Fear is not a factor

Primus Shaapopi loves things that add value and motivate him as a young professional, who has big dreams for the future.

06 September 2019 | Business

Michelline Nawatises

Primus Shaapopi was born at Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region.

For 17 years, he was raised as a Catholic by his grandmother at Elyambala village in the north.

He spent a major part of his life going to church and school and that’s how his dreams developed.

He attended Kandjengedi Primary School and continued his education at Gabriel Taapopi (GT) Secondary School. “It was because of GT that my education career and my passion for learning developed,” Shaapopi says.

He embarked on his secondary school journey with much energy and enthusiasm, which saw him take all his subjects on higher-level in grade 12.

His hard work saw him securing an opportunity to study chartered accountancy (CA).

After finishing his undergraduate degree with the University of Namibia (Unam), in partnership North-West University, he did his CA honours at North-West University in Potchefstroom in South Africa in 2018, which he completed.

Shaapopi is now a chartered accountant trainee at Deloitte & Touche and his focus is audit and assurance, primarily in the financial services, manufacturing and retailing, mining and safari industries.

His biggest challenges were accepting the long, overtime working hours and battling to meet the standard of work expected of him.

“I at a later stage understood that it’s all about my attitude towards working and learning, as well as seeing it as a process,” he says.

His biggest accomplishment so far was finishing his first audit at Deloitte & Touche.

The fearless young man’s career does not require him to work from the Deloitte office every day.

He works from client offices. He mostly goes to the office when he has meetings or when he does some final touches on his work. “I always feel at home in the Deloitte office,” he adds.

Shaapopi loves things that add value and motivate him as a young professional.

“I enjoy writing articles; I am passionate about educating others with the little I know or through my views and perspectives towards certain things,” he says.

He adds that individuals who have done a lot in their lives, and who survive incredible experiences (especially chartered accountants), have always inspired him. Additionally, he always inspires himself, because he is self-driven and fuelled.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing,” he says.

Shaapopi says every expert, in everything, was once a beginner, so patience is the secret.

“Being in a comfort zone yields nothing, so attending career fairs and being active gives you a better understanding of things you need clarity on,” he says, as advice to young people.

“You need to be ready to face challenges, take professional risks, write down your dreams and track them; take action on your plans, hold yourself accountable for things and be ready to learn lessons from mistakes. Be prepared to learn and network with people you look up to, but more importantly, believe in yourself and compete with yourself.”

Shaapopi’s short-term plan is to obtaining his chartered accountancy qualification and at the same time finish and obtain his master’s degree.

“I have a strong desire for a career in the financial services industry, thus I am zooming in on pursuing a PhD, primarily focusing on financial instruments,” he says.

When asked what his greatest fear is, he mentioned that he has no fear within himself.

“I was raised in a Christian family and there are certain basic beliefs that were injected in me growing up, to always trust in God, and that drives me,” he says proudly.

Shaapopi has also published an article titled ‘FEAR WILL ALWAYS BE A TORMENT’ and sees himself as an individual that practices what he preaches.

One of the best days of his life was when he afforded the opportunity to be in Sandton, South Africa, as part of the 18 finalists in the Ernst & Young (EY) Young Tax Professional of the Year Competition in 2018. More than 180 students participated across South Africa.

Shaapopi explains he has always had individuals he looks up to in his career.

Klestina Armas (CA at EY) and Leonard Hamunyela (CA at PwC) were the individuals who were his seniors and who have consistently been motivating me. “Additionally being a Deloitte student was the best fuel, because they have been full-time there and reminded me of my capabilities and the individual I am born to become; so I would say I have always wanted to be at Deloitte and I couldn’t stop thinking about that during my time as an undergraduate and postgraduate student at varsity,” he says.

Passing his first professional examination (board exam) called the Initial Test of Competence (ITC) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) was a milestone.

Additionally, meeting individuals he always wanted to meet, especially the partners at Deloitte and Professor Nico van Der Merwe (one of the professors at North-West University) is another highlight.

If Shaapopi had the opportunity to change something in the world, he would change poverty.

“Poverty is the complete lack of means to meet basic personal needs and that influences people to be limited in all angles of life,” he says.

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