Kristofine Itembu proves that the future is definitely female

30 July 2021 | Business

Rivaldo Kavanga

Hailing from Onankali village in the Oshikoto Region and raised in the dusty streets of Soweto in Katutura, the career-driven Kristofine Itembu remains humble and true to her roots despite her massive accomplishments. She is impacting and changing Namibian lives along the way while accomplishing her goals at the same time.

Itembu, a lawyer by profession, is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings (NPTH), which is the holding company for MTC, Telecom and NamPost. NPTH owns 123 properties countrywide, making it one of the largest businesses in the property sector. NPTH has a total asset base of N$4.6 billion and total group assets with a net book value of N$14.7 billion. To date, NPTH has declared ] dividends of N$2 362 834 276 to its sole shareholder, the government of Namibia.

Itembu describes her position as group CEO as an interesting journey. Handling all three subsidiaries comes with its own challenges but she has managed it successfully and found the business environment, its diversity and its people fascinating.

“It’s quite challenging as each company is unique on its own. There’s always something new to learn about. You work with vastly different people from all walks of life and each company has its own visionary leadership with diverse backgrounds. It’s a fulfilling journey indeed,” she says.

As the CEO, she manages the entire process and reports back to the NPTH board of directors, which provides policy and strategic guidance to its subsidiary companies and safeguards the interests of the shareholder.

An extraordinary leader

Itembu started her primary education at Namibia English Primary School and later completed her secondary education at Academia Secondary School. Thereafter, she pursued a law degree at the University of East London (England). She has experience as a company secretary and legal advisor for corporate companies for about 10 years. She has been the CEO of NPTH since 2018.

Itembu says her transformational leadership is a trait she is most proud of as she often tries to transform people to be better than they were yesterday.

“I’ve transformed a lot of lives and tried to capacitate all my staff members,” she says. She believes in giving everybody a chance to grow, as she was groomed by a stranger who created further opportunities that opened doors for her.

She has led the company to major milestones and continues to give her best in all the company’ endeavours. She is also a feminist and believes the future is undoubtedly female. She is surrounded by a great team of senior managers, all of whom are female. She believes in woman leadership.

A balanced life

Itembu is an early bird and says her life is characterised by early mornings, followed by meditation and then spending the whole day at work. She is at the office the whole day and hardly ever goes out for lunch, which is a conscience decision she took. Instead, she has snacks in between her work hours. However, she strikes a balance between her job and her family. “I leave my laptop at the office because once I’m out of the office I leave my work and go home to my family,” she states.

During her spare time, she loves spending her day with her family and her Soweto community. Spoiling her children is close to Itembu’s heart, but with discipline she empathises.

Leading accomplishments

NPTH has thrived under Itembu’s visionary and transformational leadership. The company has paid dividends of N$2.3 billion to the government to date. She says all these dividends help the state in improving and changing Namibian lives and livelihoods. The holdings company also took over 34% of MTC’s shares listing, in order for MTC to become 100% owned by NPTH.

It was NPTH’s decision to list MTC on the stock exchange in October this year, when MTC will become the biggest listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange. MTC will also be the first public enterprise that is listing on the government’s behalf. NPTH also bailed the government out by buying the RCC building for N$120 million instead of putting it on auction. There were many other key milestones achieved.

10 Facts about Itembu:

· She’s a mother to her kids and a wife to her husband.

· She’s a workaholic and has a passion for her job.

· Her mother is her best friend and mentor.

· She has over 50 bottles of designer perfume in her closet.

· She loves cooking and cleaning her house.

· Extremely energetic and positive team spirit.

· She’s a globe-trotter.

· She enjoys listening to good music on her Marshal speakers.

· She has a passion for her Soweto community members.

· She is a motivator and a transformational leader.