By Nicole van Wyk
They say energies are contagious and what you’re feeling and thinking may impact others. When you have Viktoria Ndapandula Hango around you, she without a doubt possesses the kind of energy and good vibes that will be transferred to you almost immediately. She is just what the doctor ordered.
The Liaison Officer for the Kavango West Region, specifically for the Climate Resilient Agriculture in the three Vulnerable Extreme (CRAVE) Project under the broad wings of the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) was born in Oshakati and tells a story many of us can relate to. Viktoria tells a tale of how she grew up in a very strict home considering that her dad was a soldier and her mom a cleaner at a hospital but how her fondest memories are of the love she received from her parents, siblings and neighbours that later became extended family. These were the kind of neighbours that wouldn’t only feed you but give you advice and guidance too. Thinking back, she can’t help but reminisce of the young girl she used to be and what made her this fearless, brave and energetic being. “My dad was heavy on discipline and often uttered that you needed to be disciplined, to be independent and to my mom, respect was important, she preached that it was vital to treat everyone with respect, no matter where they came from. Those virtues to me is the perfect balance” she said. Despite growing up in a house with no electricity, the Hango family made time for each other, gathering for storytelling on radio as the sun sets and devotion after that before calling it a night.
Hango holds a post graduate degree in Strategic Management and Planning from the University of Namibia (UNAM) and hopes to peruse her MBA in Natural Resources from the same institution. She is set to graduate later this year and thanks her EIF colleagues for their generous assistance contributed towards her mini thesis. Even with her qualifications, she says nothing beats learning from people in the field, being on the ground and being hands-on. “I love the feeling of being present, being active and being hands-on. Implementation has always been theoretical rather than practical for me. I am result driven, and that is my reward when it comes to my line of work.” Hango said. While she is inspired by Martha Naanda, a Programme Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), whom she said groomed and moulded her as far as her career goes. Naanda, is described by Hango as an intelligent, eloquent and strategic woman who taught her confidence and encouraged her to be bold. Viktoria is also very much inspired by her mother and the ordinary persons she deals or works with on a day to day basis. As a field officer employed by the Fund for the last three years, Hango says that she loves her job, regardless of the challenges accompanied by it. “You need to learn how to work people. My job entails working closely with people. There will be systems and opinions that may not meet your own or that you may not agree with, but you need to find a way to accommodate people and to get the job done”. she said.
When asked if there is anything she would recreate in life, she said “I am living out my purpose as planned by God. I was faced with so many adversities, in terms of health, my finances but I overcame it all. I bounced back and that is all that matters “she said. Although I was presented with these challenges, I wouldn’t take back anything. It has made the resilient and the strong person I am today. In her thirty-seven years (37) of living “it has been a beautiful journey thus far” according to Hango.
Viktoria wants to learn a few more languages considering she already speaks five. She is fluent in English, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero and Ruukwangali which she learned on the job. One would think this bubbly lady would be out and about frequently, but free time for her means, quality time with God, exercising and a bit of Netflix.
There is no doubt that this fierce woman will make things work for herself. Be it in her personal life or work. And most importantly, Viktoria Hango will always keep her fire burning. A flame so bright, she will still have enough to share with those around her.