Namambe Interview with Aini Niinkoti: 27 June 2020

Welcome to Namambe Ms Niinkoti and thanks for your time.

1. How many languages do you speak?

I speak Oshiwambo (mother language), English, Finnish, French (secondary school language), some Finnish sign, Krio, some Temne (from my foster family) and Swedish (school language).

2. Now tell us more about yourself?

I am Aini Niinkoti, my mom is Diina Niinkoti aka Kadhila and my late father is Elia Niinkoti. I was born in a town called Turku, Finland and spent my early life stage in different places Otjimbingwe and Oshakati, this was due to my father’s work as a student, teacher and a pastor. I started my education at Engela, then I continued at Nakayale. During my teenage stage, I spent half a year at Ombalantu Secondary School now David Sheehama. I attended the Annie Walsh memorial for girls in Sierra-Leone during my life in exile, after returning to Namibia I received a one-year scholarship to study in Turku, Finland. I studied Psychology, Designing, Information technology and completed an Executive Master of Business Administration (eMBA) at Turku School of Economics, University of Turku with a unique topic ‘The Role of Transformational Leadership in Enhancing Innovation Creation in Namibia’ that received a cum laude level. I accomplished a number of management and technology (on work) diplomas at Nokia Academy.

3. Having studies in Finland as an African what were your highs and lows in that Nordic country?

People from very young age learnt to solve problems through creativity and you also learn to validate information to make informed decision. Finland is a cold country.

4. Name a person you admire the most and Why?

Both my parents, because they introduced me to the Namibian culture at early age that made me dig deep to understand how the things we do and make connect to science. From my mother is a reason I knew my life purpose the year I started school at Engela. My father defied the status quo of the Bantu education in the Northern Namibia and he led the way for many others on their educational paths. In his university thesis, he analysed the Finnish influences in Namibia and that taught me how to incorporate my personal experience into my education. Few topics are still sensitive topics because many of us have not received professional help to overcome trauma, self-loathing and scalps from history.

5. If you had enough money to do what you want to do, what is that you would do right now in Namibia?

I will invest the money in my own projects and I am still waiting for my project fund from the Ministry of Veterans Affairs.

6. What is that you have learned from Corona Virus/Covid 19 induced lock down?

It is difficult to learn anything during a crisis.

7.  What did you miss doing during the lock down period?

I missed eating traditional foods and travelling.

 

8. What lessons do you think the world has learned from this pandemic?

The world has learnt to strongly trust the highest power within ourselves. As religious people, we must trust the Kingdom of assurance, spiritual truth, happiness love and genuine protection of well-being and environment. We should continue to pray for ourselves, for those in hospitals to get well as well as for those who lost their loved ones to be strong. Before the pandemic we had already understood that (even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff are here to comfort me).

9. Is there something that needs to be done in order to reduce the high rate of unemployment in Namibia?

Namibia should reshape old management models and give a great emphasize on people to become more creative and taking initiatives. In this way, the workforce should reduce high rates of unemployment in Namibia. Namibia should make each citizen important to make a difference and focus on building a balance, equitable and prosperous society that we want to see tomorrow.

10. You have gone to many countries I supposed, what is that you have seen done in other countries but not done at home, (something positive)?

The ability to overcome the challenges from the past and their present challenges take care of itself. These countries protect their people and ideas from external threats to shape their desired future. The most innovative countries are bringing back their people from diaspora to prepare for the future of work in their origin countries and cut price by not adopting expensive innovation developed elsewhere because they want positive effects in their countries and they want to be free from poverty.

11.  Please share some info relating to technology that would benefit Namibia.

That is a broad topic. However, to benefit from it we should connect our technology to our own skills and environment in order to find solutions to our problems. Although technology has been around for many centuries in Namibia. Namibia should unfold different talents to transform old technology to automation in order to progress. Technology is transforming our lives and work will be taken away by machines and most of these machines are expensive. Namibia should provide opportunities to all citizens to reinvent or engineer our (original) artefacts or local skills regardless to make each person important in creating the vision. To be able to understand the current state, we should connect the present to the past to anticipate our desired future without bringing old problems bring the vision to life in honest manner.

12. What else would you like to share with our readers?

I would like to thank Namambe and readers for giving me this opportunity to share my experience. I should also thank the youth who learnt something from articles published in 2019 in the Namibian youth magazine. To buy our books, workshop or donate contact: namibianir@gmail.com, for self-development listen to our presentations on this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Brz2QEbJYohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Brz2QEbJYo). References can be sent on request.