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This week in the Khuta – Northern women seek empowerment

It gives me such great joy and pleasure to see women want to do things for themselves and not entirely depend on men or others to make things happen for them. It’s even more encouraging and motivating when these women, who were made to feel inferior, not only because of their gender, but also because of their skin colour, excel in their chosen careers. Gone are the days when black older women were indoctrinated with the ideology that the only way to making a living is by landing a cleaning job at a meneer or mevrou’s house.
For the past 22 years of my life, I’ve never been involved with such a huge group of powerful black women as the delegates at last week’s Economist Businesswomen Conference in Oshakati. Although it clashed with the women summit that was held in Windhoek, the northern women have strongly shown and confirmed that what we are doing is right and appreciated.
The Economist Businesswomen Club, for which I’m Projects Coordinator, held its annual northern conference last week and it was a resounding success. Oh yes. For something that normally has a turnout of about eighty participants, this year we attracted over 140 women, and only women. No men.
Whilst organising, I received a couple of calls from interested males, in fact, I remember seeing one at registration but it seems the women power was too much for him to withstand. Not that I’m happy that he chickened out, but it’s such a great feeling to see and know that women are standing up for themselves and want to become the changes they want to see. Finally, women are proving to the men that this ain’t a male dominated world.
This gives us, the organisers, and the sponsors the commitment to continue with the conference and help make a change.
This year, topics touching on law, business idea generation, business relations, marketing and branding were presented, and the delegates enjoyed every part of the presentations, despite that some had to squat in extra chairs to be part of the conference. Because so many more women turned up than the confirmed bookings we had prior to the conference, the chairs were few.
The Club owes its gratitude to the conference patron, Mrs Sara Elago for initiating this brilliant idea that today marks an important date on the calendar of most women up north. Our sponsors can also not go unmentioned. Telecom Namibia and Standard Bank, they are the master financial back-ups of this event. And of course the individual companies that sponsored speakers – Stimulus Investment Equity; Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC); the Law Society; Chase & Associates; and the Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC). The conference would not have been such a huge success if it were not for them, so, a big thank you. There’s a saying in Oshiwambo that goes: “kulupa nomeho”, meaning even if you get old, may your eyes remain healthy and continue to make changes in others’ lives.
I trust and hope that we can roll out this event to all corners of the country in the very near future, provided we secure more sponsorships.

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