• August 11th, 2020

Choose one of your talents, commit and build on it – Shimhopileni

Paheja Siririka

WINDHOEK – Taleni Shimhopileni believes it is wisest for her and fellow young Namibians to identify things they are both good at and love doing and to build on it. “But building on that doesn’t mean you have to exclude growing in other areas. It’s almost like picking a good struggle while still venturing into other smaller battles of growth,” she pointed out.

With her background both as a law and media graduate, Shimhopileni sits on three corporate boards in Namibia, namely, TribeFire Studios Executive Committee, the Trustee Board for the First Lady’s One Economy Foundation and Windhoek Branch Executive Committee of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

“I want to harness my passion and interest for business administration as I believe there is a space for more involvement and input by our young black and gifted Namibia professionals,” she said.

As a management consultant and working with different teams and business entities, one of her roles includes her work as a content manager for Namibia’s only private free-to-air broadcast channel, One Africa Television (OATV). 

From being in front of the television screen presenting children’s educational programmes and later youth entertainment shows on national television; to now being behind the cameras by deciding on which broadcast content is best for the Namibian audience.

The journey of One Africa Television, as a family entertainment channel with the tagline “It just gets better” comes with the commitment to make Namibians’ lives better through broadcast television. “We cater to a broad target age group, as a family entertainment channel, with a desire to continue growing both in local and pan-African content for our viewing audience.”

When asked what it is like to fulfil such a daunting mandate, Shimhopileni responds, “I have the great honour and privilege of working under one of Namibia’s greatest CEOs, Stefan Hugo! Alongside the interesting journey of curating the content, I am learning so much about leading and growing a company effectively whilst managing the nuances of change management and riding the wave of turbulent economic times. He is truly a great leader, I am a better corporate leader because of him.”

On how she decides on content, she contemplates on whether that specific content will make lives better. “I observe different things of which some include whether it will be entertaining, is it positive, can it help our viewers move from point A to point B, where B is a better place and a whole lot of other things including technical broadcast requirements, ” explained Shimhopileni.

Apart from being a content manager specialising in content managing and acquisitions, at OATV, Shimhopileni is also the founder of a distribution company that is solely responsible for dispensing African authored books.

After completing her second qualification in South Africa, the University of Namibia alumnus decided to come back to be part of the change. “That was sparked by the TedTalk which exposed my deep concerns and made me realise that if  my fellow peers and I are going to go on global platforms and speak on what needs to be made right, we need to be ready to be part of the journey, we need to sit on these hot seats for change,” said Shimhopileni.

On being young and sitting on different corporate boards, Shimhopileni enlightens Youth Corner on how to manoeuvre the corporate boardroom and the sometimes experienced pushback to being young yet surrounded by older colleagues.

“I sat in a board meeting partaking in a high-level economic delegation discussing youth unemployment in which they needed youth input and we were three youth members at this high-level meeting and suddenly we were told that because we were the youngest in the room, we should take the minutes. Leadership is servanthood, so taking minutes is not a problem and shouldn’t be at any age, but I told my two other youth colleagues that we would have to respectfully decline as there was an assistant to take minutes but more importantly, while respecting leadership and elders, we would have done a disservice to the youth to not be focused on the issue at hand, while instead taking minutes.” 

Shimhopileni believes there is a wisdom available to respectfully be assertive and take up the space necessary, even in the corporate world, to make the positive change our country and world needs and deserves. “The Namibian youth have much to offer and we should continue to enter these places and spaces for positive change and for the future of our country.”

Staff Reporter
2019-10-30 07:58:15 | 9 months ago

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