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Law By Day, Hip-Hop By Night

Alot of big firm lawyers we know have exactly zero hobbies. Ah, they might do some time on a treadmill a couple times a week or boldly claim that to follow politics. Some might know about the English Premiership or be able to tell you a bit about farming.

But in terms of real hobbies, productive hobbies —like go-carting or playing sport or backyard gardening — lawyers aren’t much for it. And, truthfully, who can blame them? Their lives are work and family (and often in that order). More work. More family. More work, work, work.

With that preface behind us, let’s introduce Tangeni Aupindi, a qualified lawyer who currently serves as an Administrator for the government, in fact, he is the only one in Namibia who registers Trusts for the government. He’s also quite made a name for himself with his “hobby.”

Once night falls, Tangeni becomes the artist we know as Giggz. Crazy huh? Peep an excerpt from one of his songs below;

“How the hell will I lose/if the formula I use/guarantees that my shine won’t fuse. I’m a different kind of fabric/ I’m the one making these guys look average/.”

Tangeni doesn’t seem like a lawyer. The Khomasdal resident comes off scholarly and patient, not slick and fast-talking. It’s as though he has been sent to look for papers at the High Court.

Then you start talking and quickly understand why he’s been a prosecutor in Grootfontein magistrate at just 27, working on more than 200 cases from fraud, murderers to robbers’ etcetera.

With a law degree under his belt, he scaled back his courtroom appearances in order to grow his musical reach.

Quips Tangeni, “In the courtroom, you don’t have a lot of free time. Between 8 to 5 you have to be in the courtroom and then there are appeals. I decided to focus on admin work for now which affords me more free time.”

Over the past year, he has topped the Taffy Top 10 which streams across SADC for several weeks, and his latest video, Real Ones has accumulated almost 4 thousand views.

There’s savvy and a sense of long-term vision. He understands musicians in a way that could only come from having been steeped in hip-hop culture practically since birth.

“I really love this stuff,” Giggz says, his professorial spectacles and a blue suit standing out. “The people I’ve worked with get that. They’re like, ‘He actually listens to my stuff?’”

Giggz rose to fame when he began writing songs for then RnB hotshot, Bethold and was part of the writing team that got Floritha her first Nama (Best RnB) award for the song I Owe it All to You. Additionally, he has written songs for Lady May, K.K, Tulisan, D Jay and Bethold.

There’s a deeper bond between him and the craft than most lawyers because he’s passionate about and understands the importance of quality and legacy.

Its such traversing between the Giggz and the Tangeni character that has landed him a lucrative partnership with Sugar King, besides the numerous corporate gigs that he is getting lately.

On the 1st of September, he took over Sugar King’s live Facebook stream (Sugar-Stream). Sugar-Stream is a part of Sugar King’s live monthly stream to its viewers where local celebs get to take over their account.

“I want to be the blueprint for every grade 8 learner seeing me rap and wants to follow. That you can still study and be successful in music,” Tangeni says.

Born and raised in Okahandja, Giggz chose law over studying medicine in Russia or Ukraine as many locals have done because he wanted to be at home, rapping.

He started rapping in 2009 under the banner Hot Chocolate, but the crew soon became defunct after super hip hop producer Eclipse died in a car accident.

He picked up the pen for himself again in February 2016 after spending years writing for others.

“With that, I’m working on my first album which releases in October and I’m hoping to do something special with it,” says Giggz.

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The passion and business of law: Esmerelda Katjaerua

Law is a difficult profession for a woman at any time. But when you’re not only a woman but also Otjiherero, you’ve got a double hurdle to jump.

Six years in the law industry, from a novice at Kangueehi & Kavendjii Inc to a partner at Angula Co. Inc owned by high profile Elize Angula, Esmeralda has climbed the legal simultaneously burying certain stereotypes from her own cultural background into the boardroom.

“I was lucky to have been attached to a firm while completing my LLB at Unam in 2012 as a student assistant and continued with my candidacy in 2013. Starting at such an early age accorded me the opportunity to understand the space I was operating in. I integrated into the system very early on and I could decide which aspect of law I wanted to do,” she tells Us.

She left Angula Co Inc as a partner last year in a bold move that she describes as a ‘terrifying’ decision at the time. With a focus on labour, commercial law, litigation, family and debt collection, Esmeralda has worked to carve a unique space for her firm.

“What has been challenging is for a lawyer to manage a law firm. We are lawyers who are passionate about law, but setting up your own business means you have to actually take care of the business side of it. You have to provide the service as a lawyer, set up contracts, representing clients in court and then you have to come and pay bills, make sure the servers are up and so forth. It’s a lot of work, but growing into the business of it is empowering,” she says.

Understanding the business side of things was important for Esmeralda, having a business plan and strategy and having a strong pillar and supporter in husband, FNB Head of Home Loans, Brian Katjaerua was good preparation for her but still, a woman working on her own empire in a male dominated industry can be a tough cookie to crack.

“A lot of clients are hesitant when they find out they will be represented by a woman instead of a strong male lawyer. The only way to get rid of this stereotype is to do the work with such excellency, that they will want to come back,” says Esmeralda.

For decades men and women have been graduating from law schools in almost equal numbers and yet this seems to be having little effect on the gender gap in the profession: only 9% of equity partners in the UK are women (20% in the US).

With so many talented female graduates leaving the profession or failing to achieve their potential to fill power positions, Esmeralda has provided the answers to questions many a law firm and legal departments ask themselves on how they can provide an environment that enables all their lawyers with the best opportunity to advance.

Today she is a businesswoman of the year nominee. And being a mother of a three-year-old boy, Esmeralda says young women thinking of a similar career path need only listen to the little voice in their head and follow their dreams, however long it may take.

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Ilke Platt-Akwenye: Parlaying fame into fortune

A mother, wife, TV host, communications aficionado and now an entrepreneur, Ilke Platt-Akwenye has worn many hats.

From NBC, past Sanlam to Old Mutual, she has graced corporate positions with hard work, self-determination and an aura of faith.

Today the vivacious IIke has left Old Mutual albeit after a short-stint to set-up her own comms empire, Poiyah, inspired by the need to complete her Master’s Degree.

She has risen from Cutie, the girlish singing sensation-turned TV star into PR czar. But that’s just half the story. What she has done, and is doing, has leveraged her television success into entrepreneurial gold.

For one, a mother and wife to mogul Nelson ‘Dicky’ Akwenye, it has not taken long for Ilke to transform her style into a strong business brand.

“Sanlam allowed me to become innovative and embraced my new ideas and suggestions. I am proud that initiatives such as the Sanlam Innovation Works, was created after much research done in terms of identifying a need for entrepreneurial projects.

I’ve developed the ability to work smarter and not necessarily harder. Many times, you find yourself everywhere and not executing a single task. Time management is everything. I’ve learned how to become more selfish with my time to ensure that the execution instills quality,” she tells Us.

And from May this year, Old Mutual. With a new team that she met at Old Mutual, she had to learn the ins and outs of what works for Old Mutual.

Still, her ballooning fan base grew with her from Linked-In to Facebook and other social media handles.

It was here that it clicked that bridging TV fame and PR fame with smart commerce is not easy. It needed a Masters. Now a Ph.D. is in the offing.

“I look forward to finalizing my Masters and presenting the results to Old Mutual. My thesis focuses on its corporate social responsibility, alignment with impact from beneficiaries’ feedback and the element of sustainability.

I believe with these findings it will allow Old Mutual to make necessary changes with researched information provided. Taking my studies, a step further will allow me to continue bringing change in the industry I have specialized in,” Ilke says.

Her drive comes from family support and the ability to succeed at something always gives her a push to do even more. The failure of a project encourages me to work even harder.

Ilke’s journey has been about personal brand and the ability to create a reputation that’s easily relatable and reliable.

She has used this to her advantage to prove her work/worth in the corporate industry. This has allowed her to venture into so many different avenues, including radio, TV, acting, and now her public relations baby, Poiyah.

So Ilke’s latest coup, a nomination as part 2017’s Economist Businesswoman of the year comes as a surprise to no one. She attests, beauty without a sound business plan and a quality product, no company can succeed.

“It has allowed me to cross paths with inspirational individuals who still seek networking platforms simply for encouragement. I advise young women to observe those hard working Namibian females and to make a deliberate effort to share the same platforms. More specifically in public relations and communications its critical to get yourself out there and associate with like-minded individuals.”

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Step by step, the story of Godfried

The fire might have faded along with the memory of that night. But memories of his mother will not fade so easily. Godfried Siwombe (7) was a normal boy from Tsumeb in the north of Namibia, who loved running in the rain. The rain brought more than childhood bliss on that windy night. Lightning struck the shack that he and his family were sleeping in, causing a fire that would forever burn deep inside.

His mother, his aunt, and a sibling would not survive the night, leaving Godfried behind to recover from his emotional loss, as well as the loss of his right foot, a reminder of the childhood lived yesterday and the reality he faces today. Never again will he run in the rain with the same innocence as before, or towards the welcoming arms of a mother’s embrace.

Over the last couple of years, efforts have been made to ease the pain caused by that night’s ordeal, but due to circumstances facing people in that region, very little to no relief has been given to Godfried, who lives in an area of Namibia where playgrounds are stone covered streets, sports fields covered in thorns, and the normal means of getting from one place to another means walking.

Hollard first heard of Godfried’s story in the local press, we read about the attempts that were made in vain to make a difference to the life of this little boy. It is natural for any corporate to strive for the greatest results in regards to CSR projects. Hollard is by no means different in that regard, as our mandate will always be large-scale sustainable change, meaningful impact, to either a community or cause.

But we simply cannot idly ignore the plight of a boy for something like the dream to walk, run, play and do all the things the other children do every single day.

Godfried was brought to Windhoek for an appointment to see the extent of the damage his right leg suffered, and what prosthetic solution would be best suited.

We reached out to everyone for the help, and stand here today awestruck at the support offered from those who heard of Godfried’s story. Arebbusch Travel Lodge stepped in and offered free accommodation for Godfried and his aunt, ensuring that their stay in Windhoek was a comfortable one.

Dr. Norman Campbell from Advance Orthopaedics Namibia offered his services for free, leading the way to provide Godfried with a brand new tailored prosthetic boot.

On Tuesday 19 September 2017 Godfriend’s dream was realized, as he put on the brand-new boot (along with an awesome pair of Puma sneakers) for the very first time. You could see that the sensation of being able to walk normally was a feeling that little Godfried would have to get used to again. It is a wonderful feeling to see the eyes of a child light up with excitement as the realization sets in that he could once again do something that almost all of us take for granted, the ability to walk.

We as Hollard cannot say how proud we are to play a role in the life of this little boy. Knowing that we are part of a wonderful team of people who selflessly helped Godfried in making his everyday life more comfortable. They say an epic journey starts with one step, we walk with Godfried.

Godfried will need a new boot annually as his foot grows, Hollard hopes to be able to assist with this cost until his final boot gets fitted.

Assistance is still needed to uplift his current living conditions; his guardian is currently unemployed and we please need the local Tsumeb community’s assistance to help her generate an income to look after Godfried. Please contact if you can assist.

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SBS Graduation: Separated by distance bonded by passion

After completing her first degree at the University of Namibia, the world came crashing down on Berio Mwilima when it dawned on her that she would need to relocate to South Africa for two years to study for a Masters’ degree.

“It was a dead-end, there was no way I could leave my children, a house and a car I had to pay off,” she explains of her disappointment.

Her disappointment could be shared by Eenhana Vocational Training Centre Instructor, Joyleen Machiwana-Mukumba, and Scholastic Stephanus, a control administrator in the Directorate of Education in Omusati, both more than 1500km away, who were affected by the absence of decent educational institutions in their regions to further their studies, besides demanding domestic chores.

Somehow Berio got wind of the Southern Business School. From her Keetmanshoop based workstation, she enrolled for a Masters in Management in 2015.  It was far better than having to travel to South Africa by road periodically.

“Our tutor Pamela linked us all in a WhatsApp group, and occasionally when things got tough, between work, home, and Pamela’s demands, we would look up to who was close to the WhatsApp group, to chat with. An instant friendship was born,” says Joyleen a mother of two.

The trio was to meet for the first time this September after two years of sharing research and studying tips, notes and summaries, at the 2017 SBS Spring graduation ceremony in Windhoek, where tears of joy, hugs of bonding and smiles of friendship were shared.

“There were no evening classes, the strains of the missing family time were rarely there. In fact, through SBS strong relationships were born,” according to Scholastic.

A total of 220 Southern Business School of Namibia (SBS) students graduated this month through one of Namibia’s most prominent educational institutions and Namibian Qualifications Authority (NQA) recognised. SBS Namibia provides top quality higher education and offers capacity building short course programmes and consultancy in the fields of Management and Safety in Society.

“I have always been part of a business set up in my family. My father runs a mechanic shop and my mother owns a franchise PG Glass outlet. It was quite difficult being a new mother, it is something I would not have done had I gone to one of the night schools.  I am grateful for my husband being the pillar of strength and inspiration that he was,” Joyleen says.

Talent management was one of the key things she was able to pick up during her course, growing up, one of the biggest setbacks in the family business has been not being able to hold on to talent, she says.

For Scholastic, “I got more knowledge on management and administration which is very relatable to my work. It wasn’t easy trying to balance supporting two of my sisters and my two daughters as well as working and studying, but I was fortunate that SBS’s system was very efficient. They shared information with me quickly. I was lucky when one of my sisters finished her Master’s in Education through the University of Namibia and got employed as a lecturer there.”

These inspirational stories certainly proove that with distance education everything is possible.

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Ouma Tjivikua: Namibia’s most successful grandmother turns 85

She must lean against the wall of her Katutura house (in Marula ) to support her legs to walk. Her health is not the best, she is asthmatic and lately, walks with difficulty due to her swollen legs brought by old age.

“Being old is good, but it has challenges. The good part is that I have no worries in life, not a single regret. The only problem are the legs that swell up here and there and stop me from going to church,” Ouma Tjivikua explains as she throws herself with a brief sigh, on a wooden chair, “Ouma’s chair”, where she automatically seems to have gathered all the energy.

Her smile is wide, infectious, it’s a winning smile. There seems to be a connection between the energy she assumed since sitting on her chair and the smile. On the 7th of October, she turns 85.  She speaks so immaculately in the Queen’s English as if it is her mother tongue.

Royalty defines Ouma Tjivikua. Of her 13 children, she has lost two, the first and the sixth-born. Her success lies in the products of her womb, she says.

A retired nurse, Ouma Tjivikua credits her children’s success to the family values that she has embedded in them since childhood.

“When my husband died in 1985, three of my children were outside Namibia, namely James, Tjama and Michael. It needed a certain strength from the Almighty to keep and protect my children as they grew and matured first into men and women, then into national leaders. Family values and preservation of culture became the secret. I learned that by sending my children to school. Education is important. If the Tjivikua name will stand the test of time, we need to keep sending our grandchildren to schools across the world, and keeping them within the values of our culture,” she says.

All but one of her 10 remaining children are married and have taken up the aspect of the family as a key facet of growth.

Today’s parents must teach their children those same family values. They are fundamental to nation building and preserving of our culture. Look at me, my skin is lighter than yours, but I want all my children and grandchildren to understand our Herero culture and appreciate family. That is who we are and that has been the secret.

Secret to Long-Life

She recalls how some people rejected her, especially in the late-70’s and mid-80s. “I was ‘too-SWAPO”, they said. But I did not lose focus. Till today, I have never smoked, I have never touched alcohol and I read my bible twice a day. There is no other secret. Why I mentioned my husband’s death is because it was a trying time for me where I could have lost it and done things I would have regretted. But I remained consistent.”

Born Kutuai Kaura at Okaundja, in the Okakarara area, Ouma Tjivikua moved to Swakopmund with her half-German mother to complete Standard 2. By then only Windhoek had three schools reaching Standard 6 (now Grade 8). Upon completing Standard 2 in Swakopmund, she was made to stay in the same grade for two more years as her mother contemplated moving to Windhoek.

The family eventually moved to the capital in 1945 where she enrolled to complete her studies (Standard 6) at the Rhenish Mission Herero School. There she became one of the first netball players of Namibia in 1947.

“By then I had an edge over my classmates because of the two years I had spent repeating Standard 2 in Swakopmund, for there was no higher school grade. “I completed my Standard 6 in Ongombombonde, Waterberg because the government had opened a new school there. I went into nursing in Otjiwarongo in 1950 and by 1952 at the age of 20, I got married,” she recalls.

When her husband Festus Tjivikua, a teacher, was transferred from Otjiwarongo to Ovitoto, there was neither a hospital nor a clinic, thus she was forced to abandon her nursing passion.

Much later in 1984, she was requested by a medical doctor, Dr Withun, to undertake Nursing studies.  Instead, she volunteered to become Administrative Assistant at the Katutura State Hospital, where she served in Administration and then in the Pharmacy until 1993 when she retired.

“Because my father was an Evangelical Lutheran Priest, I spent time reading the bible to students at the school where my husband was teaching.”

She has been an active member of the SWAPO Party since 1964. As the interview drags on, it becomes obvious that Ouma Tjivikua has thrice my age but, twice the energy. In between, one of her great-grandchildren interjects us by demanding attention. She attends to him and upon her return to our interview, is eager to offer our team breakfast—all the while chatting away about her life and her family.

Ouma Tjivikua talks about family more than anything else. And no wonder—she has made children the focus of her life.

“I have lived in this house for 34 years. They have brought me offers to move to better suburbs but I have a life here. This is the house of the Tjivikuas first, she says, staring blindly at an old Panasonic boxed TV.”

“Everything has been easy for me. Not because of money, no. I have never chased money or the joys of this world. Why seek luxuries when you have the joy of the heart? I do not have the regrets of the past, they will keep me hostage,” she continues.

Every day she whiles away the time on her needle-work.

“I knit for my family. All of them have worn what I sew. I do not want to do it for the money. The money will kill me because thinking about it makes me weak.”

Every weekend her sons, daughters, and grandchildren gather at Ouma’s house.

“I wish everybody could have the opportunity to reach my age.  We are all different. Some are so poor, some live very different lives than me. But when you are my age, it is not about poverty or riches, it is love. We all love our grandchildren and we want to prepare our journeys, clear the road for ourselves and our families when we’re gone. It boosts me when they are all here.”

As we bid farewell, we joke at her insistence that ‘no photos today, come when I am properly dressed for photos.’ We agree she maybe 85, but when you look at her you’d never believe it.

She’s an energetic worker and she loves joking. She’s wise and loves telling stories of the old days, but she is not an old woman. She remains Super Woman!

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Same name, Two businessmen: Meet Frans Indongo (Jnr)

Life was surprisingly normal for a child of a billionaire, who is today among Namibia’s richest black business people.

What may have helped preserve a sense of normalcy in such an extraordinary situation was the fact that Indongo has 17 sons, and every holiday he would invite them to his farm for a visit.

“When we went to the holiday on Tate’s farm, we expected to spend the days relaxing and playing soccer but that was not the case we got up at 5am every morning from Monday to Sunday to attend to the farm chores. Basically, we would go to work, we’d take a lunchbox and come back, sometimes after 8pm. When leaving the farm, after the holiday, you will be rewarded with pocket money, enough to cover your expenses for the next school term.That taught me a lot at such a young age,” he tells Us.

Born Frans Gerhard Indongo, it was only in 2008, during a family visit in Swakopmund which proved instrumental when he discovered that the ‘meme kapanas’ selling fish next to each other at the open market in Swakopmund had actually carved a living off this informal business.

His world opened up, somehow oblivious to the fact that the ‘meme kapanas’ were inspired by Frans Indongo Snr, in the late ‘70s.

He saw an opportunity and would employ his cousins to sell fish on his behalf all over the Bus Stops in Katutura Windhoek, but later established a Fish Distribution Company where he would supply to Spar, Woermann Brock, Dehli Supermarket, Lyeeta Shoping Center, GIFT Supermarket,  and  Country Club just to mention a few.

That experience and exposure in the business world taught him to keep a look out for opportunities and to always take them as they come. That came in the last presidential elections (2014) when the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) needed 800 vehicles for the elections to be used in the North.

“I submitted my proposal 6 months before the election to the Director of ECN who later informed me that it was a good idea and will take it up. A day before the elections, Director of Operations at ECN told me that they wanted 80 cars very urgently, so I arranged the vehicles with one of the biggest Car Hire in Namibia because at that time I only had a fleet of 2 vehicles. Unfortunately there was a change in the plan and that endeavour eventually failed for me, my first biggest project attempt” he recalls.

Later in 2014, things finally started to fall in place when he supplied a number of vehicels for a conference hosted by the Ministry of Safety and Security’s Prisons department.

With the profit he earned from there, he bought his own fleet of vehicles and established GG Indongo Family Car Hire and Project Logistics which currently owns a fleet of 28 vehicles and have booking agents in Germany and Denmark.

Three years later, with 5 permanent employees and 10 part-time, they have served the United Nations (UN), NSFAF, NTA and various ministries as well as countless tourists and local individuals. Each vehicle is fitted with a satellite tracking device which allows the company easy fleet management and monitoring.

A traveler at heart, ‘Gerhard’ travels at least twice a month across the country and twice a year overseas.

“Traveling relaxes me. I work extra hard, even up to nine in the evenings most days which affords me the time to travel for leisure. Traveling also helps me for the business. When a client books one of the vehicles to go to Epupa in Kunene region for example, I already know how the road conditions there are like and will serve my clients accordingly. And traveling overseas, I have established a network of agents,” he says.

He has been to Germany, England, Hong Kong, China, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, and an opportunity to explore other cultures outside of Namibia always excites him.

A father of one, Gerhard is also active in charity events, such as the soup kitchen in Katutura in which he takes part every year and in January 2017 they managed to feed 600 kids that day.

“The biggest lesson I have learned from my father is to always work hard and be present at your business. He lives on his farm because he wants to make sure things are done right.

Sometimes when all our drivers are booked, I deliver the vehicles myself where ever the client wants the vehicle to be droped off or I avail my car to the client and take a taxi. I have learned this hard work and dedication from him.”

The biggest mark that Indongo does not want to take advantage of his father’s fame is the simplest realization of his ability to work for himself and be among young Namibian’s contributing the growth of the country by creating employment opportunities for others.

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When your janitor calls it a day

For over 14 years, Tate Johannes Fekayamala has woken each morning at 05:45 to prepare for work, a few minutes taxi-drive into Rundu from his homestead in Konke.

He was working for Standard Bank Rundu Branch for the past 14 years since moving from the main branch in Windhoek where he had worked for 15 years.

Each morning, he has to be the first one in the Standard Bank Rundu branch. By 07:30 when the Head Service Support, Francois Van Wyk walks in, Tate Johannes’ brooms and mops have rested, he is now busy preparing coffee for the boss; four sugars, strong, no milk, and in the afternoon, tea with the same sugar.

Over the 29 years, he has worked under several branch managers, many of whom he still remembers by name, Yvonne Stefanus, Corne Cloete and now Francois van Wyk.

“They have all been good to me. I also know the young man. He is a good young man, our Chief Executive, Vetumbuavi Mungunda.”

Humble may be his position but he has observed the bank’s growth for three decades and the biggest change has been the system.

“The customers are more now than when I started. Sometimes it means the bank gets very full and busy.”

By the time the Bank gets busier with clients queuing up, Papa Johannes is out on his daily routine. A stop at Nampost to pick up the letters, queuing up at NORED to pay the branch’s power bills, and other few errands required by the manager, dropping this envelope at the municipality or don’t forget to bring me a piece of chicken from Shoprite, another employee would request.

In many ways, Standard Bank Rundu Branch colleagues value and appreciate Tate Johannes, as they affectionately call him. When he returns to the bank, it’s almost midday, the first thing he notices is the dust that comes in with each feat walking into the bank, later he realises a child has messed on the floor, some have attempted to shred incorrectly filled deposit slips and left them all over the place.

Studying Tate Johannes is like learning about the calling of a janitor. At 59 he remains a pillar in the branch and is Standard Bank’s longest serving employee. He has almost become the uncle and father figure to the tellers and his other colleagues.

“God has kept me over the years. I have not experienced any major problems. I worked for good people and I have had children who are making something of their lives, I’m very happy,” he says.

Tate Johannes only speaks in Afrikaans. He says it has never been a problem. He never bothered to learn English in the old days because while working for Standard Bank in Windhoek, he resided in Wambolokasie before the move to Rundu in 2003.

The key to his happiness at work over all these years is enjoying time with others, Tate Johannes says. To him: “It’s something I want to do all the time. I always like to be at work meeting people. That’s the main thing in life, meeting people.”

Tate Johannes has seven children and following in her father’s footsteps, Justine works in Standard Bank’s IT department in Windhoek.

Two of his children Jeremiah (Information Systems) and Augustu (Electrical Engineering) are final year students at UNAM and NUST, respectively.

Augustu is so exceptional that Nampower provided a scholarship. All of the children are Standard Bank children he jokes off, having been sired while he worked in the Bank except his oldest son, 31 an employee at Jet in Windhoek. His youngest is eight.

“I want to thank Standard Bank because they also helped me with my children’s education. And not only that, when I was working in Windhoek, I got to shake the hands of President Hage Geingob and Hifikepunye Pohamba when they came to visit the Bank, I would have never gotten that opportunity in my life if I didn’t have this job,” he tells Us Namibia.

Head of Service Support and second in command at Rundu Branch, Francois van Wyk, who has worked seven years with him says, “Fekalamaya is quite humble. Even when he has to take instructions from someone who is younger, he doesn’t take it begrudgingly. He’s like a father to everyone here in the bank.”

Throughout his years of experience at the Blue Bank, Tate Johannes has been well respected by both colleagues and customers alike. Fruitful journeys like these speaks strongly to the Bank’s value of “Becoming the best company to work for”.

Born and raised in Konke, Tate Johannes grew up on in rural Rundu, in a family of seven who all sought greener pastures. His first job was in 1970 at Olympia Super Market in the fish and chips division.

Next January, he retires and plans to retreat to his village homestead, use his pension funds to buy some cattle and venture into tomato and coffee farming.

“I would have liked to have worked for one extra year, but I have to retire on January 5 when I turn 60. I think the time is right to move on, the land is good, I’m ready to move to the next chapter of my life, farming,” he says.

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