These inspiring stories should be torn out of our pages and given to young women across the country, in secondary schools and universities and in women’s groups. This text should be pinned to bulletin boards and passed around on social media. We encourage local newsletters, bulletins, consumer sheets and others to reproduce the stories about these women to spread the news. Their stories can be the story of anyone who wants to work hard, do the right things in life, learn new things, master skills and perform on the job.
The Windhoek Observer (WO) continues its Namdeb diamond women series with Ruusa Emvula (RE), a Junior Draughtsman with the company.
WO: Tell us about YOU…briefly. How many kids do you have; are you married; where were you born, do you have a large family? What are TWO of your favorite hobbies; how do you spend your non-working hours?
RE: I was born in Ehafo-Eheke in the Oshana region, a few kilometers from Ondangwa. I don’t have kids of my own and will be getting married later this year. I come from a big family, where I am the first born with seven siblings. During my non-working hours, I assist some learners in Oranjemund with their homework and assignments, and also enjoy taking long walks. I am a keen netballer and looking forward to starting a team in the near future.
WO: How long have you worked at Namdeb?
RE: I started working at Namdeb on the 1st of July 2016.
WO: Why did you choose to work at Namdeb?
RE: I believe it’s a company that provides a strong core competency and a value system. I always wanted to work for a company where I continue to learn, grow and contribute as much value as I possibly can and Namdeb happens to be that company.
WO: What is your educational, training or life experience background that helps you in your work at Namdeb?
RE: I am a Boilermaker by trade, a product of the Namibian Institute of Mining at Technology (NIMT). I later furthered my studies at the College of Cape Town, where I completed my N4-N6 in Mechanical Engineering. I have almost four years’ experience, gained mostly from Ships repairs and Marine engineering environments, where I worked as a CNC operator and programmer, and as a Draughtsman respectively.
WO: What have you learned about yourself and about the industry while working at Namdeb?
RE: I have learned to prioritize my responsibilities, so that I have a clear idea of what needs to be done at the end of the day. I disciplined myself not to take chances. I learned to build a strong bond with my seniors, who have been in the mining industry for a long time, allowing me the opportunity to learn from them, because working as a team is very important in this industry.
WO: Can you relate a story that sticks in your mind about your experiences at Namdeb?
RE: My story at Namdeb is still being written and so far, the current chapters are good and filled with colleagues who go out of their way to equip me, and help me grow in both my role as Draughtsman and a Namdeb STAR. I will one day share with you the draft manuscript.
WO: What are TWO of the highlights of working at Namdeb?
RE: Designing the fire and ambulance shed at 3 plant is one of my highlights. I felt proud seeing it constructed and well-scoped accordingly.
It was my first task on a civil project, as I am more skilled in the mechanical field.
Secondly, the Production Foremen is good to work with, always willing to assist on how they want the job done, allowing me to pick it up from there with good time management.
WO: In general, what are the top TWO challenges for ANY working women in today’s world, especially the mining sector?
A challenge most women face, in almost every sector, is raising children while achieving career goals within a corporate structure.
Work life imbalance, is another noticeable challenge that women of today face at the work place, failing to differentiate personal life and a professional career in general. Women tend to mix up work commitments with personal priorities and that’s when other related challenges start.
This is a challenge to most women, therefore we need to set our priorities right and plan well ahead.
WO: If another woman were considering coming to work at Namdeb in the same area where you work, what advice would you give her?
RE: Well, I am working in a male dominated area and my experience has taught me to avoid taking things personal as men will always behave like men. The idea is to challenge your male counterparts while maintaining mutual respect.
As a woman you cannot expect to receive special treatment just because of your gender, but rather work hard and learn as much as you can while you are at it. So my fellow women get in there and give it a good go!
WO: Our article wants to focus on YOU; your story and that of Namdeb and women working on their team. We want to let our readers understand YOU better – to that end, answer this: If you could wave a magic wand and have the career/position/job that you most would like – whether it is at Namdeb or not- what would it be and why?
RE: Since I am still young, I continue to study. My career is not ending in the drawing office, but out there in the field of Project Engineering.
Therefore, I thank Namdeb for giving me an opportunity to focus on other engineering fields such as civil and electrical and not just mechanical. In the drawing office I am able to open my mind widely by visualizing the thoughts of designing and understand deeply what to do tomorrow as a Project Engineer.
WO: In answering these questions, is there any other thought or idea that has occurred to you? Is there anything that you’d like to briefly add?
RE: I would like to thank Namdeb for being one of the Mining companies giving equal employment opportunities to women and I firmly encourage other mining companies to do the same. To my fellow women; follow your dreams and prove to the world that you are equally capable.
We as women need to get out of our comfort zone and realise the endless possibilities that the world has to offer.