Windhoek-Seno Niilonga Namwandi is a charismatic young lady who loves God, life and people.
Besides being incredibly blessed to grow up with both her parents and siblings, whom she says went an extra mile to provide them with a comfortable life, her personal challenge was struggling with her degree and her career. “I had plans for what I had dreamed to do, but nothing worked out the way I thought it would. I struggled to get employment in the field that I was passionate about after my graduation. This left me feeling lost and unsure of how to make an impact in my chosen field. This made me lose confidence in myself and in my ability to be significant and successful,” says Namwandi.
It however, taught her about being diligent, going the extra mile, being willing to learn and being prudent with her work, irrespective of the fact that had she been given a choice, she would not have chosen that specific line of work. Growing up around entrepreneurial parents also played a significant role in grooming her into an individual not afraid of hard work. “Both my parents have incredible work ethic and showcase this every opportunity they get. This helped to shape me into a person who would choose a career path where I could work hard and apply myself fully on a consistent basis,” she says.
Namwandi is motivated by the collective success of the people around her. “I am genuinely moved by the self-actualisation of the people around me and that motivates me to be a better person. I believe that humans are dynamic and full of different passions, gifts, talents and capabilities and it motivates me to continue discovering things I am good at and others that I don’t necessarily excel at. Growth and development are a huge motivation to me,” explains the Nairobi, Kenya born Namwandi who grew up in Windhoek.
She started her primary education at the Van Ryn Primary School, moved to Emma Hoogenhout and matriculated at the Delta Secondary School. She did her tertiary education at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Africa University in Zimbabwe. Her highlight achievement is obtaining her master’s degree in the field of Intellectual Property. “I had a very interesting academic journey. I dreamt of being a scientist, a molecular biologist that would specialise in neuroscience. I wanted to work with the smallest units of our brain. Even though I loved science and worked hard at it, I don’t think science loved me as much.” She also studied Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Stellenbosch University. “My current profession happened haphazardly. I started off as a scientist and ventured into Intellectual Property, which is a branch of law. I work in the innovation, research and intellectual property industry. I chose this career after being taught about the fact that what scientists produce in the labs needs legal protection for commercial purposes.”
Namwandi’s defining moment was when she did a TEDx talk last year at the University of Namibia (Unam), a platform that gives young people an opportunity to inspire others. “Standing on the stage was an incredibly defining moment because it made me feel validated in the pursuit of my dreams.” Her most desirable goal right now is to contribute more to corporate governance in the public sector. “I have high hopes for our public management system in this country and I’d like to contribute in whichever small way possible.”
The youth must not to be in such a rush to have everything they see and interact with on social media. “I believe patience, hard work and more patience yields a good life and fulfilled dreams,” is her message.