Nyambe Bodrick Mutelo – Life Skills teacher for grade 8 and 9 learners

27 July 2021 | Education

1. Why did you decide to become a teacher?

Growing up in the rural areas of Zambezi, the most respected members of the community were teachers; they were seen as the future builders and a source of knowledge. Mostly, the cars that were owned there were owned by teachers, giving them a good status in the community. But what sold the idea of becoming a teacher was that my parents were teachers and that inspired me.

2. What were your aspirations at a younger age?

To mention a few, my late uncle was a crop farmer and an outstanding one at that. That made me want to be in the professional field of agriculture. I also admired the field of broadcasting because I have a love for both radio and television presenting, as I also had an uncle that worked in that industry.

3. What motivates you to get up every morning to go to work?

As a teacher you do not take a rest from teaching activities as you have homework, class tasks and tests to mark after school. I see it as an opportunity to provide the Namibian child hope for a better future through education. So I always remind myself what impact I have on the future leaders of tomorrow.

4. What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt from one of your learners?

It was the year 2016 when one of my best and well-presented learners opened up to me regarding the hardships she was experiencing at home. I was left speechless to when I visited her home it was totally different from the image she portrayed at school. I then respected the phrase to “never judge a book by its cover”.

5. How long have you been a teacher?

I started teaching in the year 2000 and I’ve been a teacher since then, so I count it a good 21 years of teaching experience.

6. What is your favourite book?

My favourite book is the Bible, from where I draw my daily inspiration as reading it every morning before I do anything as part of my morning devotion.

7. Tell us about your journey?

At the age of 24 years, a young man full of energy, zeal, and determination for the classroom, I found myself in the northern part of Namibia, in the Omusati Region, in an area called Onheleiwa, at a school called Shedile Combined School near the Angolan border. This is where I encountered the reality of teaching in a rural area, having done all my teaching practice in a town school. I had to adjust from a Mafwe culture to that of the Kwanyama, starting with the language, food, and the general environment. But after a year, life became pleasant as I fitted in well after I overcame the culture shock. I taught English from grade 7 to grade 10 over the 10 years in the area of Onheleiwa. While teaching in Omusati Region I started attending counselling training as a school counsellor. In 2008 I registered with Unam for a counselling certificate, as my passion for counselling was birthed then. I was then privileged to move to a town school in Ongwediva, at Hashiyana Combined School, where I taught English as a second language and Life Skills.