Flying Namibia’s flag high
24 year old Cecilia ‘Sassi’ Andowa, a 4th year dentistry student at People's Friendship University of Russia is known to be a true representative of the Namibian culture.
28 November 2017 | Education
Speaking to The Zone, Andowa is multi-talented and does not limit herself to different challenges. “Over here I go by the name of Sass which is the name of my brand, simply because I am exposed to a lot of platforms, whether it has to do with educational research, stage appearances and varies campaigns. This includes meeting a lot of people from all over the world.
Born in Outapi, Andowa matriculated at Windhoek High School and is a young woman who tries by all means not to be simple. “I like to think of myself as anti-normal, which means I basically look at what is in the norm and do the exact opposite and I love the reactions I get from that because I strive to be unique and extraordinary,” she says. Deciding between studying towards a degree in medicine, engineering and dentistry, Andowa chose the latter and also got involved with interior designing, marketing, event planning and organising. “These are side line hobbies that I still aim to pursue, but as to how exactly I landed on dentistry, one could say it was a matter of situation, my mom or just destiny. Either way I'm loving it and I couldn't have made a better decision.”
Andowa says she has been exposed to the practice since first year and she enjoys interacting with patients and offering them solutions on their oral wellbeing. “I am considering specialising into paediatrics because per my experience, working with kids is definitely the most challenging, but it is the most fulfilling. I just love it when they walk in with a teary frown but leave with a smile, which neither they nor their parents expected,” she says.
She listed adapting as challenge number one when it comes to living in a different country. “Adapting to the new lifestyles, new people, living conditions and way of life was quite difficult. “Even the food is different and if you are not open to change, this is when silly things like being home sick get you,” she says. She also mentioned making friends was one of the things she struggled with as she tried to “rate people against the friends I felt I had lost.” “Other than that, I like it here as it is really is a third world on its own. Everything is bigger, greater and faster. The city never sleeps.”
So how does she balance it all? “Fashion and all forms of art has always been part of me. I started making and selling jewellery from when I was 13. Both my parents were seamstresses and I never got satisfaction from the clothes on the shelves,” she says the vice president of the African Women’s Committee. “As vice president, I have worked with together with the African Students Association countless times. With these positions I always opt to showcase Africa, not only Namibia, in a creative fun and interactive way and I was honoured to showcase my Oshiwambo sassXwear line to the world.”
After being crowned Miss Africa-Moscow last year, Andowa is grateful for the experience. Taking part in the pageant was amazing. A truly beautiful experience not only to have won, but to experience the whole making of it. The organisation and the willpower of the other contestants as well as what they had to offer and how they represented their countries.”
“When I was on that stage, I wasn't Sassi Andowa. I was Namibia and that was fabulously thrilling. It was the kick start of my entire self-Namibia awareness campaign. When I leave here, I want Africans, Europeans, Asians to everyone will know what Namibia truly is,” says the proud Namibian. Although she has modelled before, her true passion lays backstage. “I get so much adrenaline from the build-up the weeks before any event. The running around and making sure everything runs smoothly and calculating possible hiccups before they happen. I have always been an organiser, I was in high school I founded Miss Outapi Teen which is a beauty pageant that was aimed at empowering and bringing together young girls in my town,” she explains.
Her future plans include touring her region during the upcoming holidays and visiting schools and introducing a career day. She would like to work with different stakeholders and individuals who will be able to assist her to contact her and make it happen. “The aim is to have a sit down session with grades 8 to 12 about their futures and opportunities that await them. As well as sharing basic skills like how to perfect a CV or job interview, life after high school and its challenges and so forth.”