Dynamo with a human touch
Entering into the legal corporate world with a mind-set of learn, fail, learn some more and excel, buccaneer Emma Theofelus flourishes one step closer to becoming a human rights lawyer.
08 November 2019 | Business
Emma Theofelus was recently appointed as a legal officer in the directorate of legal services and international cooperation at the ministry of justice.
Her job entails monitoring the implementation of human rights laws in Namibia. She is also responsible for processing extradition requests from other countries and facilitates requests for maintenance issues.
Theofelus was born in Windhoek and attended People’s Primary School and later Khomas High School.
Speaking to Careers Theofelus said she wanted to become a paediatrician when she was younger.
“I loved children and I still do. I wanted to save their lives. Aside from that, as a child, I always had an inclination to speak out about something if I didn’t agree with it or if I didn’t think it was right. That led to people asking me to raise issues on their behalf and that is how I discovered that I could speak on behalf of those that are voiceless or didn’t know how to.”
Theofelus applied for the position of legal officer in the directorate of legal services and international cooperation as she believed it was the first step of many in realising her dream of becoming a human rights lawyer with a touch of diplomacy.
“The biggest challenge so far is the preparation of human rights reports. Namibia is exemplary in safeguarding human rights and the international community need not be convinced because it is well known,” says Theofelus.
She adds that the challenge is that as a nation, Namibia is not very good at capturing data and monitoring progress and therefore it becomes a bit difficult to report on Namibia’s remarkable progress.
Theofelus says she enjoys her work as it allows her to think independently and use her innovative thinking to solve problems.
She further believes that in any work environment it is essential to remember that one is not an island. In most cases one is required to work with a group of people who have different expectations of things and ways of doing things. Therefore, she believes one needs to acquire interpersonal skills to work efficiently and resolve conflicts in a professional manner.
The best piece of advice she has ever received was, “No matter what you’re going through, just keep moving.”
Apart from her work she is passionate about youth development and gender equality, which is why she volunteers in her community.
Her future plans are to become an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia and acquire a couple of master’s degrees before the age of 30.
Emma Theofelus, legal officer in the directorate of legal services and international cooperation at the ministry of justice. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED