Never say never

Hester Uushona is the regional manager for the northern outlets of Pick n Pay Namibia and has shown that she strives towards excellence in everything she takes on.

06 December 2019 | People

Mariselle Stofberg

Hester Uushona is a firm believer that being average in life is not an option. She strives towards making her mark while providing others with the opportunity to do the same.

Uushona was born on a farm called Oudabeb in the Dordabis District. Between the ages of four and six Uushona experienced an important event in her life.

“I remember when I was younger, I was very lazy and did not want to walk on my own, so I always asked my father to carry me on his back.”

Uushona’ s father then purposefully fell to show her that she must be able to stand on her own two feet in life, and not depend on others to create her success. This proved to have a great impact on the driven Uushona, who has made her mark within the company.

“I was employed as the regional manager in 2014 for the northern stores. My duties are to generate sales, to ensure that stock losses are minimised, and to ensure that the gross profit of the stores are consistent and above budget.”

She is also responsible for people management, ensuring that managers have the tools to deliver, ensuring the sustainability of all stores and seeing to it that health and safety standards are adhered to.

Uushona believes the biggest epiphany in her life had to be the day that Ingrid Weisner and Elke Lock of the Swakopmund branch trusted her in 1996 before even knowing her. They saw the potential in her that she had not even realised herself and this played an important role in her career.

“Ingrid met me in Kaiser Street in Windhoek and asked me if I wanted to join Model Woolworths in Swakopmund. I made an effort to go to Swakopmund for the interview to see Elke, who was the store manager at that stage. On my arrival I immediately received my contract without being interviewed and she asked me to start the next week on Monday. That day I received my contract and when I left the office I realised that they saw my potential and trusted me. This motivated me to deliver breakthrough results in everything I do and to never allow mediocrity in my life.”

The reasons she gets up and keeps going every day are her family and the passion she has for her job. “I would like to give my family a better life and leave a legacy behind one day. This motivates me every day.”

Uushona is the first woman to be appointed as a regional manager in Pick n Pay Namibia. She is also one of the mentors for the company’s trainee manager programme and helps with the in-store training of new and current employees.

Uushona has proven her dedication and commitment towards the company by helping to reduce stock losses from 2% to 0.2% and was the proud recipient of an A grading for the earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) target for the Oshakati PnP.

“I’m proud to say that I was part of opening of the Oshana (Ongwediva), Ondangwa B6, Ondangwa, Okongo, Outapi and Grootfontein branches and played a role in the renovations done at the Oshikango, Katima, Tsumeb and Oshakati stores.

Receiving criticism is never easy, but Uushona has found a way to use that criticism to her advantage. “I have learned to take it in good spirits, as it is a way of growing and as a leader one always gets criticised. There is an Afrikaans saying – Die hoogste bome vang die meeste wind.”

“When I see people I have helped to grow delivering extraordinary results, it excites me and makes me truly happy.”

Living by the motto of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps - “You can’t put a limit on anything; the more you dream, the further you get” - Uushona shows that with passion, determination and perseverance, the world can be your oyster and you can become anything you desire.

Fun Facts about Uushona

· She is a dedicated mother of three and loves to travel.

· She likes team-building sessions that encourages growth and self-discovery.

· She loves fashion and especially beautiful jewellery.

· She loves reading and prefers old school books.

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