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THE NAM-MIC CHAIRMAN’S GUIDE TO SUCCESS

Nam-mic Financial Services Holdings (NFSH) has had a significant growth in profits over the past 5 years, chairman John Shaetonhodi shares his recipe:


In your view, what were NFSH’s major challenges and milestones reached over the past five years?

Establishing the Company NFSH was a huge challenge in itself for us. First, we had to find a credible and reputable partner in the financial sector to work with to set up essential structures, to be able to provide the services we wanted for the client base we were representing.

By entering the business of financial services, we were aiming at extending our footprint beyond the traditional credit products and savings deposit facilities that different types of finance institutions provide at varying degrees.

Our ultimate aim was to find avenues that could facilitate payments, money transfer and remittance services, as well as insurance and contractual savings products for our client base. Payment and savings products are often the most important financial services for low income households. Since its establishment, the NFSH Group has shown sustained growth in an environment that is highly competitive and regulated, building a strong and sound, well capitalised balance sheet.

Going forward, we believe that the continued efficient and effective provision of financial services requires that financial policies and financial system structures should be adjusted as needed, in response to financial innovations and shifts in the broader macroeconomic and institutional environment. As we continue to expand our footprint in the country, we will continue to face major challenges.

These include the degree and quality of access to financial services available to the union membership base, which normally includes low income rural households and their small businesses. There are core issues in the legal and regulatory framework that are not necessarily supporting rural finance and micro-finance.


How do you feel NFSH has evolved since its establishment?

NFSH has registered noticeable growth during the past five years, particularly in the segment of value-added services. The unique collaboration with our business partners in the financial services industry gave the Company its competitive edge.

It has strengthened its asset base as well as its cash flow to become a force to be reckoned with. It has facilitated the creation of products relevant to its client base in the areas of micro lending, insurance, legal access and mobile banking services through sustainable business practices, as well as customised products and services that are integral to our strategic partnership with the Capricorn Investment Holdings Group, Santam Namibia and Sanlam Namibia.

I am proud of what we have achieved in a period of just five years. Guided by increased computing power, we aim to deploy these technologies to increase productivity and create innovative, collaborative networks among our employees, business partners and clients. We trust that Government and regulatory entities will also use these tools to streamline operations, increase efficiency and allow broader constituent participation.


What do you believe makes NFSH different from other BEE companies?

NFSH is unique in its outlook and focus. We are a mass-based organisation created to benefit the workers grouped under a unique labour movement with a history of resistance against workplace exploitation and financial exclusion. The workers we represent in NFSH are mostly used to create wealth for others.

Five years ago, driven by economic opportunities, the workers created their own business arm to venture into the financial services industry to create a new dynamic between companies in the financial services sector, eliminating the habit of these companies ‘pushing’ their product messages to the workers as customers, through traditional broadcasting and publishing channels.

We needed to extend workers’ control in the design of products these workers receive from companies. This necessitated the workers’ company to take part ownership of companies operating in this area and the creation of new ones.

This strategy is aimed at facilitating greater access to sound financial services, thereby addressing financial exclusion head-on. The workers had committed themselves to actively promoting a transformed, vibrant, and globally competitive financial sector that reflects the demo- graphics of Namibia by directing their investment into targeted sectors of the economy.

Workers, most of them deriving from the digital generation, will continue focusing less on physically spending time at a job site and more on getting the job done, thereby creating the work/life balance they desire. With a new decade looming, a range of demographic, economic, social and technology shifts are changing the way we live and operate around the country.

We have noted, for instance, how economic changes over the past few decades have shifted risk and risk management responsibilities to individuals in many countries, including Namibia. This trend is likely to continue over the next decade. We expect companies that our client base works for to further shift responsibility for retirement, career planning and health to employees.

Similarly, government at all levels will reduce social support services. As personal finance will grow more complex, requiring consumers to increasingly understand, anticipate and take responsibility for their monetary decisions and their wellbeing, NFSH will be there to empower the workers to make their independent assessment of products that will better serve their interests.


What is your future outlook for NFSH?

The next decade will see effects of the so-called great recession continuing to reverberate. Regulatory pressures will increase and competition will emerge from traditional competitors and new entrants. These forces will create new business models, fuel industry collaboration and partnerships as well as increase industry consolidation.

Government supervision of the financial services industry is also changing significantly. New regulatory measures being announced will attempt to reduce the risk of future financial crises and ensure consumer protection. Stronger regulation will significantly change financial institution management and reporting, leading to higher costs.

The new environment of increased regulation, new competition and industry change could disrupt the financial services industry. While this is taking place, I believe that NFSH will harness its strengths to extend its direct ownership of equity interests together with control over the voting rights attaching to the equity interests.

Guided by empowerment financing, the Company will continue to invest in targeted and BEE transactions/projects that support economic development in underdeveloped areas where most of its clients hail from.

The future of financial services will further depend on engaging and servicing the new mobile generation, also known as the digital generation – a tech-savvy group of individuals who are being brought up using mobile technologies, Facebook and email. This customer segment has high service expectations and expects to interact with companies that offer goods and services ‘any place, any time’.

They prefer quick, easy and convenient self-service, customised options that are easily accessible, especially via the Internet and mobile devices. Job insecurity, stagnant wages, and declining employer benefits and concerns about the viability of government programmes have the new mobile generation concerned about its financial future.

Facing this uncertainty, this generation will turn to banks and other financial institutions that can provide tools, information, resources and products that can help them navigate their complex financial lives. We at NFSH support the Namibian Financial Sector Strategy to ensure that necessary reforms are implemented to extend benefits derived from this sector to previously disadvantaged Namibians.

The progress in this area is however slow. It is worth noting that the opportunities in this regard cannot be realised, unless our regulatory framework adapts to accommodate the forces of change. Despite significant progress since our independence and democratic governance, the Namibian society remains characterised by racially-based income and social services inequalities. This inhibits the country’s ability to achieve its full economic potential.

In the meantime, we will continue responding to new market opportunities by creating new niches that can be served through variable cost business plans. Real-time production in response to customised demand will be the norm. How to engage and service the new mobile generation as financial members and customers will become a serious challenge.

Financial institutions will have to develop new strategies and technologies for improving account profitability without alienating the digital generation customers. We need to turn these new technologies into insights. Financial institutions not recognising and responding to these new competitors risk losing their best customers.

Players in the financial services industry will continue to be threatened if they do not tackle the challenge of change. These trends will guide NFSH to continue being relevant to all its customers, including the new mobile generation. To be successful, we will have to stand up to the task of offering our clients superior treatment with services tailored to the specific needs of each type of customer.

We need to strengthen Nam- mic Payment Solutions, the company we created for this new mobile generation. The Nam-mic CellCard, a cell phone-based payments service offered by Nam-mic Payment Solutions, will not only dramatically increase the use of electronic banking and commerce, it will transform it. It will facilitate mobile commerce and transactions.

Our success and the very long- term survival of our Group of Companies will require both focus and specialisation to attract and serve profitable customer segments. Through partnerships and collaboration, we as players in the industry will provide the breadth and depth of services our client base requires at an affordable cost.


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India expands outreach in Namibia in 2018

Besides being the global culture centre of the world, India remains a high educational destination among Namibian students, thanks to having one of the world’s largest higher education systems.


To date about 1200 Namibian students and officials have received training in India while the Indian High Commission to Namibia currently provides about 150 fully-paid scholarships to Namibian officials and students for both long term and short-term courses annually. But for Indian High Commissioner to Namibia Kumar Tuhin, the opportunities are vast.

Kumar Tuhin | India’s High Commissioner to Namibia

“For the 2018-19 training year, 22 scholarships are being offered for Namibian students, which include enrolment and course fees, besides a fixed amount of living expenses for the full duration of the course and return economy class airfares to the nearest international airport and train fare to the place of study in India. Already a large number of Namibian students have been exposed to ICCR scholarships. It is so heartening to meet the students who have studied in India and are making significant contributions at their respective work places in Namibia,” Tuhin tells Us.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholarship Scheme was launched to enhance the academic opportunities for students of African countries in India by increasing the number of scholarships to pursue under-graduate, post-graduate and higher courses.

Coming off celebrating India’s National Day on 26 January, Tuhin believes that there is a need to revitalize and strengthen the economic and commercial relations between Namibia and India.

He says while there is already a significant overlap here, the rapid growth of the Indian economy and its size provides a lot of scope for the Namibian companies to do business with India.

“Pharmaceuticals and diamonds are two sectors I can point to for example. Namibia imports pharmaceutical products and India is amongst the largest exporters. But a good part of Namibian imports comes through third countries. Similarly, the famed Namibian diamonds ultimately do reach India for processing (as 9 out of 10 diamonds in the world are processed in India) but after going through many intermediate layers.

If at least some of this business is done directly between the two countries, it will definitely boost the bilateral trade and in turn create mutually beneficial partnerships. Business and investment decisions are however decisions which will be taken by individual companies,” he adds.

For 2018, one of the Indian High Commission’s focus will be expanding their outreach and creating more awareness about the tourism and business potential of India.

Already, the Government of India has included Namibia in the list of countries eligible for e-visa, which means that Namibian citizens can now apply and receive visas online, with hope that it will increase the number of persons travelling to India from Namibia.

“To the Indian community, my message is to keep excelling at whatever place they are working and to serve as a bridge of friendship between India and Namibia. And for Namibians, the message is that India was, is and will forever remain a friend of Namibia,” Tuhin concludes.


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Pursuit of Greatness vs. Academic Drift

The importance of maintaining the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST)’s very definite and specific nature is itself a challenge, if the institution is to eventually become a world leader.

This was shared by educationist Prof Rolf Stumpf, a South African statistician and former Vice Chancellor and Rector of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Port Elizabeth), during the NUST academic opening session.


Professor Rolf Stumpf | South African statistician and former Vice Chancellor and Rector of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Prof Stumpf challenged NUST to operate within the set mandate, if international recognition is to be achieved.

“When we speak of NUST becoming a world-renowned institution, we do so absolutely and with no compromise within its institutional mandate area of science and technology coupled to a specific focus of relevance, application and innovation,” he said.

It has been two years since NUST achieved university status and Dr Stumpf says having a central focus has been the makings of a great university. He argued that to be internationally ranked, NUST does not require a different mandate, “neither an expanded one nor a restricted one.”

He warned, “In fact, pursuing a more general higher education mandate (academic drift) will inevitably dilute your effectiveness and impact as a university. To put it bluntly, you do not need to become something else to be excellent, you need to become better, in fact much, much better in what you already are.”

In an era where Namibia desperately needs an institution that focuses on relevance, application and innovation in science and technology, Prof Stumpf cautioned that there is no need for another general university focussing on the entire span of knowledge domains and types.

“The more general a university is, the harder it becomes to develop a distinctive institutional focus. This is due to the paralysing competing interests of all the knowledge stakeholders in such an institution. NUST by virtue of its institutional mandate already has had institutional focus defined in its Act of Establishment,” said Prof Stumpf.

Of late much has been said and written about world-class universities, a status earned through recognition and acceptance of this level of excellence by others in higher education.

However, there exists no definitive set of metrics at the moment that have to be achieved or surpassed in order to achieve such recognition. At most a general set of features characterising world-class universities is beginning to emerge.

He added, “NUST should aspire to demonstrate these features as part and parcel of its institutional fabric while at the same time not disregarding the place and value of institutional performance metrics in its journey towards achieving world-class levels of excellence.”

But Prof Stumpf questioned why African universities yearn for institutional greatness when the socio-economic conditions of the continent and its countries are in tatters.

“Can we aim for being a world-class university while unemployment levels are as high as they are in Africa? While numeracy and literacy levels continue constituting such severe challenges to economic and societal development, while school and university drop-out figures remain unacceptably high, while some people do not have access to clean water…. the list could go on and on.

So for NUST, as for universities elsewhere on our continent, the first requirement is to set your sights for achieving greatness within measure. This, however, does not preclude you from aiming higher each year, while at the same time making deliberate efforts to change the standards of living in Namibia and further afield through your relevant and innovative knowledge outputs and products.”

A vital feature for world-class universities is institutional autonomy as a prerequisite for achieving greatness. Institutional autonomy allows institutions to respond decisively to changing priorities in civil societies and in economic systems both nationally and internationally without first having to navigate through a cumbersome bureaucratic maze, he stated.

Alas, said Prof Stumpf, “Many African universities well-intentioned policies such as national qualification frameworks and concomitant bodies such as Qualification and Accreditation authorities have impeded rather than strengthened the responsiveness levels of universities.

The reason why these policies and structures in many cases have become a hindrance rather than a help is that many of these structures are staffed by officials who have little or no understanding of the true nature and vocation of a university. This means that many of these officials become mere appliers of rules and regulations, creating ever more of them, rather than being stimulators of institutions to achieve greatness.”

He stated that in such instances, an institution such as NUST should be careful not to be seen as an adversary but rather as an upholder of the original intentions of establishing these structures and related policies.

“This you can do by constantly arguing for these structures to play a role of assisting institutions in their development rather than laying unnecessary stumbling blocks in their way. Achieving institutional greatness does not come to those who wait for it to be accorded them but for those who actively pursue it and who earn it!

NUST is well positioned to move from strength to strength. After all the truly great universities did not become so overnight. Within the realistic restrictions and constraints faced by NUST, I urge you all to give it your all. You will never regret it and those coming after you will thank you for it!”


Professor Tjama Tjivikua | NUST Vice-Chancellor

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M+Z’s Upward Path

In the fast-paced, ever-changing and increasingly complex automotive world, there are few moments when an industry can take stock of progress. Call it a line in the sand. A moment of reflection. A measurement of success.


Think about it. Twelve years ago, Verena Grüttemeyer would not have predicted that a woman would be running a car company in Namibia, or that it would be M+Z Group? That time she was caught in what she loved best, nature. The panoramic views of Otavi where she and her husband ran a lodge is all that she called the world to her.

Today, Verena’s decidedly unconventional career arc is now inspiring women in a range of jobs, spanning from ank and fine enginers to car dealers, to think big.

A fourth generation Managing Director of the group and grand-daughter of Ernst Behnsen, one of the original key players of the M+Z brand in the 1920s, Verena Grüttemeyer now runs the second largest dealer group in Namibia, which sells up to 3 260 new and pre-owned vehicles annually. Humble to the very basics of the word, she’s become a bit of an icon, which is cool.

We need those kinds of role models, because a lot of women would not even think of the auto industry. Much cooler is how her brand portfolio has thrived over the last twelve years from Autohaus Truck & Bus, Audi Centre Windhoek, Autohaus Windhoek & Swakopmund, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, M+Z Motors Commercial Vehicles to M+Z Motors Passenger Vehicles.

The 111-year M+Z legacy is safe and the auto industry being considered as a clubby man’s world is now history. It all started when she pondered building a diverse management team, many of whom are still with her.

She was tasked with responsibility of customer relations and business expansion opportunities when she joined the company in 2002, and it was clear the values of Metje, Behnsen and Ziegler were in her DNA from the onset.

Under her tutelage, Grüttemeyer drew focus on creating a culture of commitment and purpose amongst M+Z employees, promoting from within and investing generously in development and training activities. That’s all still work in progress. But so far, has resulted in employees lasting longer in the company, with efficient team dynamics and a collective mind-set to achieve the collective goals.

Says Verena; “I believe in honesty. If the customer can trust you, they will buy from you. One of our strongest convictions here is building trust with people. If they can trust that you will look after their interests then they will come back. Our achievements are based on trust, courage, responsibility, respect, integrity and transparency.”

The progress of women in the auto industry in the last decade is still argumentative.


However for Verena, the technical recession and massive cost-cutting might actually present oportunities for new ideas, new hands, new faces, an opportunity for women to rebound. As the industry has been coming out of the crisis, there have been many more opportunities available, and many of them have been filled by women. So many companies will add more women to add a different perspective of doing business.

There are more roles and responsibilies, at higher levels, for women, and I think it will continue to improve even more in the coming years. A challenging economic 2017 troubled many in the auto industry and many companies either closed or retrenched.

She adds, “Through strategic planning and team work, we managed to avoid retrenchments. In the midst of a huge reduction in vehicle sales and turnover in the last 18 months, my message was to stay calm, not panic and be innovative. And I think we are on the verge to overtaking the pre-2012 trends. The upward path looks imminent.”

Digitalising has been a key transformative part of businesses the world over and it will play a role in M+Z remaining a household name for the next 111 years, she says of the future.

“Electronic cars are the future and as M+Z we have to look into that. We have to embrace the future. We have to be on the leading edge of this industry and look into various opportunities,” she says.

The M+Z Motors on the corner of Lazarett & Patterson Street in southern Industry in Windhoek was the culmination of Grüttemeyer’s dream to have a high-grade facility that matches what the brand deserves. And that was at a time when few saw into the future. To be able to offer the best service to its customers, M+Z
has embarked on a fundamental restructuring. New dealerships have been added and new structures with new responsibilities set.

All Pre-Delivery Inspections (PDI’s) have been centralised into one facility and a smart repair centre has been established. Every customer is important at M+Z and they have been committed to offer state of the art facilities irrespective of their vehicles make, value or model. Just as Elena Ford, the great-great-grand-daughter of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Company, because the first female Ford to hold a Vice Presidential post within the company in 2013, this great-great-granddaughter of the oldest motoring company in Namibia is not pampered by the familiar surname.

For her, leading a family business that has existed for over a century has all to do with preparing the legacy for the next generation M&Zites and the next generation of M+Z clients, while contributing to economic growth by focusing on consumer experience, overseeing best practices to expand footprint and impact. “These values determine our actions in our daily dealing with customers and business partners as well as in our teamwork and our collaboration with each other. Every single member of the “Metje + Ziegler” family takes this responsibility serious and therefor carries our culture forward.”

Taking pride in the fact that in 1936 M+Z was awarded one of the first Mercedes-Benz Franchises in Africa, she drives a Mercedes-Benz GLE. The royal lion portrait and cactus in her office potray her love for nature.

Indeed, years of the corporate world have not snuffed out her passion for the outdoors. In fact, Grüttemeyer begins each morning with a horseback ride, which helps clear her mind and prepares her mentally for the day before she joins her husband and son for breakfast.

“I have a short meeting with my management team when I get into the office and then after that I like to be out there in the field with the team, working. I don’t like to be in the office too much unless I have to do some administrative work. I am a very private person, I love the company of my family so we have a meal together at lunch.”

Her daughter, a medical student, has no dreams of joining the family business, just as Verena thought 15 years ago. “Don’t quit”. Is the mantra that drives Verena. You get a feeling even her colleagues at work, feel it for themselves, and, perhaps, just as much, for the female colleagues she mentors and inspires subconsciously.

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NAM-MIC: NAMIBIA’S MATURING FACE OF REAL EMPOWERMENT

For 12 years, Walter Don, a former Bank Windhoek HR executive has been the custodian of Nam-mic and with two years of his contract left, he has begun the process of a successful transition, and already, the company is now looking at ways of fostering participation in all levels of the economy.

 

Namibia’s biggest and so far, the only black broad based financial organization, Nam-mic has successfully revolved into a socio-economic powerhouse beyond its 93 000-strong membership base. For 12 years, Walter Don, a former Bank Windhoek HR executive has been the custodian of Nam-mic and with two years of his contract left, he has begun the process of a successful transition, and already, the company is now looking at ways of fostering participation in all levels of the economy. From his open-door policy to the Nam-mic culture and the ease of working for the company, Don has transformed the Nam-mic Financial Services Holdings into being Namibia’s face of real black economic empowerment. Now the resolve for Don is to ensure that within the coming five years, a third of the members have their own property, the majority if not all have access to life cover, and that they transcend into middle-income members.

And at such a pace, it is doable. “As the custodian, my success is mainly centered on satisfying the need of every constituency of our shareholding. Their needs differ and they all have pressing needs, but at the same time, they all agree that we are here to improve the lives of our people.” “We are now working on leaving the legacy in the life of our beneficiaries, and the chain goes on, hence the need now to have a decent impact on all focus areas of the economy,” thus Don. After he served for five years as an executive in the Bank Windhoek Human Resources Department, between 2001- 2005, Don was handpicked as CEO for the then newly established Nam-mic. Nam-mic was purely established to invest in other financial services such as Sanlam and Santam from which their members could benefit from.

It was a painful commitment. In the first six years of operations, the directors were patient with revenue, Don says. Any dividends that came in were used to pay-off debts, today Nam-mic is debt-free, all outstanding debts have been cleared, a huge secret to the company’s healthy balance-sheet. But with shareholders ranging from blue chip companies, miners’ unions, teachers’ unions and the like, success for Nam-mic lies in its diversity, where the custodian is both politician and administrator. “It’s all about trust and creating a conducive environment for the shareholders to speak about issues and aspirations because, currently we have the union shareholders; the blue-chip organization shareholders, such as Capricorn Investment which owns 32%.” “What is nice with that is that over the last couple of years there has been skills transfer among the different shareholders.

Some have more private business experience and with the unions also understanding the social needs of the workers, one has a nice blend of diverse views.” “When we walk into the boardroom, it’s all about the business and the welfare of our members and creating opportunities to maximize the return of our investments,” he explains. Staying relevant to the community in which Nam-mic operates is what has given them an edge, Don believes. “We are here to provide financial services to our constituencies and make a difference that is influenced by our decisions.” Not regarding themselves competitors to anyone has allowed Don and his team to focus on their own objectives and strategic planning with ultimate goal of making a difference in the lives of their members.

“What keeps me going is when a worker comes in here to either apply for a loan or to look for saving schemes and you see the smile on that person’s face saying “Thank you. I have been helped. I can go and settle my debts now. That makes me tick, that gives me great joy.” “The ability for us to make a difference in the lives of the Namibian worker, who would have normally gone to a bank, and under normal circumstances wouldn’t get help, that gives me great pleasure, and that reminds me of where I came from,” he tells Us. 2016 2017 Directors’ Valuation: N$1.2 billion N$1.7 billion Net Assets Valuation: N$676 million N$750 million Profits N$70.2 million N$75.6 million

Below Don explains the rise and transformation of Nam-mic:

Q: In terms of the regulation on the financial sector, what’s your take?

A: Regulatory bodies are very consultative. There is open communication with them. Within a small economy there needs to be regulation, overregulation can become a prohibition but currently it is manageable.

Q: But what has been the impact of your Corporate Social Investment (CSI)?

A: The assumption that Nam-mic is only for bursaries has enabled us to work extensively on other sectors such as training of workers and HIV/Awareness, without losing focus. In fact, we do less for the bursaries than we do for training of our workers, which involves retraining and upscaling workers, education by providing bursaries and the HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives among our workers and community.

Q: How would you say NFSH has made a difference in Namibia?

A: NFSH, through its subsidiary, Nam-mic Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd, an insurance-broking and financial services intermediary company, attempts to address the critical shortage of suitably skilled management and staff in the insurance, banking and consultancy sectors in Namibia in an innovative way. It has the ability and technical support to play an important role in the transformation of financial services in the country. NFSH is a truly broad-based black economic empowerment company with more than two-thirds of its shares owned by NUNW affiliated unions.

The Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (33.9%), the Namibia Public Workers’ Union (19.6%) and the Namibia Food and Allied Workers’ Union (6.5%) hold their investments in NFSH through their respective investment holding companies… The National Teachers’ Union of Namibia (5%), the Namibia Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (2.5%) and the Namibia Farm Workers’ Union (0.8%) are the other union shareholders, all holding their NFSH shares in their investment trusts. All dividends declared by NFSH to union shareholders are paid to the respective investment trusts of the union shareholders. In terms of its objectives, each trust ploughs back the dividends to its beneficiaries. This includes, amongst others, education through bursaries, training, community projects, housing and health programmes for union members and their families. The incorporation of the NFSH Group of Companies is an important milestone in the development of the Namibian financial services industry for the citizens of Namibia.

Q: What is your ambition for the next 5 years?

A: One of our dreams is that over the next 5 years one third of our union members will own their own property, have life cover and one savings instrument and for union members to be middle income earners. We want to make a difference. At least 50% of our union members will be trained on financial and wealth management. We want to be able to maintain a 10% growth in profit return on investment. Our aim will be a balance between the company growth but also developing our communities and constituencies.

Q: What would you say has been the biggest challenges for you, in terms of you being the custodian of these 93 000 members?

A: The misconception towards entitlement by members was a challenge but we have found a solution to it. Some members thought they could just walk in and make demands under the name, ‘shareholder’, without following proper channels. But through stakeholder engagement, we have sorted that out.

Q: How does your background play into the dedication that you have showed here at Nam-mic?

A: I think my background plays an important role in that. I appreciate where I come from, how I was groomed. I am indebted to my parents because living in a corrugated house growing up in the ghettos you learn to set some targets for yourself not to go back from where you came from and to make a difference in the lives of others. I think only then can we honestly say we have done our part. Also, coming from a human resources background has helped. Human resource is my automate qualification and then I had an opportunity by being the executive HR for bank Windhoek and obviously with the broad based partnership with the unions, the bank asked me, because of my expertise and my relationship with the unions to go and lead the business to transform and here we stand.

Q: Whats the one thing you want people to remember you for?

A: Just to remember me as a plain simple Khomasdal boikie.

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The power of honey and lemon on your body this 2018

Many people believe that for you to have a healthy glowing skin, you must use high end products. Well, the truth is, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to achieve skin goals.


Duly noted, when people mention quality it actually sounds extremely expensive but you can have quality products at a very affordable sweat free price. You’ll be amazed to know that some of these products are just in your kitchen so buckle up as we are about to take off to some natural products which will change your life drastically.

My goal is to educate people on going natural sometimes because you can have the cash to purchase the product but unfortunately the product is not available in the beauty stores and the sad part is it can actually take months for you to get it. so why not opt for plan B? This has happened to me so many times but am grateful my plan B worked and that’s why am more that excited to share this article.

Lemon, honey and water will help give your digestion an instant boost. Lemon is a body cleanser. It helps to flush out all unwanted toxins. Fresh lemon helps to restore and balance your body PH.

It also cleanses your liver by helping produce more bile and provides nutrients such as vitamin C and B. Honey on the other hand acts as anti-bacterial and beats any infections that might be present in your body. Honey is full of nutrients such as vitamin B-6. Calcium, potassium, iron, Sodium, Copper and Zinc. Slice and boil a fresh lemon, wait for it to cool then mix it with honey and enjoy your detox.

This mixture of lemon and honey will do you justice even when you go out and eat greasy food. Lemon is also good for your skin as it is rich in vitamin C. It’s a natural bleacher and antiseptic which aids in fighting fine lines, wrinkles, black and white heads. It also clears dark spots, but you have to be consistent with it for good results. Squeeze the lemon juice and apply on the areas you have the spots.

Leave for 20/30Minutes then rinse off with warm water. If the lemon is too much for you, you can dilute with water. Repeat the procedure every morning and evening for a couple of weeks. Honey is a natural humectant that attracts and retains moisture, hence it helps to keep your skin hydrated.

This mixture of honey and lemon is a very therapeutic face Mask as well. Mix 1 1/2table spoonful of honey and 1table spoonful of lemon juice. Rinse after 10/15minutes.


 

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This is why you should not store these foodstuffs in your refrigerator

Many of us think that keeping food in the fridge keeps it fresher for longer. unfortunately, this is not true for all foodstuffs. Not everything belongs in the fridge. Here are 10 foodstuffs that you should avoid keeping in the refrigerator and why.

1. Potatoes. Potatoes should ideally be stored in paper bags or net bags in a cool, dry place such as inside your pantry. Storing potatoes in the fridge turns the starch into sugar causing your potato to be sweet, gritty and will discolour once cooked. Do not wash before storing as the dampness will accelerate spoilage.

2. Onions. Onions should not be stored in the fridge as the moisture will soften them and cause them to become mushy. Store them in a dry, well-ventilated area and make sure it is dark to avoid sprouting.

3. Tomatoes. Storing tomatoes in the fridge damages the membrane inside the tomato which then alters the taste and flavour. Refrigerated tomatoes taste a bit watery and unripe. Keep them in a bowl or basket on the counter. They will ripen and increase their flavour.

4. Garlic. Garlic should be stored in a cool and dry place. Putting them in the fridge will cause them to sprout and turn rubbery.

5. Bread. Bread is a common foodstuff that is wrongly stored in the fridge. Keeping bread in the fridge makes it tough and chewy. This also accelerates its process to go stale due to the moist and cold temperature.

6. Honey. Keeping honey in the fridge will cause it to crystallize leaving it grainy and lumpy. Honey stays fresh and smooth when stored outside. Make sure that it is tightly sealed.

7. Avocados. Keep your avocados in open brown bags and outside the fridge. Putting them in the fridge hinders their ripening process. Storing avocados near bananas will accelerate their ripening process.

8. Bananas. If you have bought bananas that still need to ripen, you should not put them in the fridge. The cold temperatures will turn them mushy and black as they do not have a natural defence in the cold. However, ripe bananas are safe to keep in the fridge.

9. Melons. Keeping your uncut melons in the fridge can have a chilling effect on them which in turns affects their nutritional value. Melons are best kept on the fruit rack. You can however wrap sliced pieces of melon in cling film and refrigerate.

10. Olive Oil. Keeping olive oil in the fridge will cause it to condense and turn into a hard, butter-like consistency. Like other oils, olive oil should be stored in a cool and dark place.


 

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Florence Sibanda: Put God first in Leadership

“This journey has taught me that if people want to leave the organization, do not hold them back. Let them go and if you a good leader, sooner or later they will want to come back to be with you again.”


Q: Give us a brief background of your career and upbringing.

A: I grew up in a village in the Caprivi, now Zambezi. They used to tell me that we are poor but I saw things differently. I just knew that I wanted to improve my life and make sure that my children would have better. In 1991 I began my career as a warden at the Ministry of Environment where I worked until 2002.

I then went on to work for an NGO called IRDNC, for the National Heritage Council as a scientific officer, before moving as a chief geologist at the Ministry of Mines and Energy where I subsequently arrived at my current role as Deputy Director in the forestry department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry. 


Q: With such a colourful background, what have been the lessons learnt?

A: The biggest lesson I have learned is that if you have a good leader, it will inspire you to do good and if you have a bad leader, it will inspire you to be the opposite. This journey has taught me that if people want to leave the organization, do not hold them back. Let them go and if you a good leader, sooner or later they will want to come back to be with you again.


Q: But how do you transit between your role at Zebra and the Ministry?

A: What helps is that we do not meet too often for board meetings at Zebra Holdings. We have our meetings during the weekends or after hours so it allows me to focus on my time at the ministry. It is an easy transition for me, besides the awesome people I am blessed to be working with.

My aim is to continue to do the best with what is available to me. When there are challenges, the entire team be it Zebra or the Ministry chips in. The idea is to continue on our mandate and implement our goals which we have previously set and be a Ministry that delivers. 


Q: But what is the impact of your leadership?

A: I don’t believe in being a boss. In my department there is no one who is superior to another. I believe in working in a relaxed atmosphere, where people are aware of their responsibilities and as a leader that is how you get the results you want. My aim is to impart knowledge. There are many of my subordinates who I have encouraged to continue their studies and who have gone on and achieved their Master’s Degree and be somebody in society. 

I learn from the young people which in turn increases our productivity because they have good ideas also. If I want someone to do something, I should be able to do that thing also. I don’t raise expectations on something I cannot do myself. I must be aware of the amount of time required to do that thing and the challenges that come with it.


Q: Are there any challenges in your different responsibilities?

When you work with people from different background and religious beliefs, there will always be challenges. Also, you cannot please everyone. If you want to do the right thing, you just cannot. If you see that you are pleasing everyone then it means something is wrong. 


Q: How do you plan for growth?

A: My daughter told me a long time ago that if you want to climb the corporate ladder, let Jesus hold your ladder. It means that I might not always be going where I want to be but I will be going where God wants me to be.


Q: What interesting fact is not known about you?

A: I love to be creative with my hands. The sawing machine is my favourite, I knit, I make bangles and I also love to do gardening work. I also love to spend time with my family, I’m not much of an outgoing person. 


Q: Who inspires you?

A: I look up to God first of all and also to my daughter. She is doing her dream job which she has always wanted to do from kindergarten and her drive towards her passion is very inspirational to me.


Q: On this international women’s month, what is your message to young Namibian women?

A: Pursue your dreams but do it in an honest way. Don’t look for shortcuts. Put God first. Be patient when looking for a husband. It should not be in your time, but in God’s time.


 

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