• January 21st, 2020

'Giving up is not an option'

WINDHOEK – Priskilla Salkeus, a young medical technologist and public health advocate, describes herself as an outgoing, witty and persuasive individual with a keen interest in public health, public speaking and chatting.

Born and raised in Windhoek, Salkeus grew up with her parents where she was taught to work hard from an early age. 
Her primary strength was being different from her peers.  “I was not easily influenced by peer pressure.  I had a matured way of thinking and reasoning.  I knew that my actions would have an impact on my future so I always tried to do the right thing,” explains Salkeus, adding that her peers would do the opposite and because of that she felt she did not fit in. As a result, she did not experience the true meaning of friendship during her childhood and teenage years.   “I didn’t know at that time that it was okay to be different, so I felt lonely most of the time.  I did not talk to my parents about it, because I didn’t know how to express myself.  Giving up on everything felt like the only way out, but I knew it would have an impact on my future so I did not,” she explained.  

She describes herself as an introvert and this influenced how she interacted with her peers. “I found it difficult to interact with others and I had a lot of insecurities, but I knew I was very special and still that I am special.  I felt I belonged behind the scenes wearing a white laboratory coat and testing patient samples,” she says. Currently, she works as a medical technologist at the Namibia Institute of Pathology.  “I made the decision to work in a laboratory when I was in Grade 11.

 There was no second plan. I didn’t believe in compromising and settling for a second option so after Grade 12, it took me three years and three rejection letters to finally study Biomedical Sciences and to be where I am today,” she relates.
After passing Grade 12 with average symbols in 2008, Salkeus had her first rejection at the then Polytechnic of Namibia (now the Namibia University of Science and Technology), and went to the University of Namibia (Unam) in 2009 to enroll for studies in population development and statistics.  “That was the only course in science that I qualified for.  I applied to study biomedical science and after being rejected for the second time, I quit my studies at Unam and went to the University Center for Studies in Namibia (Tucsin) to improve my symbols.  I applied again and was rejected for the third time.   Biomedical sciences and being a medical technologist was all that my heart desired so I worked even harder and I prayed a lot,” reminisced Salkeus, adding that after improving her biology and mathematics symbols, she tried her luck at the then Polytechnic of Namibia biomedical science pre-selection in 2011 and to her surprise, she made it.

“Polytechnic of Namibia now Namibia University of Science and Technology shaped me.  I had the best lecturers and the training laboratory is a true reflection of the corporate world.  When I first entered the professional working environment I felt knowledgeable and competent.  I enjoy working independently with minimal supervision and knowing that my supervisors and doctors trust the results I produce is extremely rewarding,” she shares enthusiastically. 

She adds that hearing her name being called out at the 2011 pre-selection for biomedical science and hearing her name being called out four years later at Safari for graduation were some of the most defining and memorable moments that she will cherish forever.

Currently, she is working on a “Health with Priskilla” brand that aims to reach out to the public by sharing her knowledge in health and empowering people to seek timely medical attention.  “I am also working towards being a motivational speaker for the youth and corporate organisations.” 

“No matter how many times you fall, stand up.  Try again and again until you succeed.  Each time you try, try differently until you find the method or approach that works best for you.  Stay away from peer pressure, it is okay to be different.  Pray, have faith and remember that your future is in your hands and what you do with it is totally up to you,” she concluded. 

Pinehas Nakaziko
2019-04-03 09:47:29 | 9 months ago

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