Lüderitz-Let not your current circumstances determine your future. Your future is truly in your hands. What you put in, is what comes out,” says 26-year-old Josefina Simaneka Tunomukwathi Nekongo, a secretary at the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) and its subsidiary, Seaflower Group of Companies.
Nekongo matriculated from Centaurus High School and went on to study Law at the University of Namibia (Unam) for five years. She is an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia and holds a Baccalaureus Juris and a Bachelor of Law Degrees from Unam. After UNAM’s law-school, she went on to do her justice training (JTC) coupled with practical legal studies (articles) at Nixon Marcus Public Law Office. After two years of articles, she was admitted as a legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia in 2015.
Growing up in Greysblock in the Capital, and currently based in Lüderitz, Nekongo holds a prestigious position as the secretary of Fishcor) and its subsidiaries, also known Seaflower Group of companies. “When I took the job in 2016, I was often reminded by some that I am the youngest company secretary at a state owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. This, however, did not frighten me. In fact it became a motivation to myself, to hold the office in the highest regard that it deserves, to learn about the fishing sector and to prove that young people are prepared to do great things for their nation. Having said that, I am excited by the duties of my office and enthralled by the potential to which they may grow. I am enjoying every moment in the fishing sector and enthusiastic about what I am yet to learn,” notes Nekongo optimistically.
Apart from the criticism about her being the youngest company secretary at a SOE, Nekongo could however not hold back her excitement and high moral of working for the company. “The Group progressed from a net loss of N$ 1, 5 million in 2014 to a net profit of N$ 40 million in 2016, and you will soon find out how we did in 2017 through the approved channels. I am fortunate to be a part of this team and be a part of the Seaflower story, every day I come to work”, says Nekongo.
She stated that it is interesting to see how the principle of their separate legal personalities affect transactions between the companies. Drafting contracts, meeting administration, resolutions and being a part of the strategic office are also equally exciting aspects of the secretarial office. Before she was a practising legal practitioner with a law firm, and lived the everyday’s thrilling life of a lawyer. She is a member of the Law Society of Namibia, and the Namibian Women Lawyers Association. She is inspired by the dreams she had as a little girl, by her mother, by parents working tirelessly to be able to send their children to school, friends, family, and the executive team that she work with because. The efforts she sees them put in Seaflower every day makes her want to strive for more. “I believe that the future is not something we eventually get to (a prospect), the future is now, so every step I am currently taking is part of that future. Presently, I am concerned with obtaining my Masters in law (LLM) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) further than that, only time will tell.”, she states.
Being a motivation and inspiration to young woman, Nekongo emphasises to the youth that there are five types of people that young people should surround themselves with: the inspiring, the passionate, the motivated, the grateful and the open minded. Similarly, do not make decisions based on fear, make decisions based on possibility. “To the young people that have seen tough days, the former US secretary of state Ms Condoleeza Rice said it so well when she said that: ’the essence of what really unites us is not ethnicity or religion, it is an idea that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things’. I want to urge my young fellow to educate themselves and bring significant change to people around them and the country at large. Let Namibia be a beacon of hope for Africa”, concludes Nekongo.