By Sibangani Dube September 2012

Meet a woman of substance

Dr Aino Ndakeva describes herself as God-fearing, responsible and self-motivated, professional Namibian woman with an extensive experience in general dentistry and business management. These attributes rest on her greatest strengths of perseverance, maintenance of self-control and the ability to achieve a lot while under pressure, at least according to her. Born to Tate Hafeni and Meme Lahja Ndakeva (former teachers, community activists and evangelists) in Ohangwena Region at Olyavahenge Village 37 years ago, Dr Ndakeva is the second child and first eldest daughter of seven kids. Having grown up in an extended family setup, she says she was a very quiet child though had a happy childhood; they were not rich but were comfortable. Growing up in the village in the pre-independent Namibia for her meant preparing midnight meals for the PLAN fighters who frequented their house on a regular basis, which got her in trouble with the Koevet. She spent most of her childhood years with her mother while her father studied in Britain until he came back in 1987. “I clearly remember that my father’s absence from home made the Boers torment us even more; they would always interrogate us of his whereabouts and constantly demanded supporting documents to prove that he was really in Europe studying,” she relates. Even though there was no kindergarten at Olyavahenge, she took advantage of being a teacher’s child and would accompany her mother to her classes. As a result, she learnt to read and write before officially starting school, making her always come atop her classmates when she finally did start school. In 1981, she started her primary school until 1987 at Onamhindi Combined School in Omusati Region. “Life as a principal’s child came with all sorts of challenges too, not only did I have to work extra hard but I was never allowed to miss any class except in the event that I fell sick,” she recalls. She then did her secondary education at Oshigambo High School from 1988 to 1992. Having attended the same high school her mother had attended made her feel a certain sense of closure toward her but commuting between their parents’ places due to work stands out from her childhood memories, “As soon as my father got back into the country, he got stationed at Ongwediva College of Education. I recall very well how our parents used to take turns to drive us on the dusty Oshigambo gravel road to and from school for long weekends and scho...

Refer to the Prime Focus Magazine for remainder of article
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