Katuka participants delighted to start their mentorship journey

On Friday, 5 February 2021, 37 mentors and mentees of the Katuka Mentorship Programme completed three days of orientation training in Windhoek. Of these, two of the mentees, Ksveria Hambabi and Ndeshi Kakwambi, whom Louise Profijt and Janet Njembo will mentor, said they are delighted to have started their mentorship journey and attain their goals in the process. 

Conducted by well-known human resource specialist Sabine Ruegg, the three-day orientation training programme kicked-off with a self-understanding session for the mentees, based on their ambitions and aspirations. On the second day, the mentors introduced themselves to the mentees and later got to bond as a team on the last day. 

Hambabi, a teacher by profession, remarked that she learned a lot during the induction session and cannot wait to achieve her goals for 2021. "I always look for ways to improve on my profession, and I am looking forward to learning as much as I can in all spheres of my life," said Hambabi, who added her goal is to grow as a participant and pass on the knowledge to others to make Namibian a better place.

A loyal Bank Windhoek customer specialising in Information Technology, Kakwambi, mentioned that being part of the Programme encourages her to be open-minded and achieve her goals and not limiting herself. Asked what she would like to accomplish after the Programme, Kakwambi said: "My key objective is to acquire a strong leadership attitude."

Mentors Profijt and Njembo, who are seasoned human resources and project management experts, said they are passionate about guiding young Namibian women to attain their goals and succeed in their professional and business lives. Based in Oranjemund, Profijt said her plan for her mentee is to get her to network. She believes that this will help her mentee get to know people who can add value during their journey towards achieving their goals. "I am passionate about giving back to the young talented Namibian women," said Profijt. Njembo echoed Profijt's sentiments and added that her goal is to ensure that her mentee achieves at least 70 percent of what she wants this year.

Bank Windhoek's Head of Corporate Social Investments, Sponsorship, and Events, Bronwyn Moody, reminded the mentees that the Programme had matched them with reputable mentors. “There is magic in the relationship you can cultivate with your mentor, and it is my sincere hope that you build careers and business that make all the difference in your lives," she said. 

The Katuka Mentorship Programme

Sponsored by Bank Windhoek for the second consecutive year, the Katuka Mentorship Programme aims to empower and encourage entrepreneurs, business and professional women to succeed in their careers through mentorship by seasoned business and professional women. The late Lena Markus, former Businesswoman of the Year 2000 in the category Corporate/Professional, founded the Programme. 

Annemarie van der Riet, who has been a mentor of the Programme for the past eighteen years, said she had dedicated her life to the Programme because of the friendship she enjoyed with the Programme's founder. She recalled that Markus was a passionate leader who believed in knowledge sharing. “Because of her, this Programme brings talented and dedicated young Namibian women together; we have a promising future, and I have learned so much from the mentees, and it is an opportunity to serve," said Van der Riet 

As for the sponsor, Van der Riet expressed that Bank Windhoek is not only a Namibian brand but a Namibian icon. “I am proud of what the Bank does for Namibians," she said.  

Currently, in its 20th year, the Katuka Mentorship Programme has already produced significant results in the participating mentees' careers. To date, 415 entrepreneurs and businesswomen have completed the Programme. Throughout the year, mentors and mentors will mostly communicate via online platforms. A second training session will take place during April and the third in August 2021. 

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