Beatrix Vivian Jahanika Ujamba, 26, lives and works at the Young Africa Skills Centre in Walvis Bay but grew up in Otjiwarongo where she attended and matriculated from Paresis Secondary School.
As a child her mother always encouraged her to work hard. “She always used to tell me, ‘There is no time for sleeping and self-pity, stand up, brush off the dirt and get to work because God has a plan and you should trust His timing.’ And that is what always kept me going,” she explains. Before Young Africa, Vivian was applying for jobs and worked part-time for her mother as a seamstress. She came across Young Africa a little over a year ago as a caterer to the workshop where the posters with the adverts caught her attention: “I looked at the posters that were on the wall and they were advertising the 2017 intake and there was only one course that caught my attention, and that was Solar Technology. I was very curious to find out what it was about and I decided to apply.”
Upon her admission, Vivian was the only female student at the centre but it did not pose an obstacle, in fact, it motivated her: “It was very exciting being the only female student there because I think the male students were more intimidated by me than I was by them and that was very empowering. I made sure to push myself every day as it was a challenge but it was worth it.” Fast forward a few months, Vivian graduated second at the top of her class with an average of 79% in Solar Technology.
When asked about what motivates her most, she explains that self-improvement is her main motivation. “At the end of the day, motivation is what gets you started and habit is what keeps you going. So what better motivation could one have other than striving to be the best version of yourself every single day because there is always room for improvement,” she says. Her motivation becomes evident as it largely contributed to her ambition and drive, which in turn also earned her various accolades such as certificates in:
– Hospitality from South African College of Tourism in the Eastern Cape (2011)
– Early Childhood Development from Northern Pre-Kindergarten Teacher’s Training Centre (2015)
– Solar Technology and Welding from Young Africa (2017)
– Sunrise Intermediate Course from Solar Maxx Academy (2017),
– Solar Power Designer Back Up from Solar Maxx Academy (2018)
After earning her Certificate in Solar Technology and Welding Certificate, Vivian moved from Otjiwarongo to Walvis Bay because of a job opportunity Young Africa presented to her. Dirk Bellens, the centre’s founder and director, proposed that Vivian enter the trainee programme to become a Solar Instructor at the Young Africa Centre in Walvis Bay. Furthermore, through Young Africa, Vivian was able to grab hold of many other study and business opportunities such as the ones that earned her certificates at the Solar Maxx Academy (a renowned African institution in solar power training) situated in South Africa, but with a branch in Walvis Bay.
In the future she plans to continue in the trainee programme. To her it is a learning process every day. She also plans to further her studies in Solar Technology to add to her already existing qualifications and to continue to grab hold of every opportunity and develop the youth by imparting her knowledge and skills for their empowerment. Currently, Young Africa is having another intake for courses ranging from Solar Technology to Affordable Green Building, Electrical Engineering, Plumbing, Basic Computer Skills, and ICDL (basic and advanced). The courses will take place over five months.
Young Africa also offers financial assistance to individuals through the Henk Willems fund. Along with that, Young Africa Otjiwarongo is looking to employ a business promotor, marketing consultant and entrepreneurs in electrical engineering and plumbing. All prospective students and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.
*Kelao Neumbo is from Young Africa, a skills centre that operates in nine different locations in five SADC countries. The Young Africa Feature interviews and highlights individuals who impacted and have been impacted by Young Africa during their time at the centre.