Chief Executive Officer – Cancer Association of Namibia
Place of Origin
Swakopmund Primary School
Windhoek High School
Estate Agents Board of Namibia (licentiate)
University of South Africa (UNISA)
Place of Residence
What one word would you use to describe yourself?
What made you pick the clothes you are wearing today?
Lol – work uniform… But I am a T-shirt, shorts and plakkies guy (diep gechill)
Who would you take on a date in space and why?
My partner of 12 years – no better travel companion have I ever come across. We love the same things, yet so many differences too, the compromise in adventures, make the exploring supernatural.
Tell us about your upbringing – how were your parents?
Coming from a family that is German-Jewish-Norwegian-Herero-Nama in heritage, our parents taught us that the heart of a person supersedes the skin colour. The marriage of my parents suffered a blow in my early teens and this caused a lot of sadness and financial problems, so growing up with the (very) basics was a reality. Even though my mother taught us: ‘you never let the world see your sadness and problems, you keep your chin up and you fight every day to the best of your abilities.’
My mom was and still is my foundation and North Star. Together with my partner and mom, we founded and developed my other passion, Terra Africa Hospitality, which is my love for true Namibian tourism and hospitality, when I was only 22 years old. With a lot of debt, hard work and those words of mom in my ears, we won the hearts of the tourism industry and we celebrate over a decade of hospitality service in Namibia.
My parents (they are together again) are the most amazing people I know. I am the youngest of three siblings – my older brother and sister are both accountants. I totally fell off the wagon and decided I wanted to be diverse and something totally different when I grow up. I am still figuring this out as I grow up.
Which celebrities do you believe are the most influential?
I am an Oprah fan! This woman inspires hope, change, and influences lives and just makes the world see a more sincere side.
Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are two of my most beloved political leaders. They just have such charisma and unification power. I am not a big fan of ‘Hollywood celebrities’ – but I have many ‘teachers’ who are not necessarily ‘celebs’ whom I read up on for inspiration: Ghandi, Thatcher, Madiba and Eisenhower (‘Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.’ and ‘You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership’)
What do you like to watch on TV?
I love intelligent series and action movies. And I am a huge Discovery fan!
What is you favourite music?
I love everything. I think my heritage and bloodline allow me to feel the beat in all music. I am just not into heavy metal though.
Whom do you love more: your parents, friends, spouse, kids, siblings, or yourself?
I have an immense passion for my Creator. I say Creator because I believe in a greater-than-all Deity that cannot be confined or boxed in as “God” or “Allah” or “Buddha”. In my own search for peace and acceptance, I studied many religions and was fortunate to visit churches, temples, shrines and speak to many scholars on the topic. My way is the way to Light and Love in my Creator. And since I have found this Peace Eternal, my family and friends and siblings… and my fellow countrymen, stand with me equally in my heart and in front of my Creator God.
What kind of child were you – what are your most cherished childhood memories?
I was a hard worker and dedicated scholar. But I was never good at sport. I was a choirboy and sang in the National Youth Choir, this was my home and foundation to discipline and dedication.
I was artistic, and I loved dancing. I love (and still do) nature and traveling around Namibia, since at the age 16 years when I experienced my first international travel. I could just not get enough of meeting people, trying out new foods, experiencing cultures and exploring the globe. I was (and still am) perceived as extrovert, but I am in fact a very introverted-extrovert. This means I express myself (overwhelmingly) but I have a very small and sensitive heart that often trusts too easily and gets broken too often.
How did you meet your spouse/partner?
I had a soul-searching journey of rediscovery and making peace with myself, my God, my culture and family in my late teens and then realised that I was gay. This tormented me tremendously and depression and anxiety took hold of me – even suicidal thoughts to ‘rid myself of this devil inside me.’ I finally lived and worked in Australia as a national anthem performer during the 2003 Rugby World Cup – and I met a great friend, who turned out to be a holiday fling and who remains a great source of inspiration. When returning home, I made a ‘check list’ and well, prayed on the matter. I met my partner about six months later over a dating site and we have been together twelve years now. In the end, the barefoot boy, met the farm boy and the fears and sadness we both had, we started carrying for one another, more as friends and loyal companions, but also partners.
When have you been most satisfied and proudest in your life and/or career?
On 2 November 2006 when I opened by first establishment, Guesthouse Terra Africa, at the tender age of 22. Everyone said ‘wow, you parents bought you a guesthouse?’ – but I could answer: ‘No, I did.’ The company has over the last decade expanded into a family operation, as my parents and family have joined – but this is indeed a highlight of my career. I was very proud to be the national anthem singer, to sing ‘Namibia, Land of the Brave’ for our national team during the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia. And a highlight of my career will always be my appointment as the new CEO of CAN at the age of 30 years old. I officially took over a day after my 31st birthday, when the former CEO handed over – but wow! How blessed am I?
If you could be or do anything else – what?
Like I said earlier… I’m still growing up and figuring this out… I often have to sit down and just remind myself I am only 32… But I have also come to realize that in every changing scenery of politics and the corporate world young dynamic individuals are sweeping winds of change.
Who is your role model or from whom do you draw inspiration as an adult?
Kauna Ndilula. This lady who is my mentor, my older sister, my confidant, my mother, my everything is such a phenomenally strong Namibian lady.
How would you like the Namibian society (and the world) to remember you?
Hope. Change. Love – this is how I would like to be remembered.
What things do you not like to do or do not take well to?
I hate filing. And I hate liars and fake people. Disloyalty is a thorn in my flesh.
Do you believe in life after death? Good and evil? God? Are you a spiritual person?
I do. I am a very spiritual person and I know that Divine Creator has a path for us all. We often only allow our egos to manifest the bad/evil parts.
What is the one thing about you few people know?
I may seem like a city junky… but I am a plaasboytjie through and through…