Job lands top job

22 January 2016 | People

Youth activist Job Amupanda has been appointed as the deputy dean of the University of Namibia’s Faculty of Economics and Management Science. The appointment makes Amupanda the youngest dean at Namibia’s largest academic institution. Unam staff describe the appointment as an inspiring story, not only because of Amupanda’s background, but also because he is a former Unam student and a former president of its Student Representative Council. Amupanda holds of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Namibia, a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Stellenbosch and is currently a Doctor of Philosophy candidate. Last year, he started lecturing at the Department of Political and Administrative Studies in Unam’s Faculty of Economics and Management Science. Speaking to Namibian Sun from Pretoria yesterday, Amupanda confirmed the appointment. “It is a supportive yet specific task. It is to oversee and provide, together with the dean, the general academic leadership to the faculty. It also means sitting on other important bodies of the university,” Amupanda said when asked about his duties as deputy dean. Asked how he felt about his appointment, Amupanda said his mother and grandmother were the happiest about the news. “My grandma reminds me of how she used to come to Ipumbu SSS where she used to bring me fat cakes. It got me here. My mother and grandma have unshaken faith in their son,” he said. Asked about the fact that he is the youngest person yet to hold the position of deputy dean at Unam, Amupanda said he was aware of the age factor. “My colleagues at the university are aware of my intellectual fortitude and the speed with which my brain operates. Being the youngest deputy dean in the history of Unam therefore becomes a mere historical occurrence but not fundamental,” he said. Amupanda said he wanted his appointment to prove to Namibia’s youth that they could do and be whatever they want to. “I want to pave the path for them and remove thorns from their journey. Tomorrow society will say it is okay for someone to be deputy dean at 28. It was done before,” he said. Before lecturing, Amupanda worked as a quality assurance coordinator for the Centre for Quality Assurance and Management (CEQUAM) at Unam. He has also served as consultant to a number of projects. A source as the Unam described Amupanda’s appointment as a sign that Unam has great respect for academic excellence and doesn’t align itself with the politics of the day. “After Job and Ngurare were expelled from Swapo, many thought it was the end for them but Unam has proven is about getting quality staff and not about the politics. He (Amupanda) is an expressive young man and one of the smartest young academics the university has ever produced so this is great for not only attracting excellent staff, but to also show people that Unam produces quality graduates that go on and do great things,” said the staff member, who declined to be named. Amupanda’s appointment comes barely a week after former SPYL secretary Dr Elijah Ngurare was appointed at the University of Namibia (Unam) as quality assurance coordinator. Amupanda served as the Swapo Party Youth League’s secretary for information before he and former youth league secretary Elijah Ngurare, George Kambala and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma were expelled from the ruling party for their involvement in the Affirmative Repositioning movement. The four have since enlisted a highly regarded South African advocate, Vincent Maleka, to help them challenge their expulsion. GORDON JOSEPH

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