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From wielding a baton to managing commercial buildings

From wielding a baton to managing commercial buildings

Challenging working hours and life-threatening incidents are the order of the day for security guards in general, but like any other job one has to be able to deliver as always and in different scenarios one can further work their way up the ladder, as with the case of Herman Katjinaani.

If I can make it, anyone can”, are the words that were echoed by Katjinaani as he reflected on his journey with the Ohlthaver & List  Group.

Herman’s journey at property developer, Broll Namibia, a subsidiary of the O&L Group, started in December 2011, when he was appointed as a security guard for the Carl List Mall on a 6 month contract.

On completion of his contract, he was offered permanent employment as a security guard, and served in this position until February 2013 when he was promoted to building supervisor for the Carl List Mall and Alexander Forbes House.

My desire is to keep on learning and growing myself, and never be held back by my circumstances, nor what other people think or say about me,” Herman said.

Being the eldest of his siblings, Herman currently supports his brothers and sisters with school fees and necessities and also supports his mother financially.

Being a security guard is not easy. I fully understand the challenges that security guards face on a daily basis, apart from the challenging working hours, it can be life-threatening. I have also experienced that security guards are quite often looked down on, a factor that could leave you in a space of very low self-esteem, and feeling unworthy. I however refused to have my future be determined by this,” the 27-year old said.

Herman’s responsibilities were expanded in February 2014 when the Fruit ‘n Veg; Kaiserkrone and the Old Breweries complexes were added to his portfolio. At the end of 2016, Herman was moved to supervise the latest addition to the Broll Namibia portfolio, 77 on Independence.

Herman said his journey of growth was not always easy. “Especially we the semi-skilled guys have the tendency of speaking against the next one who is on a journey of progress and growth. We do not like seeing others get ahead of us in life, and thus refrain from supporting one another. It was really challenging and quite demotivating at times when my own people didn’t give me the support I needed. But still, I refused to be held back by that. I was also highly inspired and encouraged by the O&L culture that has the tendency of driving its employees to further self-development and also creating platforms for that. This has certainly played a significant part in my journey of growth.”

According to him, he has always been committed to growing himself even before he joined the O&L Group. “I remember when I was a security guard for G4S, I did part time studies at the Institute for Information Technology (IIT) where I enhanced my IT skills. I knew the security industry was just the beginning for me and that more was waiting for me out there. I am now a 2nd year part-time Business Administration student, studying towards my B-Tech degree at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).”

For the next five years, he aims for even further growth, and looks forward to climbing the ladder even higher going forward, particularly in the property development sector.

Hopefully one of these days I might be one of the lucky guys to take charge somewhere as a group manager in the O&L group,” he said.

Broll Namibia’s Managing Director, Marco Wenk, said, “The potential Herman has is undeniable and his sense of responsibility made him shine. But it is his eagerness, willingness to learn and grow, and his overall can-do attitude that contributes to him standing out as a remarkable example of someone who want to always achieve new heights. I am inspired by Herman. He leads by example and can most definitely be regarded as a role model for anyone.”

O&L Group Director: Human Capital, Berthold Mukuahima described Herman as someone who is a true reflection of, and inspiration to the O&L Value ‘we grow people’.

The O&L Leadership and People Development portfolio has numerous platforms in place to support and encourage development, and growth of its employees. We are committed to growing our people. Herman simply took the opportunity granted to him, and made full use of it. I am proud of this young man who clearly has an even brighter road ahead of him,” Mukuahima said.



About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys