Tell us abut your self, who is Kabuda?

I am Kabuba Namukokoba, a 27-year-old woman from Zambezi. I am a Mining Engineer, an online content creator and aspiring Makeup Artist. I am also working towards obtaining my master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Systems. I am one of 6 siblings who have insisted to be included in every introduction I make about myself. In 2018, I became the second runner up to Miss Namibia with a role to uplift and empower the Namibian child and I share all things personal development on my online platform.

What Occupation are you in? Why did you choose this Occupation?

I am currently employed as a Shift Scheduler at Rosh Pinah Zinc Mine. My job entails executing the short-term plan to help achieve the long-term plan. Scheduling is an important part of mine planning and proper execution is vital for the operation. It is an exciting role because I get to be a professional organizer of sorts and there is never a dull moment.

There are those who have known with unfailing certainty what they wanted to be when they grew up–and then there are the rest of ‘us.’ In which group are you and how many other ‘wrong turns’ did you make before arriving here? What are the ‘lessons learnt’ if any?

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be an Engineer, but I was not sure what type of Engineer I would be. It wasn’t until I discovered Geology and discussions around minerals which I found very fascinating that I decided I would like to a part of such a profession. But of course, my young brain at the time had no idea what would be instore for her. It has not been an easy road as the journey is quite demanding and one must shake off a lot of self-doubt to cope with imposter syndrome. I have come to learn and appreciate the power of determination and hard work in achieving that which is most important to me.

As a professional Women, do you have any role models that you look up to – both inside and outside your field?

Sheron Kaviua is a role model of mine. She is the first ever female VP of Rosh Pinah Zinc Mine. To have achieved such great and groundbreaking success is a feat that does not go unnoticed. I believe every young girl and woman can look at her and “see their faces reflected on her”, something powerful once said by Zozibini Tunzi, another role model of mine in the pageant community.

Can you tell us a little bit about what your average day looks like for you?

When I am working a day shift, my day starts early. I am in the office by 6 am and have meetings right off the bait. Then there is handling of data and liaising with all stakeholders, from survey, grade control, Geotech, engineering. By mid-day I will be underground and seeing how the work is going and be out by 4 pm to start planning for the next incoming shift.

What are some of your daily challenges, on the job, which are brought about being female, and how do you circumvent them?

I must always be ready to change the plan at any given point incase something goes wrong like an equipment breakdown or unsafe working conditions. I need to be vigilant and alert throughout the whole shift. Luckily, a short-term plan is more flexible, and I can get to move things around and get back on track.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of embarking on a trade like yours

I would tell women wanting to work in the Mining Industry to always be prepared to bring their A game. Unfortunately, it is still a male dominated industry, but a lot of positive change has occurred in the past few years. It is also best to seek and form a community with other women to help support you.

How do you balance being a mother or wife and professional? What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career?

I am not a mother or wife yet. I applaud all the mothers out there who get to balance such demanding roles. There is so much that we all can learn from them. In fact, they are the real-life schedulers because they get to execute it all.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Woman’s day is to me means uplifting women from all walks of life and giving them platforms to share their stories. It’s an opportunity to shed light on issues affecting us to bring about meaningful change.

From issues of abuse, education, political participation and entrepreneurship among others.