Mover and shaker ‘A knock-down is not a knockout!’

‘A knock-down is not a knockout!’
Uazuva Kaumbi is the current managing director of a private Namibian company, and a part-time lecturer for the MBA degree programme at Namibia Business School (NBS). He also enjoys commercial cattle farming when he is not involved in core business activities.

Kaumbi revealed that his doctor of business administration (DBA) qualification from the University of Namibia (Unam) empowered him academically and professionally.

He is planning to lecture full-time, and to publish articles, academic textbooks and books about life in general.

The first degree he obtained was a BSc in civil engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa, followed by a BCom from the University of South Africa (Unisa), and an MSc in water resource engineering and management from the University of Zimbabwe.

Finally, he obtained his DBA from Unam. This demonstrates his Pan Africanist convictions by studying at African universities, especially those in the Southern African Development Community region.

His time at Unam was particularly fruitful because he started at a fairly advanced age, and with a lot of industry experience in civil engineering and housing in Namibia. In fact, his DBA dissertation dealt with public-private partnerships in the delivery of affordable housing. His studies at NBS were thus almost a continuation of his professional work, and form part of his personal journey towards self-actualisation.

After his first degree, he joined the department of water affairs in the ministry of agriculture, water and rural development for about two years, followed by the City of Windhoek for about one year. He then joined the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) for about 10 years.

Kaumbi thus has extensive experience in local authorities, as well as state or state-owned institutions and enterprises. Thereafter, he decided to join the private sector, where he has been for four years now. These in-depth experiences gave him a broad understanding of strategic planning, operations and corporate governance at both government, SOE and private sector level. His lecturing at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Unam on a part-time basis has given him a taste of academia, where he would like to spend the remaining years of his life.

Before achieving his first degree, he had an interruption of almost six years, mainly due to miscalculations as a young man. However, he was also heavily involved in student politics through the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), and worked for the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN). After Namibia’s independence, he went back to university to complete his first degree.

Even though the interruption caused a significant delay in his academic journey, it inevitably led to more maturity and strengthened his faith in God at the same time. He understands now, although in hindsight, that there will always be obstacles in one’s life, but with faith and positive thinking, one can overcome these obstacles. Never give up! Like his late dad used to say: “A knock-down is not a knockout! So, get up and continue fighting. Quitters never win, and winners never quit!”