Positive thoughts generate positive experiences

Sara Shipefi has realised that focusing on the bright side of things is a good thing.

01 November 2019 | Business


Sara Shipefi grew up in a small village in northern Namibia. When she was a child, becoming a dentist seemed like the ultimate career but towards the end of her matric year she changed her mind.

Nature conservation was next on her career list but she was advised to choose a field of study that would easily get her admission to a university and she followed that advice.

Shipefi now is an administration assistant at the GIZ Start-Up Namibia project and is responsible for running all the administrative aspects of the project. Start-up Namibia is a Namibian-German technical cooperation project, implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German government.

Her responsibilities range from procurement to dealing with media, organising events, travel management and general office administration.

“In other words, I am the engine that makes sure the Start-up Namibia project bus keeps running,” says Sara.

She says every day is different and this leaves space for a lot of new things to learn and embrace.

“It makes each day exciting.”

Admittedly, it can be a little frustrating at times if things don’t immediately go as planned, but in the end they always manage to move forward.

During her studies towards a master’s degree in business administration at the Limkowing University of Creative Technology, she lived in Malaysia for three years. Shipefi recalls a few incidents where she was treated in a certain way because of her skin colour.

“in one incident a group of people refused to board an elevator with me. This was not at the university but rather on the streets or at shops. This taught me to ignore any negativity in life and focus on the bright side of things,” she says.

Despite these minor incidents, Shipefi says she thoroughly enjoyed every moment of her residence there. She advises to not let other people’s hang-ups affect you for more than a second, because it’s their issue, not yours.

Obtaining her master’s degree in business administration at the age of 26, paired with publishing an academic article, has been her greatest achievement. She also holds a national diploma and a national certificate in business technology from the Namibian University of Science and Technology(NUST).

Shipefi says her motivation comes from positive vibes. “I feel that if you have a positive outlook on life, problems become challenges that you can overcome.”

Life do-overs are not on the list of things that she wishes she had. Sara is grateful for the opportunities accorded to her, the lessons learned and, most of all, the challenges she has faced.

Over the years, the challenges have been many but the bureaucratic channels in organisations are usually the most difficult to deal with.

“I understand that certain measures have to be put in place but I find that it affects one’s overall productivity and service delivery. Never obtain a service from somebody who asks what you do for a living because they will use that to calculate the level of service satisfaction to give you.”

Having a bit of down time is very important to Sara, who says spending time with family is her go-to pastime. “It helps so that you can be recharged when you go back to work.”


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