We catch up with the amazing Loide Hango, the inspiring lady who, despite not having arms, has not allowed her physical condition to define who she is. After graduating from the then Polytechnic of Namibia, Hango today works at Bank Windhoek. Here is her conversation with Pinehas Nakaziko.
Pinehas Nakaziko (PN): Briefly tell us about yourself, who are you and what is the person that we are seeing in front of us and/or are talking to or communicating with?
Loide Hango (LH): You are communicating to a cheerful, feminine, frank, and down to earth person.
PN: Where and how did you grow up and what were the early challenges in your life and how did you cope and overcome them?
LH: My family is from Olupumbu village, Oshikuku constituency. I enjoyed my childhood; the meaning of life at that time was playing with my friends, grazing goats, dodging school. At the early years of my life I never really enjoyed primary school. I had to sit in front and on the floor for that matter when writing – imagine the cold, dusty and dirt floor. I detested it. This routine lasted until Grade 6, but with God’s guidance I adopted a new style of writing while sitting on the chair. In addition, I improved my writing speed and neatness, since I was slow. God is good, hey!
PN: Tell us how it was for you growing up, and how those experiences at an early age influenced your career decision?
LH: Life itself is an experience on its own. One can choose to act negatively or positively, to be grumpy or be content, to be sluggish or dynamic. If I should opt between people that are busy destroying their lives and those that are prospective and bettering oneself, I will certainly chose the latter one. Often I pondered and suffered in silence. I wish I could have my arms back but in reality there is nothing that I can do to get them back. However, I can still accomplish a lot in life without them.
PN: How was it growing up with the challenges you grew up with and in what kind of persona did these challenges shape you into?
LH: Certainly there is no one without challenges in life. My situation indeed refined me. I am now an open-minded and grateful person, humble, serene, and patient. I have great respect for people, I understand and appreciate them. I thank God because I am always encircled by friends and relatives whenever I need them.
PN: What are some of the challenges and difficulties that you went through when you were young, and how did you overcome them?
LH: Being a village girl the chief responsibilities for any village girl were cultivating fields, stamping grains, and cooking. At times I felt left out and neglected during the busy season. My duties as per my mother’s instructions were to feed chickens and make tea, pretty boring, since I cannot do labour. I was reluctant and despised my chores; I would sneak back into bed and sleep as soon as everyone had left for the field. My mother was a strict and firm person, so such conduct was intolerable … oooh I was always in trouble. Little did I know that she was preparing and teaching me that if I am limited in labour work, so what? There are other chores that I can perform to combat laziness – it was all for my gain.
PN: Did you ever feel like giving up and if so, what has always been a motivation for you to push for success in all you do?
LH: Giving up and becoming a laughing stock… no ways. My family has a unique style of applauding others – if we obtained something extraordinary i.e. passing a grade, good harvest, or simply conducting something in good faith. You can be rewarded, be praised in an incredible way so that you feel honoured. Father would even slaughter a goat for us. With that perspective in mind, giving up was never an option. I tried by all means to win their hearts with a bright smile, just to hear one remarkable comment ‘that’s my girl’. They further encouraged me to pursue and strive irrespective of my circumstances and to bear in mind that there are several people out there experiencing similar predicaments and haven’t given up.
PN: What it is your current profession, how did you choose your current profession and/or arrive at doing what you are doing professionally?
LH: I am now in micro loans lending.
PN: We did a bit of internet research and found some past article about you being a graduate of what is now called NUST. What is it that you studied for your profession?
LH: I attained a B-Tech degree in human resources management from NUST (Polytechnic).
PN: Did you always know you wanted to study that particular subject or what led to you choosing that specific subject and the profession you are in now?
LH: I wanted to do a clinical psychology course at Unam but unfortunately the admission wasn’t in my favour. I tried my luck at NUST, and without any hassle I was accepted. I never imagined studying HRM. However I can happily confess that I made a good choice. HRM is a broad and extensive subject and one of the respected and venerated fields in any organisation.
PN: If possible, please share with us your journey into the corporate world. When you first entered the professional working environment, was it as you expected?
LH: It wasn’t what I expected. The corporate world is quite distinctive and full of challenges. For students this is the platform and prospect to showcase and transfer the acquired skills into practice and real scenarios. As one worries about failing subjects at school, the same applies to the corporate world. At this segment there are concerns such as promotions, employee performances and self-development. As an employee you need to keep abreast of all the latest trends in your profession and in general. Bank Windhoek further encourages you to continue growing academically as well as professionally, thus the reason why I recently pursued an additional study – industrial and organisational psychology – to keep my mind renewed and occupied and advance my knowledge extensively.
PN: Looking back to your life’s journey thus far, what would you say has been a defining moment for you?
LH: The day I was awarded a B-Tech by Polytechnic was the most touching, emotional and memorable moment for me. I studied part-time going, directly to classes from work until 22h00. I never relished this routine as the process was somewhat exhausting. At the end, it was a great relief that I succeeded.
PN: Can you tell us, if possible, what is the most desirable goal that you are working towards achieving at the moment?
LH: There is nothing specific that I can articulate. As they say, you do not count the number of chickens before they actually hatch.
PN: If you were to give a motivational message to the dejected youth of today, what would it be?
LH: To the young ones and the youth in general: you can pursue anything you wish for if you have the right mind for it. In the corporate world a school qualification is a definite requirement, and focus on obtaining distinctions.
If you are not an academic person become an entrepreneur – it does not require any degree as long as you have a specific business in mind, and be persistent and determined. You should know the basics of maths though to count your profit. However, don’t neglect your studies for the sake of a business – bear in mind that not all businesses are successful. In addition, honour your God, parents and all the people. Respect your body, refrain from smoking, alcohol and drugs – these are antagonists of the human body. Nobody is perfect, communicate to people, and seek help. Do not tolerate victimisation, know your rights, and fight for your rights. Don’t give up hope, learn to pray and keep on praying. To conclude, appreciate the gift of life and never take it for granted, better yourself and keep smiling.