Festus Tawii was born and raised in Namibia. He is currently working for his country as a DC technician at NamPower, Namibia’s power utility. He is also currently studying with the Engineering Institute of Technology.
Festus’ story is one that speaks of rising above the odds and achieving success no matter the circumstances. He said, “I always wanted to be an electrical engineer, but did not have the finances to become one.
“My mother and my father could not afford for me and my older brother to both study. They helped my brother financially, but I had to take a vocational training route with help from a government bursary.”
He went to study general electrical courses at the Namibian Institute of Technology. Because of the practical nature of the technical vocational qualification, the institute sent Festus out on a six-month job attachment. A job attachment provides the tertiary student with the opportunity to combine what is being taught in the qualification with actual work experience.
Festus was an apprentice at a few companies before he settled at NamPower, Namibia’s national power utility. He takes pride in his role as a DC Technician at NamPower because the utility keeps the lights on for its citizens.
His daily work sees him providing assistance with the standby and storage protection equipment, ensuring that it is deployed when needed. This equipment is used to keep the power stations running if there is an electricity trip or outage.
Festus is currently studying the 52726WA - Advanced Diploma of Applied Electrical Engineering at the Engineering Institute of Technology, completing his modules whilst working at NamPower. He also seems to be setting an example for his colleagues.
“My colleagues became very interested in what I was studying,” he said.
“I showed them what it was all about and now eight of my colleagues are enrolling with EIT. I am convinced that it will help everyone develop their knowledge and skills, and get them better positions in the workplace.”
Festus sees himself in a senior managerial role one day but knows there are more qualifications to acquire before he achieves this. Apart from the eight colleagues, Festus has already influenced, he recommends that more young people look to institutions like EIT that can help them succeed in their careers.
However, he says that not everyone follows the same path. He says that the government might not always be gracious enough to award a bursary to someone and that there are many pathways to success.
“There are steps that a person can take as I did. Starting with vocational jobs and studies, and then upskilling yourself with the money you have made. You need to start somewhere. Even if you are starting from scratch, you must keep your head up and keep going.”