Windhoek-Alina Blessing Mbango has defied all her childhood challenges to be where she is today.
A trainee in accounting at Chartered Accountants & Auditors (CRVW & Co), Mbango describes her path in accounting as a difficult journey fraught with lots of challenges and sweat and tears.
Born in Onelago village in Oshakati, the 23-year-old grew up with a single mother in Ondangwa.
“I grew up in a family where my mother fulfilled both roles as a mother and father. As a family we are five siblings and lived with one cousin supported by my strong mother who is full of responsibility,” she reflects.
Mbango started her primary education at Ondangwa Pre Prof Primary School. Due to financial difficulties in the family she had to leave the school for a much cheaper private school, Heroes Private School in 2004.
“Life at Heroes was too much of a challenge because there were too many sharp-minded learners in my class. It was always hard for me to be at the top of the class and I had to remain as an average learner. Having fast learners in a class was at some point a good thing because it always drove me. I always wanted to be like them though there was too much competition.”
Mbango was later informed by a close classmate about a boarding school. She fell in love with it and applied to Erongosig Primary School in Usakos and got admitted. She started attending classes in 2007.
Life in Usakos was at first worrisome because she was homesick. “But this was actually a life lesson for me because I was just in Grade 7 but by then on my own.”
She continued with high school at Martin Luther High School (MLH) near Okombahe where she learned a lot about life and school in general.
“During this time I decided that I wanted a change in my life by becoming one of the best performing learners. My Grade 10 and Grade 12 I passed with good marks,” she says.
After completing Grade 12 she had to face yet another challenge. She always wanted to study law but the subjects she did at MLH didn’t allow her, and ended up choosing accounting as a second option at the University of Namibia (Unam) in 2013.
“It took me quite some time to catch up with and understand the whole concept of accounting. Although becoming an accountant was not my initial dream, with time I got the needed interest in it,” she says.
Apart from that she was again faced by another challenge of being in Windhoek for the first time, and struggling financially. She lived in a shack and depended on her mother financially.
“At some point during studies I had to try and get a little finance to help her with my brother that I was living with in the same shack.”
This forced her to look for a job but she was not lucky as she again had to spend a lot of money in making copies and on transport.
“I went to several interviews but was rejected because I had no experience.”
Mbango adds that her luck came after being a member of Linkedin (social site) for about two years, always updating her status.
She received a call from a man called Helmuth Angula, who apparently said he viewed her Linkedin profile and realised she didn’t have a job and asked her to help at his printing shop in the Southern Industrial Area, Compass Printing, where she gained some experience.
Early this year after several interviews she was called by CRVW & Co, where she started working as a trainee. “Currently I am an accounting trainee with much exposure in different fields.”
Mbango graduated in accounting in April.
She says accounting can be a tiring job but it is not a wrong choice if one studied accounting because one only needs to understand how to deal with transactions. “It is all about knowing what you are debiting and crediting.”
Her advice to those pursuing a career in accounting is not to be scared of it. “When you start practising, it becomes user friendly. Whenever you think of quitting, remember that someone is looking up to you. When someone says they look up to you, what they mean is that your hustle is like their GPS, it shows them where to go – from where they are to where they want to be. So never quit because someone might lose their GPS,” she philosophises.