When I went to UWC I was no longer a Dhemba boy from Opuwo but an international student from Namibia.

Medeline /Gases
Desiree Gases

Uakevelua Nice Munekamba is a Dhemba man born at Opuwo, Kunene region, but from Ruacana in Omusati region. He is currently starting his second year of animal science at Neudamn campus after having completed a bachelor’s degree in human ecology at College of the Atlantic, Maine, in 2020.

Munekamba’s journey to the University of the United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) started in 2014 at Putuavanga senior secondary school in Opuwo.

“My life skills teacher handed out the UWC application advert to the entire school and that’s how my friends and I applied,” says Munekamba.

Only two applicants from his school were called for interviews in Windhoek. He did not know much about the UWCSEA movement, but he did some research.

“I later heard back from the national committee that I got a full scholarship and I was going to United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore. My friend did not get the scholarship but we both wanted to study veterinary medicine,” says Munekamba.

Munekamba was about to complete grade 12 before he left for UWCSEA and his parents were a little sceptical about the programme. “I was also nervous because it was my first time leaving the country,” adds Munekamba. Upon arrival in Singapore, he was warmly welcomed by his host family at the airport and he stayed with them for a few days before going to the boarding school for orientation.

“Up to this day I still appreciate UWC and my host family for helping me adjust to my new home at that time,” says Munekamba. The good thing about the UWC curriculum for Munekamba was that they chose their subjects and he took the science route.

The curriculum included extracurricular activities which allowed him to play soccer and rugby. Munekamba also learned how to swim and snorkel at UWCSEA. When it came to academics, Munekamba found the curriculum a bit challenging and demanding, but he learned a lot about science.

Living outside Namibia taught Munekamba a lot about different cultures, and also took part in community service. “I made lifelong friends and mentors that I am still in touch with today,” says Munekamba.

“I would therefore suggest that Namibian students from different backgrounds should apply for this scholarship opportunity, especially the marginalised learners. When I went to UWC I was no longer a Dhemba boy from Opuwo but an international student from Namibia,” added Munekamba.