First Namibian youth to get Masters in Logistics from German university
Tangeni Kambunga from Walvis Bay is the first Namibian to complete the Masters degree in Global Logistics at the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, Germany.
Tangeni returned to Namibia last month to take up employment at Woker Freight Services, which is only the last milestone in an impressive resumé of perseverance and determination to reach his goals. Having lost an arm earlier in his life in an accident, he is not afraid of adversity but acknowledged that completing his Masters took extra effort. Before starting this post-graduate course, he first had to learn German.
“It feels good to be done with my studies and I am proud that I completed my degree within the time frame. I sometimes miss the school vibe, but I am fortunate enough for securing employment after one month of completing my studies,” he said.
At Woker Freight Services, he is employed as a Business Systems Analyst. “I am currently learning and analyzing the business process and systems within WFS. I am assigned to the EDI system to get the real feel of working on the system. For now it’s still step by step to fully grasp the various clearing and forwarding systems within WFS,” said Tangeni.
Immediately after school, he started working at Standard Bank in various departments from the bank’s call centre to its waste management section. But soon the logistics bug bit him and in 2004 he enrolled at the Polytechnic of Namibia for a degree in Logistics and Supply Management.
Here he flourished and achieved distinctions and commendations throughout his studies, later reading his honours in Logistics. Despite finding English a challenge, with the help of his UK-born lecturer, he completed his thesis and was recommended for a two year’s masters course at the Kühne Logistics University. He, however, preferred to study in Rotterdam, the biggest port in Europe, but was advised that Kühne is the best academic institution for his masters.
At that point, he started learning German at the Goethe Centre.
“I left to pursue my MSc in Global Logistics and Supply Chain management at Kühne Logistics University in August 2015. Since I have never lived in a foreign country for more than a month, Germany was an eye-opener. I was excited but also apprehensive as to how I would fit into the fast-paced European culture. I found Hamburg to be a magnificent place. I was amazed by this bustling metropolitan port city’s efficient and reliable public transport, which also allowed me to see much more of the city and neighbouring towns. Hamburg is the third largest port in Europe, an ideal logistics hub housing some of the largest logistics companies in the world,” he mused.
“Manica Group Namibia sponsored most of my study and travelling expenses in Germany, and I was also fortunate enough to do my internship with the company. They gave me the opportunity to learn and understand how the logistics industry operates in real life. During my stint at Manica, I was assigned two projects. I conducted a study on ways to improve the supply chain flow of the warehouses and the cost-effective use of the workforce and equipment.”
Asked if the theoretical knowledge he learned in Germany matched real-world logistics environment, Tangeni said he is fortunate to have had a mix of the practical and theoretical, with a stronger focus on the practical. “I have been with WFS for less than a month, and by the look of things, all seems to relate to what I have studied. Yes there are unique systems and processes but many of the things that I studied now make more sense in the real environment. I am currently exploring the EDI system and although it is my first time to use the system, I am able to manoeuvre around it comfortably. I think it is because during my period in Germany I was exposed to different systems such as SAP, System Dynamic, XLminer for Solver. Hey, don’t forget I am still a student I keep learning days and nights.”
His motto in life? “Get your hands dirty! And always be a student.”
“If I could give young people advice I’d say: I don’t know if you realised that you are the captain of your own ship, the director, and actor of your own movie. Therefore, don’t wait to be reminded of the storm in the sea or when to shoot the next episode of your movie, be the driving force and be a proactive person,” he added.
“I keep telling my friends that the only person who knows you better than anybody else is you yourself. You know where you want to be in next five years, what you want to achieve in life, and know what is best for you, therefore, don’t wait for somebody to do things for you or push you around. That person you are waiting for will never come to your rescue because that person is you. Your future is in the palm of your hands!”