Forty-six mentors and mentees, selected from 150 applications, participated in the first training sessions of the 2023 Katuka Mentorship Programme hosted at the Capricorn Corner Building in Windhoek. Sponsored by Bank Windhoek for the past four years, the training sessions, which took place from Thursday, 2 to Friday, 3 February 2023, saw mentors and mentees embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.
In her keynote address, Bank Windhoek's Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services, Jacquiline Pack, encouraged the participants to keep doing their best and be dedicated in everything they do. Pack also shared her Bank Windhoek journey since joining the Bank six years ago. “It was overwhelming at first. Later, I realised I needed a mentor to guide me through this journey. I believe that everyone needs a mentor at some stage of their lives," said Pack.
Two mentors and mentees, Abena Tambrescu, Jeanine Teega, Kristofina Uushona and Simone Malumata, said they are excited to be part of the Programme.
As a Corporate Communication, Marketing and Human Resources Specialist, Tabrasku joined the Katuka Mentorship Programme in 2019 as a mentor. She said that she believes in bringing out the best in every woman she meets because she understands the importance of mentorship. “I did not have any mentor. As a result, I would like to hold another woman's hand through their challenges while climbing the corporate ladder," she said.
Teega and Uushona, who are Marketing and Communication Officers, said that they joined the Programme mainly for personal development and career improvement as mentees. “I am very excited. I cannot wait for what the Programme has in store," said Uushona.
Malumata, a Public Health Specialist working in mental and psychosocial support, said she joined the Programme to invest and share the knowledge and skills acquired over the years. "I would like to transform the lives of young Namibians coming up in their professions and preparing them through thought leadership of the different industries," she said.
The organiser of the Economist Businesswoman Projects, Desere Lundon-Muller, said the Programme, empowers and encourages business and professional women to achieve their goals. “Katuka is about matching a mentee and mentor with similar professional and personal interests in a supportive learning environment. It aims to help young and ambitious women entrepreneurs and businesswomen to reach their ultimate potential and live purpose-driven lives," she said.
The Katuka Mentorship Programme has been running for the past 22 years. It has produced significant results in the careers of the participating mentees. To date 459 entrepreneurs and businesswomen have completed the Programme.