Kartrionae Madondo-Ossai: Digital & Strategy Director

We all agree that August is a ‘funny’ month in Namibia. It’s that blue-eyed child of the year, where almost nothing is fully certain. We are not sure if it’s cold or warm if we should go out or stay indoors, push on or stop to reflect, reset or re-strategize. It’s a month that blows the winds of change and you will most certainly feel the need to try something new.

It was out of that feeling that the digital team at Ogilvy proposed a ‘charity drive’. A few months ago I had been in communication with Jasmine, an ‘ex-Ogilvy’ and proactive community member, over some charity organizations that we were looking into donating. On a recommendation from Jaz, we got in contact with Sarah, from Beautiful-Kidz’ orphanage and youth center in Katutura and kickstarted ‘warm-love’- our very own charity initiative. Fast forward to August we were standing in front of a group of eager teenagers, who were keen to listen to what we had to say.

Our mission was to not only donate some clothing and food items but to also have a motivational prep talk about ‘entering and making it in the corporate world’. What struck us the most, was just how these teens were eager and assertive. Articulating their viewpoint and giving tips and suggestions. They had acknowledged the importance of talks on peer pressure and sexual matters but were most grateful and excited to be discussing career choices and life objectives, something positive to look forward to and in the true spirit of August, something different.

During our time with them, we demonstrated how to design and write the best CV. The qualities interviewers look for in a candidate, how they should present themselves during the interview as well as tips on succeeding and thriving once they landed the job. The discussion revealed a glaringly stark contrast between their world and ours. For some, who come from remote homes and use the center for its ‘youth facilitates’, home is a place where no one fulfills a leadership role (at home, work or community). By presenting them “life as a young professional”, a plethora of possibilities were immediately unlocked for their imagination. They realized that like one of ‘us’, they too could fit in our shoes, or better yet run in them.

By late afternoon, we were discussing the general challenges that we faced at work, and how we go about overcoming them. Our systems operations and why it matters to have structure and processes. The importance of branding and self-branding in particular, in the 21st century as well as forming networks beyond friendships, as a life skill requirement. You could see the glimmer of hope in their eyes, reflecting through the 5 O’clock sun reflection, and at that hour we finished our presentation and said our ‘goodbyes’.

Looking back in retrospect, having imparted knowledge and motivated the group, one thing was sure – we had just empowered a group of soon to be ‘young adults’ into taking charge of their lives. They knew then on, that their destiny laid in their own hands as the master scripters of their own story. Alas! that August wind had done its magic. Giving us a sense of accomplishment and motivation to do a little more for someone every day!