A people’s person

Kevin Wessels served as a junior councillor at the City of Windhoek and continues to be involved in different organisations that empower youth.

12 March 2019 | Education

Justicia Shipena

Kevin Wessels is a social entrepreneur, a politician by heart and an avid bookworm, who was born and bred in Windhoek.

His parents passed away when he was young and he was raised by his grandmother, Elizabeth Wessels.

Wessels holds a higher certificate in paralegal studies obtained from Southern Business School Namibia as well as a diploma in business management.

He is currently undertaking his honours studies in political science and law at the University of Namibia (Unam).

He is also an intern at the ministry of education’s regional office.

Wessels told The Zone he is not really a sport person. However, he took part in sports such as cricket during his primary school years, and participated in chess in high school and made it to national level. He also plays tennis.

He serves as a member of a non-profit organisation called Upliftment Projects Namibia. The initiative seeks to redress and reform early childhood education in informal settlements, as well as ensure that impoverished Namibian children have access to a stimulating and dignified educational environment.

“My role is to identify early childhood centres that are impoverished and also to help acquire the necessary resources through various means, in order to redress and reform the environment of these centres,” he said.

Wessels is also a member of the Children’s Movement of Namibia. This movement brings together young people who come up with various ideas they can use to invest in communities with the core idea of creating a self-sustainable environment. According to Wessels one of the core values of the movement is democracy, as they believe youth should always have a voice as future leaders.

Being a former educational advisor and the current vice-chairperson of Nam Career Service, he worked on a project called Welwitschia which is an education initiative aimed at supporting basic education in Namibia.

The project helps Namibians with constructing professional CVs, motivational and covering letters, and gives career guidance at various workshops held throughout the country.

This helps individuals look professional by working on their documents, which then helps them stand a better chance of getting a job, scholarship or internship. He also helps them get exposed to existing opportunities they are unaware of.

“Welwitschia also provides scholarships as well, and has in the past provided 10 scholarships to Namcol learners to keep them busy and off the streets,” he said.

According to him mentorship in the lives of young people is very important as it creates a positive impact. It helps young people grow and reduces the social and economic opportunity gap.

“Aspects like behaviour, attitude and relationships improve when young people are exposed to mentorship. It helps them get self-confidence, self-esteem and they are able to set big goals for themselves,” he said.

Wessels is also a delegate at the Model United Nations (MUN), which is an authentic simulation of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and its other multilateral bodies. At MUN, students come together to role-play UN delegates.

By stepping into the shoes of UN delegates, students represent their countries’ interest to the global community.

Hence, Wessels urges students to join MUN as participants build the global knowledge, skills and relationships needed to build a better global future.

He added that not everyone has access to social media platforms, and this one can reach the masses, minority groups and those that are cut off from access to information. MUN develops student debating, public speaking, critical thinking and writing skills.

In 2011, when MUN was introduced to Namibia, he started his journey with it as well.

“At first I was shy and intimidated by other delegates, but with time my speaking skills greatly improved,” he said.

He managed to scoop the awards for best male delegate and most strategic delegate at two conferences.

A topic on the International Criminal Court at one of the conferences even appeared as a question in his international relations module examination paper, and he said his experience at the conference helped him a lot with this question.

He said it is important to build your dream. A dream is not achieved over night, therefore it is important to take small steps in order to achieve it. He urges young people to sharpen their people’s skills, as this will help them earn respect and can also attract outside influence that can assist with their career development.

He said to ensure that his strategic plans become a reality, he firstly sits and maps out his plan. When he gets stuck at some point he revisits his plan and looks for alternatives.

To achieve personal growth, he keeps a positive attitude.

“I believe in character, values, vision and action. I always seek new challenges and try to think out of-the-box while looking for creative solutions to a given problem,” he said.

His message to his fellow peers is to be strong and smile at life, even though it hurts sometimes. He said it gets better if you keep pursing your dreams and never give up.

Facts about Kevin:

• He meditates daily.

• He is an only child.

• He loves eating.

• His is all for realness and not sugar-coating.

• He has a hidden talent for singing.

• He writes his own poetry.

• He practices bits of most major religions, as they spread the same values.

• He has done bungee jumping.

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