Emma Theofelus Nominated One Young World Politician of the Year Award

Namibia’s deputy minister of information and communication technology, Emma Theofelus, has been nominated for the One Young World Politician of the Year Award 2022.

This is the second year in a row that she has been shortlisted for the award. The award was created to help counter low levels of political engagement and increased disillusionment with political processes that young people are experiencing across the world, this award celebrates the world’s leading young politicians who have infiltrated the old guard of politics.

According to reports, under 2% of young people under the age of 35 are represented in the various parliaments around the world.

Theofelus has been shortlisted alongside a dynamic group of 15 young politicians from across the globe, including Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Iceland’s minister of science, industry, and innovation, and former minister of justice.

One Young World says that these 15 young politicians have all been shortlisted because of the considerable impact they have made to politics.

“The One Young World Politician of the Year Award recognises five of the world’s most outstanding politicians between the ages of 18 – 35, who are using their positions to have a positive impact on young people in their communities and countries. Through their important work, these candidates highlight the benefit of including young people in politics,” the organisation says.

The shortlisted nominees are currently being reviewed by One Young World’s expert judging panel, which will decide the final five winners.

The winners will be announced in mid-March and will be presented with this award at the One Young World 2022 Summit.

“To be nominated and selected two years in a row is surreal! I am grateful for the opportunity to serve at this level of public service and grateful for the faith entrusted in me by President Hage Geingob,” Theofelus said.

“Congratulations to all the other incredible young politicians that have been nominated from across the world!”

The nomination comes just a few months after she was recognised in 2021’s BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women.


Namibia At Dubai Expo 2020

Namibia’s team has been at Expo 2020, being hosted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for five months. The goal has been to attract investors and mark the country as a premier tourism and investment destination on a global scale.

Namibia’s pavilion, under the custodianship of Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), is located in the ‘Opportunity’ district of the Expo. It has been highlighting priority sectors such as renewable energy, marine diamonds & mining, tourism and conversation, and cultural heritage.

This year, for the first time in World Expo history, every participating country will have its own pavilion.

Thus far, since officially opening its doors on 1 October 2021, the Namibian pavilion has recorded a steadily increasing number that has surpassed 146,000. This is, on average 37,000 visitors per month.

According to Catherine Shipushu, NIPDB’s Marketing and Communications manager, the pavilion has generated 23 investment leads thus far. She says this is well above the targeted 10 leads a month.

Catherine Shipushu, NIPDB’s Marketing and Communications manager

“Most investor interest is in the area of Green Hydrogen. Recorded leads indicate investor interest in other key industries such as agriculture, education, tourism, and various trade activities. In terms of country of origin, over 50% of potential investors emanate from the United Arab Emirates, with less than 10% of African origin,” she says.

According to the team, the highlight of the Expo so far has been the Namibia Renewable Energy Summit in November 2021. It was attended by participants from all over the globe, including potential investors from China, India, Zimbabwe, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

The summit was organised to showcase investment opportunities in the renewable energy space and to provide insight into the legal framework that governs investments in the Namibian energy sector.

Although there is only a month left before the World Expo concludes, Namibia’s pavilion has a packed schedule that will carry right until the final week, with promises of a strong finish.

“In March, Namibia is expected to celebrate its biggest month yet at the Expo. The Namibian Pavilion has put together a schedule packed with events to coincide with the Expo’s thematic weeks and aligned to the country’s own strategic agenda,” says Shipushu.

Namibia, where the ocean meets the desert

There is a Namibia Investment Conference slated for 23 March. This conference is envisaged to be the climax event of the country’s Expo 2020 Dubai journey and will be one of the final pitches on investment opportunities, brand awareness, and export promotion.

A day later, Namibia National Day will be on full display. All participating countries are accorded an opportunity to celebrate their National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Namibia’s National Day will be celebrated on 24 March 2022. Part of the celebrations will include a tour of the Namibian and UAE Pavilions, respectively, a parade and performances to showcase Namibia’s unique culture,” says Shipushu.

This National Day celebration is also when the Namibian Braai in Dubai will take place, featuring Namibian cuisine, beverages, and music. This multi-sensory event will be a vibrant showcase of Namibia’s cultural heritage on the global stage.

“The Expo has also put together key events in March where high-ranking Namibian officials are expected to participate. More information on these and the above-mentioned events will be shared at a later stage.”

The journey has not been without its challenges. Travel restrictions imposed on Namibia and other African countries, particularly during the height of the Omicron variant in December 2021, stifled some of the Namibian team’s plans.

Despite this, Shipushu says, “We have found a solution to this challenge by leveraging technology to ensure that all investment promotion activities continue as planned. The NIPDB has the mammoth responsibility to ensure a return on the government’s investment into this Expo.

As such the Board remains committed to carrying out this assignment to ensure that the outcomes of the country’s participation at the Expo positively contribute towards ensuring economic prosperity for all Namibians.”


Assembling a radio station from scratch

Shilongo Ashipala has helped shape Namibian music for nearly two decades as Kanibal, but what many may not know is that he’s helped shape the overall culture of local music as a radio Production Manager.

It turns out, like horse Markel in water, he’s most at home behind the soundboard. He has been producing music since 16. He never studied media. The passion for sound and radio appears to have budded in him innately.

“I landed in radio by pure luck. I started at Fresh FM as one of the founding presenters in 2007 when my Mom saw an ad in a newspaper for auditions, cut it out, and brought it to me. In 2008 and 2009 I won Best Radio Show for ‘Corner 2 Corner with Kani & Nona’,” he tells TF.

That same year when the Production Manager, then, resigned, Ashipala was immediately compelled to apply for the job, this time with some experience under his belt.

Like a hawk, he had observed how the sales and marketing executives went about things. How the receptionist handled calls, how the presenters interacted with callers.

In 2010 he left Fresh FM and went to do production at 99fm, before returning to Fresh FM in 2014 as Production Manager and later Station Manager until 2017.

Today he runs the show at COTA FM, the radio arm for the College of the Arts (COTA), after the head of the Media Arts department of COTA asked him if he ‘knew someone who could start and run an online radio station.’

“As dramatic as I am, I wrote him an actual book called ‘How to start and manage an online radio station by Shilongo Ashipala’ which described in intricate detail the technical aspects, admin, presenter training, code of conduct, marketing and sales,” Ashipala says.

He adds, “In January I was given the mandate to set it up within a month, but because I had already prepared for it, everything was ready within 2 weeks. In June, when all the details had been ironed out, we went on air for the first time.”

With the rise of stations like Eagle FM, Informate radio, and others, radio space in Namibia has seen a resurgence in recent years, and Ahsipala has been determined to see COTA FM have its share of the pie.

“The ultimate vision is to have the highest listener base of all Campus and Community radio stations, so we can affect real and tangible change in our community. The sound of tomorrow. In today’s digital world, the listener does not NEED radio for music, so content is king.”

A normal day for him at the office is laid out with various functions. “I arrive at 10 am and train interns on functions of a radio station. At 11 our schedule kicks off with ‘Rise and shine’ (11am – 1pm), ‘The dream’ (1pm-3pm) and ‘Real talk’ (3pm – 5pm). We source and prepare relevant content for the day, and also brainstorm on content for the next day as we go along,” he tells TF.

As the world continues to grapple with the reality of COVID-19, Ashipala says the station has not been spared. They lost almost two weeks of programming due to the college being shut down during the state of emergency lockdown.

The station manager has however seen the silver lining in the pandemic. “The advantage though is that when people are at home, they crave entertainment, and that helps boost our audience numbers.”

He continues to balance his corporate world with his creative side. Early last year, he released his album “Omapiaano” to stellar reviews. “Shilongo Ashipala is a creative. ‘KaniBal’ is only one outlet of my creativity, but I constantly find and learn other ways to express myself creatively and effectively. ‘KaniBal’ shall not be around for much longer, but I shall be Shilongo Ashipala for the rest of my life.”

Ashipala announced his retirement from being a full-time musician a few months ago and held one final show to cap off his career.


The electrician painter

In less than a year, Antonius Junior has perfected drawing canvass portraits, creating a business for himself that now has a strong demand
countrywide. Antonius draws almost lifelike paintings of celebrities and real-life Namibians, and considering this is something he wasn’t doing
this time last year, that is quite impressive. To date, he has gotten over 50 orders for portraits from people around the country and he takes up to two days to complete one, for which he charges between N$300
to N$500.

“I used to draw comics when I was a kid but I never really took it serious. After I completed my Electrician course at the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT), I started working as self-employed.
I do installations and repairs mainly so to keep myself creative I started picking up drawing again. I started doing it after being inspired by Nigerian artist Oresegun Olumide who I follow on Instagram.”

Olumide draws inspiration from his community, creating pieces that reflect the lives of those around him. Antonius mostly gets requests through social media and recommendations, and he plans his portraits while doing electrical work.

His profits are shared between electrical equipment and pencils
and canvas, although one of his biggest challenges is that some of the particular painting instruments, he needs are not available in Namibia. “The best piece of advice I heard last was that everything is possible if you put your mind to it, and I saw how true this was only after I got
started. In 2019 I want to work on more local celebrities.”


The passion of a village pharmacist

Growing up in Onayena village in the Oshikoto region watching elders handle primary health issues with a level of proficiency that eludes modern science, Tangeni Angula is the most down-to-earth and unfiltered political spouse Namibia has ever produced.

In fact, it was only after sitting down with her that TF discovers that she is the wife of one of Namibia’s most prominent political personalities, Nahas Angula and has for over four decades played her role in his life much more subdued. When she got a flu, her parents didn’t scramble to rush her to the closest hospital. They knew exactly what to do. They treated minor ailments with natural herbs found in the local surroundings.

Eye infections were treated with aloe juice, food poisoning with “etanguthi” (Kleinia longiflora), coughs and common flu with “omulimbalimba” (Aptosimum procumbens) and she wondered how they knew what was in those plants, and this curiosity unknowingly sparked a flame in her for the love of health and medicine. So, during the liberation struggle, she had spent 18 months teaching at the Namibian Education Centre outside Lusaka and when
she was presented with an opportunity to study in the UK, she chose Pharmacy. She chose this field as a career expecting to contribute to the availability of medicines, especially those from natural resources, just like she had learned at home.

Today, Angula is the Managing Pharmacist of Beulah Pharmacy following further studies in the USA where she obtained a B. Sc. Degree in pharmacy as well as M. Sc. in industrial pharmacy. Beulah Pharmacy was registered with the Pharmacy Council in December 2011 and was fully operational from March 2012.It started as a community pharmacy serving patients in Windhoek, but mostly, those being treated at Windhoek Emergency Care and Trauma Centre (WECTC) and the surrounding communities.

Beulah Pharmacy distributes doctors’ prescription medicines to patients as well as pharmacist-initiated treatments. They do blood pressure and glucose monitoring, as well as providing family planning advice. They also do counselling for those with specific problems, referring them to general medical practitioners as need arises.

Her dream about pharmacy was that of impacting availability of medicines through participation in research and developmental activities (R&D). “After my pharmacy internship at various institutions of the Ministry of Health in Zambia, including a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, I came to realise that R&D in this field was a high cost activity that required collaboration at high levels in terms of availability of human, capital as well as other resources. On the other hand, ‘the need for medicine now’ is to always address the urgent health problems. Besides, with the size of our population and availability of ready packaged medicines, extensive local manufacturing of medicine and R&D thereof could only become a reality if addressed through regional collaboration,” she narrates.

At the beginning, it was quite difficult to assess the needs of her patients. However, as the time passed and disease profiles were fairly known, it became a matter of forecasting what to buy and when to have it available. In all this, in learning the balance of her love of medicine and curing ailments and the challenges of business, she has struck a perfect balance. “Consistency is relatively easy to maintain in a well-regulated profession like this of pharmacy.
However, at the moment the entire health regulatory environment in the country experiences a vacuum, caused by absence of health professions councils. This is a potentially dangerous situation since it could cause careless and unqualified persons to practice where they are not supposed to – since there is no legal body that has the authority to regulate them,” Angula says.

She employs three currently, a pharmacist and two front shop assistants. She sees Beulah Pharmacy as a place that will play an important training role in addition to rendering community pharmaceutical services. She already trains students from the UNAM School of Pharmacy who wish to gain experience
before they graduate as she believes there is a challenge of a shortage of pharmacists.

Angula remains linked to her roots. She starts off her day with a prayer for dedication of her patients and staff to God’s protection and provision. “Without this routine, I do not know how I would have escaped the financial challenges that have continued to threaten viability of private health care providers in the whole country,” she says.