Radiographer driven by passion
Her passion for radiography started after a visit to the Katutura State Hospital that changed her life forever. This was the moment when she decided to become a medical technologist.
“I was intrigued by the big machines that could see through the human body. At the time, all the girls wanted to become nurses and I wanted to do something different,” she said.
She applied for a radiography course at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, but was referred back to Namibia to first do her practicals. Fortunately, when she did further research, she found out that Namibia was about to open their first radiography school. She was the first student to enrol at the school where she completed her three year diploma and later left for South Africa to complete her degree in Radiotherpy at the University of the Witwatersrand.
After her studies, Renathe worked in the Radiotherapy Department at Dr A.B. May Cancer Care Centre from 1997 to 2002. It was during that time, that she became aware of the lack of X-Ray facilities in Windhoek. She tested the market by calling doctors to find out if they would welcome another X-ray centre and the response was positive. There were many complaints from doctors and patients at private medical centres in Katutura and Khomasdal that X-ray services were out of reach for ordinary residents, as the only two X-ray centres were at the Roman Catholic Hospital and the Medi-Clinic Hospital in Eros. She took the bold decision of resigning and using her pension money to start her business. She opened her first branch in Katutura near the Katutura Post Office in 2002 and with the help of Bank Windhoek’s ESME’s Branch, expanded to open two more branches in Khomasdal in 2007 and Gobabis in 2011.
Hans Sauer, Manager of Bank Windhoek ESME Branch said, “Bank Windhoek has been financing small and medium enterprises since 2000. More than 80% of the loan portfolio is awarded to previously disadvantaged Namibians with a strong focus on support to female entrepreneurs, like Renathe Gawanas. She is a smart businesswoman with a passion for her profession and has good financial discipline, hence our continued support to her.”