Thursday 17 June 2021
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The Year that was for Namibian Women

As we draw near the end of 2017, it is of essence that we reflect on the achievements of women and the imperative roles they play in the Namibian society. On 10th December Namibia annualy commemorates National Women’s Day in remembrance of  the role women played during the forced removal of blacks from the Old Location on 10th December 1959. It is therefore, important to pay homage to the women who have made the most of the year ranging from music, fashion, sports to business and health.

Nangula Kauluma
Nangula Kauluma was awarded Businesswoman of the Year 2017. Nangula currently serves as the Managing Director at the Old Mutual Short-term Insurance. She grew up in Windhoek and holds a degree in Political Science from Spelman College, Atlanta and an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch. She gained extensive experience in sales, marketing and brand management at Air Namibia, Pfizer and the Namibia Tourism Board before joining Old Mutual 11 years ago as a corporate communications consultant.

She made the most of the many career development opportunities offered by Old Mutual and has held leadership roles in several business units, both in South Africa and Namibia. She has also played a key role in the strategic development and management of the Old Mutual brand across Africa, and has been a strong driver of customer centricity and sustainability in business processes and practices. Nangula is the mother of a young adult daughter and a teenage son.

Jacky Shipanga
Former Brave Gladiators head coach stepped down early this year in order to get into the full administration and fostering the future of Namibian women football. A few months later, Shipanga, after winning the Namibia Sport Commission Chairman Excellence Award walked her talk, when she dedicated her prize monies of N$10 000 to women football – a humble act not often familiar in the sports fraternity.

As the main sponsor of the NFA Women Super Cup, her idea of bringing back women football received great reception with other women football enthusiasts also pledging their monetary contributions and bringing the total to N$71 000.

“The reason why I resigned was because we cannot have a situation where you are a national coach and Namibia has two or three games per year. That is not good enough. It is extremely important that our girls participate in competitions. Competitions are the key to any success. We can have the best technical centre and players, but if we do not expose them to regular and intensive quality competitions, we can forget about qualifying for major events.

We need to start walking the talk. Gone are the days when we used to say we want things to happen. We the women ourselves need to show that we are determined when it comes to women football,” said Shipanga at the announcement of the cup last month.

Dr. Helena Ndume
Talk about Africa’s top 100 Influential people in 2017, and our very own Dr Helena Ndume is the only Namibian on the list under the category of Science, Technology and Innovation. Ndume – one of the world’s most prolific ophthalmologists has restored sights for over 30 000 people for free working with See International.

For the first time since the magazine [New African Magazine] began publishing this acclaimed end-of-year list 5 years ago, the 2017 list features 42 women out of the hundred, the highest number of female entries so far.

In April this year, eye specialist also known as ‘Dr. Miracle’ was crowned winner at the New African awards 2017 held in Dakar. The New African awards, now in their second year, recognises, celebrates and honours African women who have had exceptional impact and influenced change in their countries or communities over the past 12 months.

She has dedicated her life and career to treating blindness and low-vision, both in Namibia and throughout the developing world.

“There’s no money in this world that can pay for the joy of someone who was blind and suddenly regains their vision.”

Ebba Kalondo
Born in Onaanda in the Omusati Region, International Strategic Risk Communications expert Ebba Kalondo was appointed as the African Union spokesperson this year. Kalondo has previously worked as a UNICEF Communications Specialists for conflict areas such as the DRC and is a former senior editor for France24, in Paris.

She was also one of the first and youngest news anchor at the Namibian Broadcasting Corperation (NBC) right after independence and is a former WHO Emergencies Communication Officer for the African regional office. Kalondo is the proud mother of 2 children.

Miriam Kaxuxuena
Love or hate her, you surely cannot ignore her. Feeding her dog with Hungry Lion was the stunt that went abuzz on social media. It is unfortunate that her beloved pet died weeks later.

Besides her stunt the little we know about the modelling highness is her popularity in beauty pageants, her swim suits and her last year’s collection of the MK Lingerie. But just over the weekend, she flagged Namibia with the Best in Swim Wear at the Face Beauty international 2017 Award.

The international model has surely had a good year in representing the country on the international runway and we wish her the best. We also wait for a local appearance in local competitions.

Odile M Gertze
The beauty queen rose to fame after being crowned Miss Namibia in 2010 and being one of the top 25 finalists in Miss World that same year. Ever since then, the journey of the multi-talented powerhouse has been reaping the best for her on the entertainment scene.

Odille has secured her place in the film industry recently, winning the hearts and hope of the Namibian film industry with the locally produced ‘Katutura.’ Her breakthrough role ‘Katutura’ earned her a ‘Best Actress’ award at the Namibia Theatre and Film Awards earlier this year. Her powerful performance also earned her a mention from the 2016 Ecrans Noir Festival jury in Cameroon. Not only that, but she has become a reckoning force and a creative who excels at everything she puts her mind to.

Today, she is a professional dancer, successful actress in her own right and radio presenter.

Suné January
Suné was crowned Miss Namibia 2017. The 23 year old from Rehoboth took on her reign with passion on Rhino poaching. Thus, as part of her project of choice during the year of reign Suné was involved with the ISAP (Intelligence Support against Poaching).

Zenatha Coleman
Arguably one of Namibia’s youngest female sporting gems all the way from Keetmanshoop, Zenatha Coleman has earned the respect on and off the pitch as one of the country’s finest. Having scored over 50 goals during the first season of her professional carrier, the Namibian football sensation has raised the bar this year, helping the Gintra Universitaz reach the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 16.

Coleman made history this year when she became the all-time top scorer per season of the Lithuanian Women’s A League with 52 goals this season. The skilled forward has scored over a 100 goals in two seasons at the Lithuanian championship, and is reportedly attracting admiring glances from higher-profile European teams.

At 23, Coleman’s brief time in Europe has been nothing short of scintillating as she seamlessly settled into professional football, and set about establishing herself as one of the most reliable and consistent players. All the best for her in 2018.

Varaakuani ‘Varaa’ Hambira
Varaa initially took on the runway in 2014 and has since become one of the most noticeable faces in Namibian fashion and modelling. To date she’s walked the ramp for some of the biggest fashion designers and has become a favourite choice for campaigns of fashion brands campaigns.

In 2016 she was crowned Miss Namibia first princess and besides being a psychology student, Varaa has recently embarked on giving modelling workshops to aspiring models by advising, grooming and preparing them for the industry.

Monica Pinias – Top Cheri
Monica well known to the entertainment industry as Top Cheri broke into the art industry two years ago with her first book titled ‘Modern Relationships’. As a well-rounded entertainer, Monica has also cast a role in popular Omalaeti production “Captain Kalola” as ‘Nangu’.

Besides entertainment Monica launched a project named: ‘UpLift Her’ aimed at providing sanitary pads to girls in rural area’s all over the country and providing hygiene items to help a girl child stay in school.

This year she launched her second book titled ‘Love, Sex and Flight Tickets’ which describes the current lifestyles espoused by many, socialites and ordinary women who live beyond their means and by survive by dating blessers. Monica also made waves in the music industry with the release of her three singles ‘Victoria’, ‘Good man’ and ‘Hangover’.

Leah Misika
Leah is an all-round creative in the Namibian fashion industry. She won the Simply You Magazine Lifestyle and Fashion Awards Blogger of the Year.

Leah’s focus this year has been on building her brand, La Mode Fashions and moulding the sub-brands. She made headlines by designing a beautiful gown made out of Red Bull cans that was showcased during the Wernhil Park Fashion show and at the unveiling of her winter collection. The winter collection was borne of a need to creatively express what she is not able to, when it comes to gender-based violence and other social ills that affect women.

Moreover, Leah has also attended the Sun Met, Cape Town Fashion Week, she has served on the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) fashion panel, organised the Namib Fashion Festival with the Fashion Council of Namibia and attended the Berlin Fashion Week.

Sally Efraim Keya
Sally aka Boss Madam finally started ripping fruits of her hard work with the NAMA awards for Best Single and Best Radio song. Sally also received nominations in the AFRIMA for the Best Female Southern Africa category. To conclude on the year Sally dropped a 15 track album titled ‘My Black’. The album celebrates her roots as a black woman.

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