environmental activities and projects, which empower students to explore more into environmental concepts,’ she says. Another one of her challenges during high school was mostly trying to juggle between schoolwork and after school activities.
“Not knowing which was more important, I was trying to keep up with the social life and school work, whereby trying to fit in socially distracted me from my school work.”
She obtained her national diploma in property studies in 2014, and an honours degree in the same course last year at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
She says, during her years at NUST, she was part of the amazing NUST choir with which every midyear break they would go on a two-week motivational tour around the country.
They would reach out to communities nationwide by giving motivational (speeches) talks to the youth and also give out donations.
“I travelled almost the whole of Namibia because of the choir.”
Siri describes her first step to towards finding a job as difficult, because one of the struggles she had at university was securing an internship. She says finding employment after graduating was hard, because of her lack of experience and the high unemployment rate, and most of the jobs were only on a contract basis.
Her first job was as an intern at a property consulting company (Beniz Property) where she was an assistant to the property manager.
“I learned quite a lot on property rentals and maintenance in the six months that I was there.”
She worked in second job from 2015 until last year as a valuation data collector at the City of Windhoek, working on general revaluation of properties, which is done every fifth year.
“I have been put in a perfect position to work hard and succeed. I am driven to be the best at what I do and I want to be somewhere where I’ll have opportunities to grow my skills, and take on interesting projects in the future,” Siri says.
Apart from her current job, Siri is also busy working on obtaining her real estate agent license. “During my free time, I receive valuation training from valuers that are already in the market.”
She lives by the quote “The world is my oyster. My natural state is to thrive. All you have to do is show up.”